“Be yourself. No not that way.” – Society.
Feeling ashamed of how we look has become normal. Hardly any of us think we make the beauty grade. We might even think there is something odd with someone who is perfectly happy with how they look.
As a kid, I was really confident, never had any negative thoughts about my appearance ; it never bothered me untill people started sowing the poisonous seed in me. And I am sure that I am not the only who’s been through this.
“Oh, She’s healthier than the other kids” was the subtle way to body shame a little kid. At first ‘healthy’ was a positive word for me, I never understood what these judgemental people were trying to imply. I was in 6th grade and I had a terrible fall while cycling which led to three cracks on my ankle bone and I remember the doctor had something else to state ; according to him, I wouldn’t have broken my bone if I wasn’t overweight and he told me to lose weight and diet. A 6th grade kid was advised to start a diet life. Yeah, true. I mean honestly yes, it is so ‘unrealistic’ that a fall from cycle cracked my ankle. It is a universal truth that only weight issues causes major accidents.
We have been conditioned to dislike ourselves, from our family members to the outside world. Be it the relatives who tell you to look pretty in order to get married or the shopkeepers who refer you the dress which will hide those curves, everyone is always promoting how to not feel good in your own skin.
Let’s step back for a second, ignore the society and take a peek on the inside : Family. Our own family members are taking “Charity begins at home” to a whole different level. I bet you might have been commented on your body, colour, features..maybe existence too by your family.
At this point we don’t even realize that those comments, ‘jokes’ are unacceptable and reprehensible because we are so used to that.
My confidence kept sinking and insecurities, anxiety was on a rise. I despised family functions, and as Indians even the thought of not wanting to attend a family function is like a drug call made by us in our parents’ perspective. I stopped participating in extra curricular activities in school, I just wanted to be blend in the crowd ; away from people’s view because I knew I would be judged as i don’t fit the body standards set by the society. I never told anyone the way I felt, never told my parents the reason behind me hating social settings.
School ended, a new start awaited with a side of my insecurities. As college began, I started meeting new people, made friends only to realize that they had their struggles too. We can’t just expect other people to stop judging us, because we too are a part of this judgemental society. Jokingly calling someone by their most apparent physical trait does make us a part of the toxic culture.
With time I realized that I wasn’t alone. Everyone was struggling and still are. It’s a daily fight. With time, people have started empowering each other. The toxic body standards set by the society is being questioned, things are changing. Honestly, it did help me with my struggle. I started turning my insecurities into my strength ; cliché I know but yes it’s the truth.
However, I wouldn’t deny that working through the struggle is difficult but we’ll definitely make it. Together. Most importantly, let’s talk about it instead of penting it up inside us, we never know who we’ll inspire and empower by doing so. Personally, I have evolved both mentally and emotionally, and for the shockers : I may have started liking family functions minus the relatives.