‘There’s something you should see.’
One of my friends pointed to the picnic table near the senior study.
It was covered in graffiti – mostly initials in hearts and typical teenage stuff like ‘blah blah was here,’ or ‘blah loves blah forever.’
I wandered over and the crowd around the tabletop parted.
There it was, bigger than the other scrawl, and with that freshly penned brightness.
Samantha Turnbull is a fat ass ****.
To this day, I don’t know what motivated it.
But, it didn’t take long to find out who wrote it.
It was a girl completely off my radar. Someone I don’t think I’d ever had a conversation with. Someone from what you’d call the ‘unpopular group.’ Someone who I can’t even remember the name of now.
And, strangely enough, it was one of the biggest girls in school. A girl whose own ass would’ve easily trumped mine in any ‘whose is biggest’ contest.
As a sort-of payback, I used the incident as inspiration for an art project.
I painted a giant comic strip of how the events unfolded. A picture of me discovering the graffiti, being upset by it, and then amused when I found out who was responsible.
I painted the graffiti ‘artist’ as an ugly, obese figure.
I got a great mark. The teacher loved it. My friends laughed.
But, looking back, I’m ashamed of those paintings.
Instead of handling the insult with grace, I fought fire with a raging inferno.
I body-shamed that girl just like she had done to me – only worse.
If I could go back in time, I’d instead follow Carleigh O’Connell’s lead.
When someone graffitied a cement barrier in her town, labelling it ‘Carleigh’s ass,’ instead of cowering away or attacking back, she photographed herself in a swimsuit posing proudly with the bully’s vandalism.
Her mum said: ‘she decided that she was going to be stronger than hurtful words on the concrete and that she was going to be proud of her figure.’
The photo has gone viral on social media.
And I bet the vandal is feeling like a bit of a dumb ass.