The Best of Dayton Youth Radio: I Love Myself
This week we share one of our favorite Best of Dayton Youth Radio stories. Kaylynn Lorene recorded it back in 2017 when she was a high school senior at the David H. Ponitz Career Technology Center in Dayton.
Slim, thick and BBW: these are the body type labels given to girls. Girls will spend most of their lives trying to move from one label to the other or trying to accept the one that they're already in.
My name is Kaylynn Lorene, I'm a five foot four seventeen year old senior at Ponitz Career Technology Center. I have a very beautiful smile, pretty hazel eyes and a body that most boys think is just too big to be...let's say sexy.
In today's culture, I'm considered BBW, or a big, beautiful woman, because I have more thighs and belly and everything else compared to most girls. I'm actually okay with it; I truly accept myself.
Many times boys have made fun of me in front of their friends saying that I was ugly or fat or pretty, but I was still fat regardless. Many times behind closed doors, those same boys will tell me that I'm beautiful and sexy and that they like me.
But I'm smart enough to see what's going on.
Boys, try this technique in a failed attempt to see if I'm desperate enough or if my self-esteem is low enough to the point that I will take whatever they're giving me, which half the time ain't much at all.
Many bigger girls do not get the same attention as a fit girl would get or or a slim girl would get. Boys treat us like we're shadows, they think a bigger girl will be so happy to be getting attention that she'll be up for anything.
I interviewed a fellow classmate and friend by the name of Summer Smith. She has a lot of insight on this problem as well, and she's been through just as much as I have. I asked her how she felt being labeled as BBW.
"I feel like as a woman, I shouldn't be labeled as anything because I feel like we're all equal, we're all the same. We bleed the same blood. We shed the same tears. So for society to put a label on me is very offensive."
I asked Summer whether she labels boys the same way they label us.
"For boys, they can kind of just get away with anything," said Summer. "And girls, we have to, like, stay this picture perfect thin lady. And that's just not how it is in the real world."
Luckily for me, I have had older influences in my life, such as my mom, who's 57. She's been around, so I trust what she says to me. The reason why I am so comfortable in my skin is because I stopped caring about others' opinions, boys, and I truly started living.
I found something or, rather, something found me. I do not know what this something was, but I hope it happens for you, too.
You are lovely in every way. Just be yourself. If boys don't like it, oh, well. Odds are you're surrounded by little boys anyway. But that perfect one will come sooner or later. So don't get discouraged if it's later and don't be too suspicious if it's sooner.
Kaylynn Lorene is a graduate of Ponitz CTC High School. She is continuing her studies at college and abroad, traveling to Costa Rica and Panama. Special Thanks to Ponitz Radio media arts instructor Joanne Viskup. Learn more at the school's website: http://ponitzctc.org/ Dayton Youth Radio is supported by the Virginia W. Kettering Foundation, the Vectren Foundation, and the Ohio Arts Council.
This story was created at the Eichelberger Center for Community Voices at WYSO.