Updated: Sep 23
Buffalo! Hippo! Pattern-tank! Baby- elephant!
I'd be glad if you can't relate to being called all of this and more. I'd be glad if you haven't faced any humiliation - on a road, by strangers and by your own people. I'd be happy if you do not understand what it means to be only smiling on the outside, while all this is etched on your heart for life.
It started at a time when I couldn’t even understand why it was happening - why the snack plates were being snatched away from me or why I was told that nobody would marry me or why my best friend suddenly wanted to be friends with other people or why nobody ever invited me to play during the recess at school, or in the neighborhood.
I soon realised the reason for all this - I was fat. Once, I was not allowed to participate in singing competitions because according to one teacher “to be on stage, they should look good too.”
In college, witnessing people easily getting along and forming new relationships, made me realize why it was the utmost priority to be good looking and well-kempt, which I usually was. But the size still mattered especially when people started to slip away - again. My only brother never liked me, let alone love me because of the way I looked. He would never let me in his circle. I would always look up to brothers who would look out for their sisters. I would, at times, crave for attention, yet all I would get was, "Have you seen yourself in the mirror?" "Could you eat any less?" "Would you stop trying to be cool in front of those girls?".
After college, my parents began looking for grooms for me to get married. Marriage talks were always accompanied by, "who would marry you, though?" "Go join the gym first!".
While looking for matches, my parents were bluntly told, "she's got a cute face, but ask her to shed kilos, first" followed which came the hung heads, eerie silences and clashes with the kin.
Even marrying a person on a heavier side doesn't bring peace is what I learnt. You'd be compared to each other. A kilo up or down and there you go - days of taunts and what not!
I still find it difficult to talk to people before having second thoughts. The fear of judgment has settled deep within me because that's all that I used to get at a point in time. I still have a deep void within, which can be filled only through the presence of people, friends, and their validation.
Being body shamed was one of the most prominent reasons that shaped my personality. For my whole life, I have only been seen as a fat person. The size of my body has superseded every good and bad aspect of my personality.
Over the years, I realised all these new-age phrases like "self-love" and "letting go" or "acceptance", "body-positivity" are just marketing terms, trying to sell you a product or a service, or an idea. Because what has settled deep within can't just go away with going to salons or spas, getting coffee, or eating what I want. I've changed myself for it to get better because people and their mentality won't. I express myself through writing and if it wasn't for the love of writing and the appreciation I get for it, I wouldn't have gained any confidence till this day.