This is a very odd one for me, actually. It’s one where I feel I will never win. You see, this is how it goes. For the first few years of my life, I was a cute little girl. Then I got chubby, and I was still a cute little girl. Thereafter I became a chubby teenager, and it wasn’t so cute anymore. I was told that I was too fat, and I must lose weight.
To do so, I cut down my food intake, used the old tummy trimmer my dad ordered from a catalogue, cried and binged a lot, starved even more – and this was all before I turned fifteen. It turned out that no amount of dieting would’ve helped, because I had a medical condition which wasn’t diagnosed because everybody just assumed I was fat. Lucky for me, it was a condition that was easily fixed, and I was suddenly slim.
Effect of Constant Fat Shaming
I basked in it for a while. But do you know the kind of damage that can be done if you’re told you’re fat from the time you’re ten till the time you’re fifteen? You get scared of food, even if you love food. Then you binge, and you’re always on the verge of developing an eating disorder. You can’t eat happily just because now you’re the right size. You’ve spent years of very impressionable years trying not to eat and still being fat.
Problem of Being Too Thin
That goes on till suddenly, one day, you’re told you’re too skinny. From the time I turned twenty, I was told that I must eat more or I wouldn’t find a man. Mind you, I wasn’t really skinny. Or maybe that’s still my body dysmorphia talking, because I’ve never looked into a mirror and seen a skinny person. Not even when I was 22 and weighed about forty kilos and was dealing with a breakup by feeding this problem by starving myself. Oh, the irony.
Now I’m older, though not much wiser, and can accept more things about myself, including the fact that I don’t need my jeans size to be 26, and all my clothes to be extra small. I’m fine with 28-inch jeans. I might even be fine with 30, though that might need a bit more progress.
The ideal body built
But this means that I have been on both sides of the body-shaming line: I’ve been shamed for being fat, and I’ve been shamed for being skinny (or so they said). This is why I have no patience for those who hijack conversations about being fat-shamed by claiming that they’ve been shamed for being skinny, too. Because after everything, I know that what I endured when I was chubby was far worse than what I endured as an unhealthily skinny young woman (or so they said, I thought I looked fabulous). I would prefer to be in the middle, where I am, on most days, though there are times when I miss the skinny days. There is never a time when I miss the fat days.
Body Shaming Is Never A Choice
Skinny people who try to be part of the fat-shaming conversation by insisting on calling it body-shaming should consider that. Would you choose to avoid all the skinny-shaming by being fat? Of course not. It’s far worse.
The conversations about being skinny are annoying and unfair. It’s none of anybody else’s business. But when I was chubby, I had a medical problem that was diagnosed years too late because I was told that I just needed to stop eating so much. Guess which the bigger problem is.
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