(This content is written by a guest writer who had accepted to write a piece of content for The Autotorium.)
How many times have you passed a mirror? How many times have you avoided eating in public because you were too scared that people will pay attention to you and only you because you are chubbier than you should be? How many times did you hide in your room, burying your face in the pillow, crying out all the hate words you heard today because of your body?
I was thirteen when I started gaining weight. While holding my mother’s hand I walked towards my new school with my eyes facing the floor when I felt people’s eyes staring at me for being so young and chubby at the same time. I used to be tall for my age but my belly refused to hide behind my shaggy shirts. I don’t remember raising my hand in the class and i was always sitting next to the wall, behind everyone else, trying not to gain attention. The last thing i wanted was attention and during breaks i was staying inside. Kids would always find an excuse to make fun of me, of my body. Sometimes i couldn’t handle it but soon i got used to being bullied, i got used listening to bad words while walking outside of the school. Tears would roll down my cheeks every time i was listening to some boys making fun of me. I was squeezing my bag tight between my fingers and i kept walking. I never spoke to my family about it because i thought it was normal. I believed that i was not the normal one and that i had to change. Several times I was hiding in my bathroom, crying and trying not to make a single noise. I didn’t want to worry my family.
A year later I forced my mother to buy me a corset and to be honest I started feeling better but I never stopped hiding my arms. I was walking with so much confidence but i think everything was in my head because the bullying never stopped. I learned to live with that.
When I reached my twenties I started dressing up like an old lady. Wearing larger clothes and buying from the man’s section because i could never find something in my size and i swear, i never liked my clothes. Black fabric became one with my body. I had the idea that black was the best colour for me, for my weight. I thought i was hiding behind the colour when i wasn’t. Everything was in my head.
I never met one single confident woman to take advice from and i always wanted to lose weight to wear whatever i wanted. So, i had two surgeries that actually failed. Stomach surgeries don’t always work and no, i was not willing to cut my stomach just to lose weight. That was way too dangerous and i didn’t want to risk my life nor my organs. I was one unhappy person and even my passed relationship used to make me bad about my body. And of course when i was feeling depressed or angry i used to open the fridge, searching for something to calm down my pain which was always in my head. We all have small pleasures, food was mine.
After my break up, i lost a couple of friends and stayed alone. I was completely alone. I had no idea how to spend my time and so i decided to open an account on instagram. I was not expecting to find so many body positive women. So so many. A smile of pleasure formed my lips and this time it was not because i was having a burger in front of me. Suddenly i remembered the wise words someone told me once ”If you want to have a healthy body, you should love yourself first”. And that is true. That’s what I still believe.
That was two years ago. I started reading more and hearing more stories. Surprisingly, step by step i started believing in myself and i began from standing in front of my mirror. Staring at my naked reflection. I touched the parts i used to hate, for example, my stomach, my huge arms and back fat which i name back ‘boobs’ as a joke. Making fun of yourself does not mean you hate yourself as long as you don’t let other people make a joke about you. Once someone did and you know what? I laughed. They stood there, looking at me, expecting i was going to react bad but hell no, i was feeling good with my body. I still do. I love every inch of my body. Which is why i’m being careful with what i’m eating. I finally love myself, loving my body. I do feel sexy when i wear my favourite lingerie and trust me, you should do the same. Buy the lingerie you love and wear them. Nobody can tell you what to wear. And you are so damn allowed to wear shorts and bikini during summer time. Why hide behind large clothes and sweat for no reason when you can always enjoy your day by being yourself. Stop searching your closet to find something perfect. Pick whatever and flaunt your curves. No matter your size, you are allowed to feel sexy, to feel beutiful. You deserve the world like everyone does BUT if you don’t love yourself who’s gonna do it? You gotta focus on you and do the things you like.
Personally, i started wearing my favourite outfits and pose for my instagram pictures, caring less of negative comments. People will always find something negative to say but if you give them your attention that’s how exactly they win. You are the winner in this case, you are a fighter. Drop the junk food, starting loving yourself. Your body is a temple – decorate it the way you like. Life is short, if you don’t start doing things for yourself now then when?
Many people believe that the body positive community supports unhealthy ways. We do not. We support women/men and push them to slip off their shells and flaunt their personalities.
Body positive means: Love yourself just the way you are. You are your own power, your own icon, your own hero. Love who you are and yourself will love you back.
-Vivica Kai (guest writer).