With global acceptance movements at an all time high for so many different causes, like those against homophobia, misogyny, racism, and fat shaming to name a few, people have begun to start loving who they truly are.
Let us focus on the anti-fat shaming movement for a second, here. As a person who challenges most societal guidelines vocally and in writing, I read a lot of blogs and articles about issues that are, or need to be brought to the forefront of our fight. I have not let comments filled with insults bother me, most of them about my body, whenever one is posted on one of my opinions.
I am five feet and five inches tall, with forty five kilograms of mass on my body. I have no curves, and my body does not naturally fill any clothes without alterations. I am not “fat” as the world defines it, and I am shamed for it.
My friend recently opened up about her struggles with her body, and while her story goes from the gain of weight to the loss of it, mine runs endlessly into staying the same.
I have been the same weight since I was 13 years old. Year after year, my growth was limited to my height. My friends gushed about how lucky I was, after all, I could eat anything I wanted without getting “fat.” I wanted to tell them, and after a while, I wanted to scream it to them, “Don’t you see? That’s precisely the problem!”
While my overweight friends had their tears wiped away and were given the reassurance that they were beautiful and handsome, that the weight on their body did not define them, I was told to sit down and accept the truth. I was laughed at for not having breasts when all the girls in my class seemed to simultaneously have grown them over summer break. I was looked at with pitiful glances and asked so blatantly, “Doesn’t your mother feed you?” When I turned to my friends for comfort, they didn’t understand. Why would they? To them, I was being whiny and asking for attention, after all, I had the body they were dying for.
When I turned fifteen, I joined the gym. I changed my diet, and I worked out with a little dedication. I put on two kilos, and board exams hit me with a bang. I shed them as fast as I gained them, and let me remind you, February and March aren’t that far apart. It is not that I forgot to eat; hard studying hours called for hard snacking hours. When I went back to school, completely unaware of how little my body had changed, the taunts and deference resumed. I could never gather the confidence to begin my process again.
So here I am, forty five kilograms with a majority of bones, laughed at because of my size twenty six jeans, called a skinny bitch by Nicki Minaj and Meghan Trainor alike, judged by anonymous strangers on the internet saying that they found me beautiful until they saw me in real life, and very ironically, fat shamed by the anti fat shaming movement, because I lack it.
What a certain group of people need to understand is, the motive is to create acceptance with respect to all body types, including the ones you condescendingly call “malnourished.” The girls with fat on their bodies are just as beautiful and loved as the girls who do not have any. Health issues aside, acceptance goes both ways. The glorification of one body shape can and should be done without putting the others down.
To all the little girls out there who seem to be unable to put on any weight despite their best efforts, you are beautiful. You do not need to put on any weight just because the boys, and sadly, the girls in school make fun of you. To all the little boys out there who are thin and laughed at, you can be whoever you want without being buff, I have skinny friends who are amazing football players, outrageously smart, and incredibly witty, not unlike their heavier colleagues.
I want you to feel accepted. I want you to feel normal. I want you to know that you are beautiful and handsome, talented and unique, irrespective of your weight. But I want you to know, you are not alone.
Stop fat shaming, but please, please don’t forget to stop skinny shaming. What might seem like an ideal body to you, is being called a “toothpick,” he or she is being teased synonymous to being blown away by the wind, he or she is being harassed with “why are you being so self empowered? Look at yourself, what do you even have that you’re being such a smartass?” He or she needs the assurance too.