From the beginning of time since I had grew an understanding of the worldly behaviour I had started picking out hints of some people treating me differently, some were kind enough to be subtle while others were out right straightforward about how they did not like the way I looked.
My body weight had just not been my issue somehow but was a universal reason to be ridiculed by many. The extent of which was so much that in my senior school final classical dance showdown, the Vice Principal of my school chucked me off from the entire performance stating that I was chubbier than the rest of the performers ( I was 11 years seasoned classical dancer). I never ever performed since that day. I guess I myself have missed out on some of the major things in life because I had started feeling conscious about how people saw me and lost confidence and faith in myself.
Imagine thousands and millions of people of all age groups and gender going through the same emotional struggle in varying degrees everyday around the world because they are body shamed for not meeting the criteria of perfection set by the society and at some point in life everyone out there must have struggled through it. It’s just not about body structure, it’s also about your skin colour, height, hair, eyes, nose or anything which aesthetically does not meet the standard.
Body shaming, especially in India is not taken seriously as a social stigma, People don’t understand the degree of impact it has on the psyche and emotional well-being of an individual. From the “aunties” of our neighbourhood to some people sharing #metoo posts, videos creating awareness on how to stop bullying and their links on initiatives to fight for a cause and what not on social media, represent that fraction of the society who amidst all the pseudo social awareness are the actual culprits.
Well it’s not just about the society, we too as casualties have contribution to this agonizing journey. We are our biggest critics, the victim of our own choices who let the view point of unwanted people define us , shape our perspectives and try to influence who we truly are. We as individuals lose our own voices, just keep them inside our minds in fear of being ridiculed and hence lose confidence. Instead of evolving and enhancing our strengths, we let ourselves be dragged down by our not so significant weakness.
After a couple of decades, few cities and dealing with a handful of idiots, I stand here today as a beginner of a new journey, which was possible due to the encouragement and belief of few dearest friends and a loving family. I had never in my life known my own true potential , my strengths , skills and inner personality, however now I apprehend that there is so much more to me than my looks. Though I am a total work in progress.
To all the people out there who are silently suffering through this simple yet hazardous stigma all I want to say is stop and look at yourself. There is nothing as amazing and powerful as a human brain. You have the strength to break free from the restraints and limitations of a so called drawback and find a new version, a better version of yourself. There is nothing wrong with you and whatever you do, you do it for yourself not for any other human on the planet. No longer try to see yourself through the eyes of others as they don’t know what your struggles and hard work is all about or the capacity of your personality. Each day is a new day, a new beginning, an inspiration to start afresh, to create and build and to concentrate on your physical, emotional and spiritual being.
“You think, you become”
As it’s all about loving ‘The way you are’