“What does skb mean?” asked one of my closest friends (fun fact: the same friend that yelled at me for being socially awkward in Forget Paris: I Left My Heart in Sitges). Skb stands for, quite simply, my high school nickname: Skinny Bitch. The full nickname is actually Skinny Asian Bitch, but calling myself SKAB didn’t seem appealing.
All throughout middle school and high school, I was teased for my rail thin appearance. I’m 5’6″ and weighed just under 90lbs up until college. Even better? I have scoliosis and wore a back brace when I was 13 for nearly two years. During a time when a young girl is thrusted into puberty, I was thrusted into an uncomfortable, sweaty, and probably the worst of it all: hideous plastic brace. The brace wasn’t the most hideous thing itself. I was. My clothes didn’t fit. I couldn’t properly walk because the brace hindered my turning. And to date, I still have scars from where the brace sat on my hips.
Teenagers can be so damn cruel. I’ll never forget sitting in American history. A “friend” turned around, and said “pancakes”. “What?” I asked while batting my eyes behind my glasses. “Your boob size. You can’t even see them. And the brace hides them even more. They’re like pancakes.” Ever so nonchalantly, she turned back around. To her, the conversation never even happened. But for me, it was another passive aggressive comment that finally shut me down.
The brace came off before my freshman year of high school (thank goodness), but I continued to hide behind my natural “resting bitch face”. I went through high school not caring to meet anyone unless they approached me first. Everyone assumed I was cold, indifferent, and dark-hearted- hence the nickname.
Years later, I’m finally happy. I know I’m far from perfect with my lanky arms and legs, naturally unbalanced self, and that resting bitch face that I can’t seem to get rid of. It’s OK. I decided to own my teenage nickname of Skinny (Asian) Bitch as a way of taking something back from the bullies that took away my confidence. Skinny? Yeah, I am and I’ll drink that beer full of calories. Asian? Yes, I’m Chinese. And a Bitch? Well duh, because bitches get shit done in this world.
As I’ve grown to be comfortable with myself, I thought Skb Travels would be most appropriate blogger name because it continues my tale of self discovery. Travel has taught me how to be alone. How to handle uncomfortable situations. Take risks. Meet strangers. The list truly goes on. This Skinny Bitch…she’s going to 30 countries by 30. And you can’t take that away from me.