I have had my heart broken multiple times during the course of my life. Yes, I am a romantic but no I am not talking about romantic heartbreaks. Throughout my life I have had my heartbroken by society, by the people who make up this society. Society’s ‘stereotypes’ are something that I haven’t been able to live upto ever. Stereotypes regarding personality fits, body fits, moral fits etc. have divided our society into who is acceptable and who isn’t.
I for one wasn’t acceptable. Why? I have always been what one would call ‘overweight’. The wrong body fit. All my life I stood out as the one who didn’t fit in. As a child people called me cute and pulled my cheeks. But as I grew older comments shifted from praises to taunts. Taunts that scarred me for life. Taunts from people that didn’t even matter. Small moments etched out across the entirety of my life that defined my personality.
The one word that would ideally describe my personality is ‘insecure’. I had over the years become an insecure person, never secure about myself. I used to be a very friendly child but as I grew conscious, my unfitting ‘body type’ made me unsure of myself. I started withdrawing from people unsure about what they thought about me. Children’s taunts supported by their parents’ support of their mirth, relatives inately rude comments, unknown people passing comments and other incidents led to a very low self esteem.
I disliked myself for being overweight. I disliked myself for enjoying eating. I disliked myself for not being able to fit in. I hated standing out amongst my friends. I hated it when my friends got hit on by guys and I didn’t. I hated to be jeered at. I hated not fitting into the largest size available in my favourite stores. I hated asking for an XXL size. I hated the look on the faces of the sales person when I asked for a larger size. I hated not eating when I wanted to. I hated not loving me for who I was. But mostly I hated myself for all the hate. It burnt my insides. It made me a bitter person. It made me pull back from people. It made me sensitive. Super sensitive. I started detesting people. I started detesting my friends for being thin. I hated being around them. There were days when I just wouldn’t want to be with my closest friends because of my low self esteem. I would feel jealous watching them eat knowing that I was on some fucked up diet and probably eating only bananas the entire day. Even jokes regarding my weight would put me off badly. They still do. I remember locking myself up in the washroom of my office and crying when a friend from work commented about my eating. I’ve heard comments regarding how I won’t be able to secure a good hand for marriage ‘thanks’ to my weight issues. Recently a friend commented that I would be so hot if I were thinner. And another suggested that if I lost weight I’d get a guy of my choice to date me. Who has given these people the right to express such atrocious thoughts? I’d be mortified if I had to tell them that they need to grow a whole brain to be acceptable as humans.
Why does society get to decide how I want to be? Is only thin beautiful? Is only fair lovely? Is only tall hot? Why are there so many stereotypes? Why are we so quick to judge people based on their appearances? Why aren’t words as important as looks? Why is how one looks more important than what one says? Stereotypes set by society, blindly followed by everyone, why are they all for girls? A girl should not roam around with a guy alone else she is ‘morally loose’. A girl should get married on time else she won’t find anybody to marry her. A girl should leave her career to focus on family. Why aren’t there similar stereotypes for men in Indian society?
It has taken a lot of effort and it still takes a lot of effort to have a positive body image. It takes a lot to bite back rude words and tears when people still manage to get into my head. It takes a lot to not be bothered when friends or family unknowingly cross the line. It takes a lot to start loving yourself again for who you are. It takes a lot to hold your head high and walk into a room confidently. It takes a lot to just be you. It takes a lot.
I wonder why people enjoy discouraging and putting other people down instead of supporting and uplifting them? Walking together without labels is much easier than bearing the ‘weight’ of these stereotypes.

Please feel free to leave comments that would maybe put my insecurities to rest or not.

6 Comments Add yours

  1. medha says:

    You shouldn’t bother about what people say. Learn to ignore or just assume they are too immature to deal with. People who love you will continue to do so no matter who you are and how you look. You should love yourself no matter what and people have no right to make you feel inferior.


    1. Happy Panda says:

      Trying not to! 🙂 it will take some time but I’ll get there eventually.


  2. ahsknaka says:

    You’re writing about something which is faced by almost everybody. Nobody has a perfect body…except those in airbrushed pictures. According to the so called “defect list”, some people are fat,some our way too thin, some have cellulite, some stretchmarks, acne scars…huh..the list is long. But if you start listening to people who have issues with you looking a certain way…well..that’s equivalent to a woman changing into a not so glam outfit because her jealous husband wants her to. Don’t bother. If you do, you’re letting them win.


    1. Happy Panda says:

      Yeah! Its jus something that is really close to my heart so put it down here. I don’t bother much anymore.


  3. G says:

    Being on the same side of the table as you, I relate to this experience. But rule 1 to ignore ‘the’ untamed, nobody-in-sense, ‘minding-others-business’ critics is to not to give them importance and publis a post on them. The society, as it means, is a bunch of people who may or may not choose work in tandem. It’s not sensible to get insecure because some XYZ called you not-thin. I used ‘not-thin’ because being fat is not the wrong idea. Our Indian mindset is against not being thin/not being fair. It’s different. Think about it.
    On the other hand, unless you think that you are not as cool as you really are when you are ‘not-thin’, don’t pay heed. It’s not worth it. Try to dig deep and think, you are cool (I know you), they are not. They need to find something to satisfy their insecurity of not having your virtues. To do that, they try to put you down. With your low moods, you let them do that.
    There’s no point putting questions to the society; you will not get a response in solidarity. However, you can bring a change being yourself. Start where you are right now. [May be a club in your school ;)] As you correctly mentioned, fitment issues is not just physical; they are mental, financial, moral and many which may not have a definition in out dictionaries. You will have many issues to cater from all categories. See what you can do about that in practice than leaving it to ‘the’ culprit-in-your-post society’s discretion.

    Let me know what you think.



    1. Happy Panda says:

      Thanks G! 🙂 I’m hoping to reach the ‘I don’t give a fuck what people think’ stage soon. I try not to let what people say bring me down but sometimes it hurts a lot. and sometimes (like when i wrote this post) I have time to spare and I spend it over-analyzing every single word said to me. That is when it starts to bother me. Most days I’m in my ‘I’m sexy and I know it’ mood. 😀 😀
      Thanks for taking out time to read the post and reply. ❤

      Liked by 1 person

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