Throughout the semester I’ve continuously told stories about my struggles as an overweight child and the difficulties I had to face growing up. Society and the media played a huge role in how I looked at myself and my capabilities. When I watched TV, there was never anyone who looked like me, in comparison to my weight, that played a main role that wasn’t either mocked or stereotyped in some time type of way, or so I thought. The media continued to praise a certain body type within their ads, campaigns, and TV shows, that made me feel like I was never good enough. The “fat kid” stereotype haunted me and made me begin to believe that I would never be more than just my body to the rest of the world. Even until this day, when I have lost all of the weight and now possess a slimmer figure, my insecurities from the past have still shaped me and have left me with struggles within my self-image struggles.
This class really brought me into a space of self-reflection and has shown me that the body shaming I endured as a child has led me to lack self-confidence within my body all my life. When I created this book, I was reflecting on myself and thought about how I would have appreciated a book that displayed the greatness of a person, no matter what their size may be. I chose the characters I chose because I believe that they displayed resilience despite their size and showed their audience that their bodies did not define them.
Below are some examples from the children’s board book created:
Jessica Ahenkorah is a senior at Old Dominion University, striving in her last semester to receive a degree in Mass Communications. Creativity is Jessica’s best attribute and will most likely be where her future career derives from. Her hobbies include reading, motivating others, video editing, and brand building. Her goal is to one day take her acquired skills through the doors of Nickelodeon Animation Studios where she would like to eventually land an executive position.