A lot of people speak against body shaming and it is a relief to see when people do the right thing. But I have come across many people who mistake body shaming as fat shaming. This way they totally neglect the victims of skinny shaming. I can tell it because I have suffered.Body shaming hurts the most when we are in our growing age, that is, puberty. We have a very blurred sense of right and wrong. That is why; the offender often does not realize it.To make my point more clear, let me share my own experience with you.
Since childhood I was a thin and lanky girl who was often told “hawa chalegi to ud jayegi” (she will be blown away by the wind). People used to tell my mother to feed me properly; unaware of the fact that I was well fed. I did not mind for a long time. The things started affecting me when I reached the age of 13. The girls around me were chubby and looked healthier. I, on the other hand looked very sickly. All of the girls started to have those perfect set of breasts. I did not have them or I felt that I could not have them. My classmates picked on me; called me names like ‘stick’, ‘flat’ or told me I am still a child. I tried to ignore those comments but I could not.
I made peace with the fact that I was not attractive. I did not do any sort of make up or did not even try to look good while dressing up. By the time I was 16, my peers were involved with their boyfriends and girlfriends. I was left all alone with my self-loathing. At one point of time, I feared that I had some disease or syndrome. I was searching for some reason; I wanted to believe that there was some medical condition. I was fortunate enough that I was able to direct my negativity to positivity. I focused on my studies as far as possible but my personal life was compromised.
I did not wish to feel anything anymore. I thought that I could derive happiness from my academic results or achievements in co-curricular activities. Now, I realize that my self-esteem had gone so low that I was trying to prove myself in every field. One of my friend jokingly told that I should get surgical implants for my breasts. I was shattered from inside. I did not know what to say. But as we say, time heals everything, so it did.
Back then, I never imagined I will be writing about this part of my life. As I grew up came to college, I became more confident. I met a lot of people who were like me. I learnt the art of not giving a sh*t about people. I accepted my body, the way it is and as soon as I did it; people accepted me too. I just wish to accept myself sooner. I am not angry at anybody. We grew in a society which was insensitive and oblivious about such issues. Now we are the society and that is why we need to keep a check on what we say, what we post or share or how we react. Because children are the worst victims of whatever we do.