My Body, My Business

“I have been thin all my life and in school I was one of the skinny girls and skinnier than what is conventionally good looking. Around 15 years back “you look so anorexic” was a line I heard on a daily basis, back then body shaming and using terms like ‘anorexia’ and ‘bulimia’ didn’t seem to have much of an effect on people although they had a negative effect on me. I used to hate being called anorexic and my biggest argument was that you don’t go around calling fat people fat on their face so what kind of excuse did you have to come up to a thin person and tell them “you’re thin”. If I don’t make judgments about how you look then why do you?

Ironically, in psychology class we had to pick a group for a presentation and each person was given a disorder. I coincidentally picked a chit that said anorexia. Our group made a documentary on the topic where I played the part of a girl suffering from anorexia. It was my way of putting forth my feelings in class. I made this statement “Nobody realises that it is as hard for skinny people as hard it is for overweight people”. As much as I try to put on weight, I don’t. People always comment as to how much of a boon that is or how lucky I am. However, little do they know, I am not lucky. It has its own set of issues. You want to put on weight and look a little healthier than you do now but your body’s metabolism just doesn’t let you. This is not in my control! I think it has reached a point where you decide whether you want to be polite and please everyone or snap back and say “hey I don’t think you have the permission to be commenting on how I look”.

I have a medical condition that requires me to eat at regular intervals so my acid levels don’t get high. In the beginning, it was really bad when I lost a lot of weight and eating became hard. Dealing with this was frustrating enough when I also got statements like “why are you starving yourself?” and of course the infamous one: “Are you on a diet?

Don’t be polite, don’t hold back to the point where it upsets you. If you aren’t going to stand up for yourself, then nobody is. Do what you have to do as long as you feel good in your skin. Don’t listen to anyone, if it hampers with your health then take care of it. I know what it is like to make a more conscious effort to eat more, increase your appetite or in some or the other way to gain weight. It is all internal, it doesn’t affect me mentally anymore. It affected me when I was younger which is the only reason I am snapping about it now. I never actively dealt with it when younger. I would just get mad about it in the moment and didn’t have a choice but to forget about it. Unfortunately people aren’t conscious enough to realise that they should NOT be commenting on people’s weight at all!”