Say No to Body Shaming

I have always been a thin girl—as a matter of fact, I know that I can never be a plump one. I never was and never will be. Growing up, I always came across mean remarks from people, from calling me a patient suffering from malnutrition to comparing me to a clothes hanger. I have been given all kinds of nicknames. The crowd just blabbers, and they don’t know how it makes one feel.

We have always seen in the stories of plump girls in movies and commercials, but what about the skinny people? Trust me—we have heard a lot of body shaming, too.

My story is no different from others. Since my younger days and until now, I have been a target of body shaming. Just imagine going out and meeting a bunch of people with a smile on your face, asking them how they are doing—and the first thing that comes from them is, “Oh my God! You’re so skinny! I pity you, girl.”

And then comes the best part when they start giving you lessons about your diet and protein shakes, not knowing that you eat more than them—and if God allows, you can eat them, too!

I still remember in my college days I was once called Ugly Duckling This comment completely broke me. But as I was an introvert at that time, I only cried and criticized my body many times because of these outrageous comments. I disgraced myself too, not knowing the fact that I was harming myself only.

Since childhood, I always thought that 36-24-36 was the only way to gain respect and attention from people. What if I could never gain weight? What if people never understood that the main reason for me not having a voluptuous body was my high metabolism rate?

In society, physical appearance comes way above everything else. These days, being benevolent and having a perfectly good sense of humor are not the basis for judging a person.

For example, I met a guy on a marriage website. We talked for approximately three months and developed a liking towards each other. He even proclaimed that he wanted me as his wife and would be with me, no matter what. We decided to meet, but just two weeks before the meeting, I got a severe stomach infection, which caused me to lose a lot of weight. He’d earlier proclaimed that no matter what, he would be with me, so I met him in that state of my health.

But as soon as we met, when I saw his reaction, I knew what was coming for me. He rejected me. He’d fallen in love with me before and even said he wanted me to be his wife, but now my physical appearance had changed his mind. He knew I had not been well for a couple of days, but still, he said, “No.”

And this was not the first time. I’ve been a target of similar kinds of judgments.

So what if I am thin and lean?

So what if I am not curvy ?

Does it make me inferior to anybody else ?

I don’t think so. It’s my body. Whether I’m curvy or lean, it’s up to me. I have not given anybody the authority to judge me on these grounds. I know for a fact that I’m much more capable than many people whose constant job is to body-shame others.

We live in a society where it is considered OK for someone to judge another person, on whatever grounds they feel. Being scrawny is bad, and being stout is unacceptable. If a person is too dark or too fair, he or she should be mocked. Again, if you are too tall or too short, you are definitely not acceptable in society. We are not happy with what we have and always like to compare ourselves with others. Criticizing your own appearance will always make you step backwards in life, and this attitude will zap your motivation towards everything.

One thing I’ve learned from my experiences is to stop comparing yourself with other beings. Find positivity in the criticism you get. Love your body and be comfortable in your own skin. Let’s just feel good about ourselves, because what we feel is what we project onto society.

Don’t let any nincompoop pass his judgment on you. You might not be perfect, but you are unique. Love yourself. If not you, then who will do the same? It took years for me to realize this, but still, I would say better late than never. Now, I have grown above all these illusory attachments and moved closer to reality, which in turn, has given me a more peaceful life.

At last, I would just like to say: Be yourself, love your body, and deal with whoever body-shames you—in your poised way.

About the Author | Akriti Chandra

Akriti Chandra is a believer. She has gone through a lot in her life but has never given up on anything. She is a boisterous and benevolent person. She is a working professional and loves to dance. She lives alone in Gurgaon, India.

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