As a fat girl for the majority of my life, I have not been averse to body shaming comments.
Many people think that by shaming a fat person’s body, you can “motivate” that person into becoming “thin”. Once again reinforcing the stereotype that thin is healthy or that thin is beautiful. But the point here is that people need to accept their bodies for what they are make it the best version of itself.
Be fit and exercise not because you want to be thin but because you want to live longer and climb that dreaded staircase. Exercise because you want to be able to punch harder than the strongest guy you know and run faster than the fastest person you know.
I remember being called a buffalo by my school mates and made fun of when I wasn’t around. My size did not make me a target but made me more invisible. I was not a girl or even a human being with feelings but I was an ugly excuse of a fat creature to be mocked and made fun of. Boys would come up to me ask me out on a dare because my feelings were inversely proportional to my fat, meaning, I had none.
I was always the last chosen in a PE class and mostly ignored by the “pretty girls”. My relatives and cousins would come up to me and ask me exercise so that I can become thin and pretty. I doubt any of them even cared ab
out my well being or health. This took a toll on my mental health.
As a former fat girl, I know what we do. We either eat our feelings in defiance or sadness or build a wall around ourselves that shapes what we are today. I did not have healthy role models to look at and my body type was rarely seen on Tv except as a butt of all jokes.
Remember, Fat Monica dancing as the punch line of an episode in FRIENDS?
And for the majority of the time, fat people were always a comic thing. My body was shaped by my genes. My hourglass figure is a result of my Indian heritage, I can try as hard as I want to get that straight caucasian figure but I will never get that. And for the first time in my life, I have started accepting this. I am fit and healthy and I can run as fast and as long as I want. I am pushing my body to its physical limits and I love it and yet I have the curve of my hips and my mermaid thighs. I do not have a thigh gap and will probably not have it ever. But this is my body and I am happy with it.
As I started losing weight, the true extent of my smallness hit me. I have a naturally thin face and a thin waist coupled with broad shoulders and broad hips. So, on the other end of the spectrum, I was called skin and bones and a skeleton by many. It felt like you can never impress people. They will always body shame you.
I have been Fat shamed.
I have been skinny shamed.
And with my muscles now, I have been fit shamed.
And I ignore these body shamers. It is a tough journey but a piece of advice, if you want someone you love to lose weight and be healthy please do not call them fat or give them unsolicited advice. Its likely that they are already feeling it and going through the motions on their own. Let them accept who they are, praise them, encourage them. They are more than their size and so should you be too.