An Accredited Social Health Activist (ASHA) worker visited me today. She wanted to check if I took both my COVID-19 vaccination doses. I am incredibly thankful that activists in India are checking on us. A question she asked surprised me, however.
“Did you lose weight?“
A person whom I met once around 6 months ago remembered how I looked. It does not matter if you are plus-sized or a size zero; people remember your body size. It is a part of you.
She told me my face looked “fuller” before, hinting that she preferred my chubby cheeks.
“Did you gain weight?“
This question is what I got asked 6 months before by family, friends, relatives, even small kids. You would think kids do not care about body size, but there they are, commenting about how much weight you have gained.
They told me my face looked too “full,” hinting they preferred seeing me without my chubby cheeks.
Everywhere you go, people judge you for your body size. No one tells you, “You have the perfect body size.” So it is up to us to deem ourselves perfect in all sizes.
Being body positive means not to let “tags” define or trigger you. It means to accept yourself in all body sizes, whatever it chooses to evolve into tomorrow.
When people say I look thin, I say yes. When people say I have gained weight, I say yes. I am okay with both. They can pass their judgments or statements. It does not matter because I am comfortable with any form my body chooses to be.
Such open questions on weight are not going anywhere, unfortunately. I remember seeing a video by Supriya (@Supaarwoman) on Insta. She said when people call her fat, she tells them, “I am not going to take that as an insult because that’s my body type. You are just saying out loud what my body type is. Why should I be ashamed of my body type?” When you think of it that way, you realize that what she said makes a lot of sense.
When someone simply states your body type (aka “you are fat” or “you are thin”), why consider it as body shaming or an insult? When you take that power away from the perpetrator, and you truly embrace yourself for who you are, you become empowered.
Own your body type. When you do, you become body positive to the fullest degree.