Photo by Diana Polekhina on Unsplash
It’s been a busy Sunday. I have almost finished what I had to do today and now I’m taking rest before the final touch up.
The thing I chose to talk about is not a random 3 am thought or something I have over-thought about.
I have witnessed and experienced this years before I knew what this was about. For the people who don’t have a clear idea about what body shaming is, this is for you.
- the action or practice of humiliating someone by making mocking or critical comments about their body shape or size.
- expressing mockery or criticism about a person’s body shape or size.
When I was a little kid, I used to see people talking about how fat someone was. So up to a certain age my assumption was that only fat people are bullied. Then puberty hit me. And eventually it betrayed me. When every other girl around me were developing “womanly” features I looked like a teenage boy. Until I was in middle school nobody paid attention to this because people who are left behind in puberty race may catch others up in adulthood. So you better wait for your 18th birthday!
Up to 10th standard I was kind of skinny and every body praised me for that. I never put an effort to stay in the way I was. After that I put on some weight. Then I started receiving comments like, “You are fine now, but 1 or 2 kgs more… You’ll be counted in fat squad. ” …”You are on the verge of getting fat! ” and so on. With time people started showering their generous comments and concern more and more. I started thinking how I can get back to the way I was. Be it my tight schedule or lazy nature I couldn’t motivate myself for routine exercises. But I felt the necessity to lose weight, so it affected my food habits. I gave up eating the things I thought were responsible for body fat. On the other side, there was my elder sister. Sissy was plump from the time I’m seeing her. When she was a kid, everybody found her chubby cheeks cute. But when she was in high school, many people would advise her to follow diet, eat less and what not. I have seen her struggling to get fit in her favorite dress in vein. You may neglect the people and their suggestions about your body. But the time when the your favorite dress doesn’t have your size, it’s the worst feeling.
Now coming to my life again. I got admission to an engineering college and moved to the hostel. The awful hostel food made me lose weight in barely a couple of months. Plus my adulthood betrayed me too. So practically I had no more chance to be the game changer. During college, I looked something this… a thin, tall girl. My skin tone is dark. I have wide forehead and was far from “conventional beauty standards”. I was called Emu, Ostrich, Sports woman etc. Sports woman use sports bra to flatten their breast for convenience, so I understood the relevance of all my nicknames.
Now this problem could not be solved by diet or exercise, it’s not same as losing or gaining weight. Many a times girls would make jokes about my body. Guys used to say that I could easily trick people dressing up as a guy. I got used to with this. Someday their fun went too far, I was about to cry out of anguish and hopelessness. During that time I understood the meaning of body-shaming. The boy whom I liked used to enlighten me with the fact why curves are necessary. On the opposite side I found my sister who had curves but still people did never run out of comments, opinions and suggestions to make her feel worse about her body.
So basically people would always have opinions about your body no matter what. It’s in our hand how much importance we are giving to their opinions.
At the end of the day, you need to love yourself, in the way you are. If you are confident about yourself, no body-shaming can pin you down. Recently I came across some photoshoots of plus size women and it was absolutely gorgeous. We should do this more often. Thigh gap and Victoria’s secret models are not goals. Slaying in natural body is goal. And to all the relatives, neighbors and friends who have something to say about my body, “Sorry, but I don’t need your opinion. “🙂
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