When I first started wearing dresses I remember looking into the mirror. I liked the way I looked. It was nice. But recently, I have to pick my dresses carefully. I know, I know it shouldn’t matter but it does. No matter how much I try to tell myself that it’s not what I am the bulging arms that stick out from under the sleeves need to be hidden. The shaping of the dress must be slimming. I pull out the cloth covering the stomach wishing I had a tummy toner or tucker or whatever it’s called. I used to like my calves. But the thunder thighs above them, not so much. Show off the calves. Wear heels to accentuate them. Make sure the skirt reaches to just above your knee, when you sit down. And when you stand, it should cover them. Your knees are ugly. They look like little faces.
My flabby arms… I hate these so much. You can pinch them and feel the fat bulge up. Fat, fat, fat. Disgust starts to bubble up inside me. There’s your friend in class. I bet she wouldn’t want to hide her arms like this. Even if her arms are thin she has muscles. She’s so pretty. I can’t wear things that show my arms. The flab on them. Nobody should be subjected to the gross floppy view. I remember this meme, where this woman who was standing beside her friend looked like she was naked because, the woman’s arm flab made it look like her body. It was funny. I laughed, others laughed, the internet laughed. I pull off the dress and wear a top that has sleeves.
There are rings that are so beautiful. Thin bands with coloured gems pushed into them. I can’t wear them. My short stubby fingers barely fit. The flesh bulges out when I try to push one down reminds me of the story of Anansi the spider man. Sometimes I try to give the illusion of having long fingers by keeping long nails. Long nails break easily but- anything for that illusion. I don’t wear rings but I wear bracelets. I don’t go anywhere without my watch, my rainbow bracelet and my yellow beads. They’re always on my wrist. In a way I feel it is protection. In class 5 or 6 I remember wearing smaller clothes in order to appear thinner. Without realising that it made you look fatter. As I write this I wonder what made body image so important that even at that tender age, I was looking in the mirror and trying to decide how best to hide my flaws. At a time when I should be enjoying my youth I was policing myself on what I should and shouldn’t wear. My roommate shows me her ring collection. I try one on. It doesn’t go all the way down. I use my nails and tug at it to pull it off.
Sometimes there are these smartass people who think they know everything about your life and your health and want to tell you to fit their ideas of what is fit and beautiful. An idea that is propagated by the people who think that they own your body and can tell you what to do with it. Strangers you haven’t met before look at you and tell you to lay off the cakes and sweets. Strangers typing away at their keyboards calling people fat bitches and using the term in a derogatory manner. That is what our human race is doing. Making people fat phobic. Fatophobia is strongly rooted in the ways of our century. All those comments on the picture you thought was nice. All those snide remarks behind your back. I close the door. Shut my laptop. Open my book and start reading.
I did for a while stop caring. Or so I thought. Unconsciously I would pull my tee out from between the rolls on my stomach. It’s something I’ve done for so long. You look at me carefully you’ll never see me show my fat, even if it’s through the cloth. Large clothes were my thing. My signature style. When my dad asked me what kind of clothes I wanted for Durga Pujo I told him, “Whatever, just get me the largest size.” He finally asked me if I wanted a tent or something. I happily agreed to that. Why not a tent? All the better to hide the stuff I wanted to hide
Is it okay to hate your body? To refrain from wearing the clothes you’d like to because you’re afraid to show that you have adipose tissue. I now have a side of my head shaved into an undercut. I used to wish I had long hair. I still do sometimes but the looks I get for my hair are so much better than the ones didn’t get when my hair was at its longest. I’m not okay with myself. I hate my face on some days. I wish I looked different. If you look into a mirror and don’t like what you see you can find out first-hand what it’s like to be me. Day after day wishing that I was different. I know that it’s not the way to be. I know it’s not what I’m worth, but the thing is that in the end that fact isn’t something that I truly believe in. I doubt myself; my thinking. I’m not trying to say that I’m the only person who feels like this. I am not.