“Do you really have to eat cheese? Don’t you see how much you are bulging from your hips?”
Shanaya was too tired of listening to this. Sometimes her boyfriend would say something about her diet and other times one of her friends or sisters would make her realize how fat she has become since last few months. She has always been heavy built, no matter how much she went to the gym, dance classes or aerobics, her weight would never go down. Since her college days, she had been humiliated because of the way her figure is. She obviously looked a bit older than her age because of her size.
In spite of the fact that she was heavy, she loved eating. She couldn’t resist food. She relished eating and she had a knack for different kinds of taste. Italian, Chinese, continental, Indian, Thai or any other cuisine, she loved it all. Though she knew that she had to control her diet to look fab, she tried her best but she failed miserably almost every time.
She hated herself, her body, her looks, her liking towards food, everything. She remembered her mother saying,” You better control your weight or else you will look ugly and fat”. That was the first time she thought the words fat and ugly are synonymous. And yes, they were. That is exactly what TV and magazine advertisements proved.
Depression can prove to be very harmful to a growing girl who turned into a woman. She had found a way out of this depression. She used to exercise like crazy; she loved dancing and working out in the gym. She started doing this to get in shape, but she really started liking this. Now, the gym was not a place where she felt miserable but it turned into a place where she could just lose herself and sweat out all her anger and depression.
She thought how lucky are the people who can eat whatever they want and still stay thin without sweating in gym or dance. There was one name that came striking to her every time she thought of such people – Nancy. Nancy was so lucky, she could have chocolates, cakes, ice-creams everything without feeling guilty at all, coz nothing changed her slim figure. How does this happen to a few people and cannot happen to her? Is it even possible that a girl like Nancy can ever feel pathetic and have low body image?
“Real women have real curves. I don’t even know how any guy would find you even desirable with such a skinny flat figure.”
“Eat more bananas with milk, it will add to your body weight”
“Did you try those new creams I got for you? They are supposed to add fat to your skin.”
Nancy ended up crying in a room because this was a millionth time she had heard her elder sister say this to her. Her friends said the same thing. Why am I so flat? Why can’t I have a full figure? She was really slim. She ate a lot; her appetite was as much as of a guy. But it didn’t affect her body at all. She loved eating just like Shanaya, she too took weight gaining courses in the gym and with a nutritionist. She even applied all sort of oils to make her body look fuller and curvy than flat. Nothing really worked and she felt miserable about it.
Nancy too hated her body. She usually used to think, how lucky Shanaya is, at least she had good curves. What if she has a little fat on her belly and her hips, it makes her even more desirable.
“I don’t understand why Shanaya keeps crying about her own body. She looks perfect. People say that she looks like a perfect full figure.” thought Nancy.
On the other hand, Shanaya thought, “Nancy is so crazy. Can’t she see those models in TV, they all are skinny. I think she just doesn’t understand how fortunate she is to have a body that doesn’t gain weight at all. She will never have to worry about her weight.
Nancy was talking to herself at the same time, “Shanaya doesn’t get that model look so artificial and look good only on the television. No guy really wants a size zero girlfriend, they want a sexy girl with complete beauty.”
“Nancy feels pathetic about her body and I have no clue why. If a girl like her goes around the beach in a bikini, people are going to like her. If a girl like me goes around in a bikini, people will take offence in that. They will suggest me not to do something like this until she has a slimmer figure.” said Shanaya to herself.
“Shanaya doesn’t know how much it pinches when people call me flat. When people say that I am not desirable, how rejected I feel at every comment of this kind.” thought Nancy.
Both Shanaya and Nancy had to work on their own body image. But both of them had to realize that this world is so full of confusion about what really is beautiful. They had to realize that beauty is what you define. Beauty is a combination of inner beauty, confidence and natural sex appeal. And it has got nothing to do with what media portrays or people believe. It has to come from inside of every person.
Fat shame exists and so does skinny shame. Both are equally painful and degrading. Both do the equal damage.