For as long as Nick Tarantino can remember, he’s been a “big kid.” The 17-year-old was even a large baby, born at 8 lbs and 6 ounces. In his Teen Flaunt essay, he explains, “Ever since about 6 or 7 years old, I’ve been overall bigger than all the other kids, what I like to call… well-ROUNDed.” While it may start out by sounding like a sad story, Nick doesn’t want your pity. Instead, he wants readers to realize it’s possible to accept and love your body exactly the way it is. His advice? “Just remember, don’t hide it. FLAUNT IT!!” Those are wise words we can all appreciate.
Of course, it wasn’t always that easy. He reminisces of some rough times in middle school.
I felt totally alone, lost in a sea of over 250 classmates. Learning about obesity and healthy lifestyles made it seem like the elephant in the room (aka ME) needed to be constantly addressed. I would always try to suck in my gut and appear thin but it would never work, and the great slopes of my stomach would spill over the husky waistband of my shorts.
Luckily, he’s found self-acceptance and learned to embrace his size. He realized that negative comments from others don’t matter in the long run. They also don’t give an accurate portrayal of the person he actually is.
Of course my weight can lead to other restrictions in my life down the road, and my weight IS something I am trying to change, but who cares what somebody says to you, it’s only a scratch on the surface compared to the person underneath.
Most importantly, he encourages others to talk about their feelings — whether on a blog or starting a group at school. For him, making YouTube videos has been a huge help for body positivity. You can watch one of his videos below, and head to the Teen Flaunt site to read the rest of his amazing essay!
For more Teen Flaunts that we love, check out these stories:
- Caroline, 17, has scoliosis
- Jack, 17, lost his uncle to mental illness
- Julia, 17, doesn’t let OCD define her
If you would like to have your teenager or student (age 13-18) write a “Teen Flaunt” that could potentially be published on the Teen Flaunt page, please submit the proposed essay (no longer than 700 words) to: firstname.lastname@example.org.
P.S. Did you know there’s a health and well-being magazine for teens that features inspiring stories every month? Learn more about Choices here, and check out our past pieces about Ashlyn, who feels no pain, and Georgia, who was born deaf.