Olive Oyl me

Olive OylI was so ridiculously thin when I was a child and in my teens that for  years my brothers called me Olive Oyl, after Popeye’s girlfriend. Being compared to Olive Oyl was a big no to me because I despised her with a passion. Olive Oyl was frequently physically abused by Brutus and many times she would be knocked unconscious when Popeye and Brutus were fighting. She would never fight back and she was totally depended on Popeye. To me, Olive Oyl was ugly, fickle, selfish and foolish. She also had gigantic feet and that irritating squeaky voice. The budding feminist in me wanted to be strong, independent and assertive.   It is true, however, that I had unbelievably long and bony legs that looked like sticks about to break. My brothers used to make fun of me all the time saying that any breeze would carry me. I also became an easy target for a group of bullies that used to hang out at the back rows of my school bus. They would frequently laugh at me and tease me verbally asking questions such as: “Hey Twiggy, do you live in the slums?” or “Does your Dad even have a job?” The suggestion  that my dear hard working Dad could not afford to feed me was very offensive. I felt like screaming back at them that my Dad was in fact an extremely successful man but could never muster the courage to do so. I became even more self-conscious and hated myself for it but I never said anything back. Looking at pictures from that time, I think what saved me from looking like an undernourished child were my rosy chubby cheeks, otherwise I was extremely aware of my thinness, especially when I was with my friends. It was difficult to find clothes that fit me so I used to have dresses and pants tailor made for me. My mother was always worried about how thin I was and took me to different doctors who tried to convince her that I was a healthy kid in vain. The maids received strict instructions to feed me certain foods to make me gain weight. They were supposed to grill meat for me at breakfast. To this day I remember the taste of those delicious cheese meat sandwiches. But no matter what or how much I ate, I never gained any weight.


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