Well, I have received quite a few emails on this topic. Quite surprised, but am glad I have been able to give them all a platform to share on. I have come to realise that this is a topic that many are touchy about, just that they don't want to talk about it openly, for fear of being ridiculed.
This time I got a mail from a guy and he asked me to change his name.. His story gives a different perspective to Body shaming. One thing I have learnt for sure is that people don't think........ period. Anyways, here goes..
This is S, and wow, I was zapped when I read this post. Infact it was my wife who shared the blog with me. She mentioned this was a topic that would interest me. I don't really spend too much time online, don't have a Facebook account and all that. But love reading and so this had me interested. When I was done reading the 1st two posts on this topic, I had a lightbulb moment and here I am sending you an email at 1am.
I come from a family of 4 kids, I have a brother and two sisters, am the oldest. And am the leanest of them all, my parents are average built while my siblings swing between average to slightly heavy. I am lean, skinny, lanky and well, you get the picture. All my life I have had people tell me am too thin, there has to be something wrong with my body. Ottada kuchchi [Cobweb stick], palli [lizard], odanju vizhaporan [break and fall skinny boy] are some words that I grew up listening to and hate them with a vengeance.
I still remember the growing years, mom would make badam milk and horlicks for me in the morning, along with breakfast in an attempt to fatten me up. I also have nightmares of being taunted by kids in school and this continued all the way to high school. It was around the 10th std that I was hit hard, I started failing exams, I would refuse to go to school, which forced my parents to go visit the principal and have a talk with them. Principal in turn shrugged their allegations off saying "its all just kids, you know how Kids are, leave it, don't make a big deal of it." I ended up repeating 10th std and then went on to clear the exams. Slowly I was becoming withdrawn, did not have any friends, did not do anything outside of school. Around the time I was starting my 12th std, a friend's mom approached my parents and told them to take me for counselling, teach me how to handle the world and not let that get to me.
Luckily for me, even though my parents did not think this was necessary, my dad's older brother convinced him otherwise and I attended about 12 sessions with a counsellor. No medication, just talking and learning how to accept myself for who I was and to not let others hurt me with their words. Even then it took me a while to actually walk past these groups of boys in school and not make a dash for the class to avoid hearing them. But by the time we were nearing 12th std final exams, I was able to turn a deaf ear. After a few such incidents, the boys stopped calling me names. it was almost like they kept taunting me cos I kept reacting. That is when it hit me that I should stop reacting and not care a damn. Well, it has been a decade or more since then, and today I still remain skinny, my wife does tease me about it at times but I know she is not being mean. There are times we go shopping and I look for XS in certain brands and she laughs her head off. Oh and we are expecting our 1st baby, soon... :-) Can't tell you how excited about it.. We are also going to make sure our baby grows up respecting everyone just as they are...
As for the rest of the world, there are a few who still pass comments and snide remarks, but I pause, look at them smile and walk away. I actually get a cheap thrill from it.
Guess what am trying to say is I know what it feels like to be mocked, and don't understand why people are so mean towards others, just because they look different. So what, so who cares, why is it their business to make fun/comment on someone's looks... Who the off died and made them rulers of the world. All I have to say to them is get a life and get out of mine...
Keep sharing Aarti.. Off i go to plan the week ahead..