Loving myself beyond physical facade

Updated: Jun 27, 2021

Story by Riya Shah

The shame is slammed in your face when you don’t have a conventionally desirable body. The shame may be disguised as concern but it is more or less just the discomfort of accepting a body which does not fix in the stencil the society finds worthwhile.

I was a skinny kid till my 6th standard and I don’t remember any aunty that did not body shame me but I always was comfortable in my body since I knew I wasn’t unhealthy.

I became very heavy by the end of my schooling due to an accident and the circumstances it caused. I became very concerned about my weight. My mother started pointing out the clothes I wanted to wear, suggesting clothes that may hide my bulges. Perhaps, she did it for my own good but it accentuated my insecurities.

After a lot of pondering about my weight and changes it would bring in my life, spending days and nights in worry and contemplations, a strong realization hit me. My mind works the same, it’s smart and my heart is still full of life and compassion, then why am I allowing something as trivial as an exterior change dull their shine. Overnight I decided to start trying being confident again with however I look and whatever I wear and drop all worries and insecurities that my body weight wanted to gift me and like always I had my friends and people my age supporting me.

I know it is very disappointing to see how so many things, your self-confidence, self-worth, gaze and comments of others etc. turn against you when your body is in undesirable shape according to societal stereotypes and that is why it is so important that you do not turn against yourself.

I am still on the journey to retain my confidence. I started wearing clothes as per my wish, it instills the confidence of doing what I want to irrespective of my weight. Also, I don’t focus on how my body looks in comparison to anyone else’s. I have learnt that I might gain more weight because I’m a foodie and might lose too due to my motivation but none of it will ever define who I am.

Bad days still come with a wave of insecurities but I overcome because I’ve got my own back.

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