Updated: Jun 27, 2021
Story by Anonymous
"I will make you lose weight by running up and down the stairs. Do you understand?", the teacher said as the rest of the girls in class laughed at me.
Maybe I would have given the teacher an answer, if it happened to me now. But, this happened to me when I was in 6th standard, and I did not know how to deal with it back then. I am still struggling to find out how.
I have tried the 'fake it till you make it' mantra, to pretend that everything is alright, and there is no hurt. But I cannot lie to myself anymore.
The very first people to make me feel conscious about my body was my family. I was very thin when I was little, and my family used to call me something meaning 'as thin as a stick.'
As I grew up, I started putting on weight, and I was not concerned about it, until my family made me conscious about it. Soon, I transformed from a supposedly thin person to an overweight person.
The kids at school started noticing it as well, and the teasing was endless. I have heard all kinds of overweight jokes and I still hear them all the time. People think its funny but IT IS NOT.
"Woh dekh chota hatthi jaa raha hain"
(Translation: "Look, a Baby elephant is on a stroll)
Comments like these have shattered my confidence since childhood.
Did you laugh at this too?
My identity has been greatly defined by my body, since I can remember. However, I soon stopped caring and what people said and faked confidence. I talked to all kinds of people without caring what they have to say. The fake confidence even helped me become the associate head girl in 10th and 11th standard.
However, in 12th, things changed.
The fake behaviour built up tension inside me. I was hurt internally over time, without even realising. It made me become a very sensitive person.
I started hiding in the crowd. I hated being seen, or being noticed. When I joined college, I became a very judgemental person. I judged myself as well as others be it hair, looks, clothes, everything! I even started convincing myself, that nobody would ever date me, because why would any guy like a girl with short hair and a fat belly?!
I was destroying myself
I became something I was not, and how can I change when I am always asked to 'be myself'?! I guess being myself was never enough. I hated myself.
I even saw some other girls as overweight as I was, and they were not affected by the comments. Why were they not affected? Why was I affected by this? Why was I hurt? Why can I not be as free as everyone else?!
I still don't know all the answers, but I feel I am now getting closer to accepting myself as normal.
There was one realisation which did make me feel better. It was that most people did not really like their body. It is a sadistic pleasure, but at least now I don't feel alone. Maybe that is why I am sharing this story. To not feel alone!
I have tried to make some changes in my life, since a year now. I started working out, not because I wish to lose weight, but because I love sports since school time. "Yes, I do not care about what people say!" I wish I could say that loud, so as to convince others, as well as myself.
I feel that I have been just a very strong person, without even realising, picking up the pieces of my shattered confidence, every time it breaks. A person, struggling to survive in this supposedly 'beautiful world'.
I think the scars of the past will soon fade away, but I keep getting new ones, since some people still call me 'chota hatthi'.