Big Questions with Zach Miko is the Chubstr feature that takes reader questions on the things we’re not always comfortable talking about: dating, relationships, body image, sex – basically anything NOT having to do with fashion. Columnist, Brawn model Zach Miko takes on these questions, sharing his insight and personal experience to help you get answers. Send him your questions (even anonymously, if you’d like) by clicking here. Want to read past installments of Big Questions? Click here to see them all.
Nick: What’s your favorite thing about your size? Mine’s not being hassled Downtown
So often when I’m talking about my size it always comes from a defensive place. I need to make sure people know that I am ok the way I am, and how I’m just as valuable as anyone who might be smaller than me. I find this to be a similar trend throughout the whole body-positive community. As bigger people, we all have the shared trauma of getting ridiculed for our size and shape. Discovering our own self-love often comes from a perspective of being “just as good as”. Your question is a reminder that true self love isn’t about just enduring your body, but loving it and living in it. So fuck yeah, Let’s talk about what we like about our size for once.
I’m a big guy, I’ve been big my whole life. I am one of the first people my friends think of whenever they need help to move into a new place. I have been moving couches and TVs since I was 12 years old. I’m 6’6”, so any time a sweet old lady or gentleman need to reach that can of kidney beans on the top shelf at the grocery store, they don’t even have to ask, just a quick glance over to me and it’s in their cart. People naturally look to me for help because of my size, and I love being able to help.
I always felt underestimated in my career because of my size, but sometimes as a big guy I am down right OVERestimated. Not being hassled downtown is just the start of it. I moved out of my parents house at 18, and for the first decade I lived on my own in what could be considered “rough” areas, and no one ever messed with me. It’s a good thing too, because even though I look like I can handle myself, a middle-schooler with a year of karate lessons could probably knock me out cold. My size has saved me from dozens of potential fights, most of which I’m sure I’d lose, but people don’t even attempt it because of how big I am.
While my classmates were slamming Four Loko in their dorm rooms, I was singing karaoke with thirty-somethings in New Haven and enjoying margarita happy hours at Chili’s.
Did you wait until you were 21 to have your first alcoholic beverage? Neither did I. You know what really helps underage drinking in college? Being an almost three hundred pound nineteen-year-old. I never got carded, I used to take liquor store orders for the sophomores and juniors when I was a freshman in college. While my classmates were slamming Four Loko in their dorm rooms, I was singing karaoke with thirty-somethings in New Haven and enjoying margarita happy hours at Chili’s. Growing up big forced me to mature quicker than my peers, which comes with the advantage of older, more mature friends. I even won my first hand of blackjack at Mohegan Sun Casino when I was just nineteen. The pit boss didn’t even bat an eye.
I have a life I love because of being big. I grew up to be the man I am today because of my size, not despite it. I grew up learning how to work hard and serve others. I got to feel strong and powerful without ever having to prove it to anyone. I saw incredible things, met wonderful people, and had amazing experiences that I had no right to have at my age. My size has opened a lot of doors for me. Sure, I had to duck or walk sideways through some of those doors, but I got through. Now it’s our job to build new doors, bigger doors.