October 5, 2010 § Leave a comment
Growing at the speed of light, by the time I was 16-years-old, I was six-feet-tall. Shortly thereafter, I was two inches taller than my six-foot-tall father. To make matters worse, I weighed only about a hundred pounds, because everything went into growth spurts. And this was long before being boney thin and anorexic looking was considered cool and chic. In my time, being a skinny Amazonian girl was simply an anomaly. And fodder for relentless teasing.
I got pushed and pulled and knocked into lockers, and tripped by mean boys who found pleasure in stepping on the back of my shoes, pulling off my heels, and watching my gawky long arms and 36-inch inseam legs flail and fall toward the ground. The teasing felt relentless. Definitely not good for a sensitive child… I was always amazed how even total strangers would make careless comments such as, “How’s the weather up there?” Ha-ha. Or, “Your chest is at my eye level.” Ha-ha.
It all came to a head when my 6-foot-2-inch body could no longer hide behind my parents, who could not protect me from people making thoughtless comments that made me feel self-conscious and freakish. And I could not hide behind my friends, who could not protect me at school, where I was fearful of what nerve-wracking “torture” the day might bring. It felt like Martha Reeves and the Vandellas were in my head, singing, “Nowhere to run, baby. Nowhere to hide. Nowhere to run, baby. Nowhere to hide. Nowhere to run, baby. Nowhere to hide…” Little did I know that I would I would run to… the singer who saved me.