Life gives us inspiration at every step, what matters is that we take it in a positive way.
Let’s start with the task of defining myself.
I am a simple girl who loves music and TV shows. A girl who leads a normal life and likes to travel. I was always good at academics, a bright and obedient student. At all the PT meets teachers had nothing but praise for me.
But somewhere with all these accomplishments I had this big inferiority complex.
My weight was a hurdle among all those laurels. Being a victim of body shaming for several years inspired me to write this piece.
I was addressed with all sorts of adjectives any skinny child would be addressed with – malnourished, olive oil, match stick, cane, anorexic, patli (skinny in Hindi) some of them.
Some even asked me if I was normal? Eat butter, milk, ghee, <insert fat product> – people were at the ready pouncing upon me with suggestions.
Like a girl desperate to look good and appealing (in front of guys especially), I tried out everything and anything hoping that something would work out. It never did actually.
I used to spend nights crying, pleading with God to show some mercy on this little child, to transform me into a desirable commodity that society wants to cherish.
Every night before going to bed I would wish like Cinderella would to her fairy Godmother to raise her wand and cast her magic spell. I dreamed of transforming into a beautiful entity.
My inferiority complex, the fight with myself had intensified to the point that I was afraid of meeting people. In fact, I was scared of facing them. And facing the common question always asked of my parents – “kuch khane ko nai dete kya apni beeti ko?”( Don’t you feed your daughter?).
I had preconceived notions regarding everything. My confidence was shattered, I became an introvert child, had minimal friends.
I used to hide behind the mask and people thought I had an attitude problem. In reality, I was just protecting myself from getting hurt.
In my teenagers years. when other girls are oozing with confidence about how they look, experimenting with makeup and fashion, desperate for male attention with their ever increasing oestrogens levels; there I was a sulking, cynical child not wanting any sympathy.
I had developed a cocoon around myself, eager to be left alone, seeking hibernation. There were times when my parents totally gave up on me.
I remember once an Aunty told me, “Beta who will marry you if you remain like this forever.” I felt like ripping her face off. As if she knew my future better! Those words would pinch anyone.
It’s not about how pretty you look, or how beautiful your curves are. What really matters is how you see yourself. I realised in my later years.
As time passed I did change. I gained weight gradually in my adult years but the longing to not be called skinny and be voluptuous never left me.
Charles Horton Cooley gave us the ‘looking through the glass’ self-image theory, which stated that you form and impression of yourself by how others perceive you.
My major drawback being involved in the race of what I never had, I never really appreciated what I was and what belonged to me.
It’s a mad race especially with these multiple products to look fairer, lose weight, and gain weight, be taller, smarter or what not.
The ‘ideal’ objectification of beauty has ruled our minds for centuries. All thanks to the marketing and advertising strategies of these multi-million dollar beauty product companies.
There is no harm in trying to look good, but what we should and must not forget is our real identity in the process. After all they say a beautiful face may fade but a beautiful soul lasts forever.