Maybe you should just accept your body the way it is.
Those were the words I wished someone had told me long ago, and not after I had undergone some very confusing yet painful times with my weight. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not one of those people who kept eating non-stop and blamed my genetic build, or some mysterious excuse for my excess weight. In fact, I spent most of my teenage years trying to stop eating rice (fuck, but I did love my rice), exercising – or at least attempting to skip rope, cycle, or play badminton.
But the thing is, the weight kept packing on. I didn’t know what I was doing wrong. I wasn’t much of a junk food addict, and I was not a snacker. People kept telling me things like, “Hey, you know you should really lose weight. You’re such a pretty girl. You would look even better if you were slimmer.”
To be honest, I did want to become slimmer, so it was quite painful to have heard that many times. There was a time I only ate biscuits. Or soup. Or gagging through steamed broccoli all in the name of getting thinner.
Alas, it did not work.
My friends – bless them – were such lovely, lovely human beings for keeping me company, for giving me enough strength to continue throughout my schooling days by reminding me, in a totally inelegant but effective way, to just tell those who gave me unsolicited advice/opinions to fuck off.
So, patting myself on the back for having survived high school, I ventured into college. Still a little less than confident, but feeling a lot more accepted. Despite the baggy checkered tops and equally baggy jeans, I was fine being in my comfort zone. It went well, for a couple of years, give or take. Each time I went home for the holidays was a different story, however. The comments kept coming – perhaps every Christmas or Easter – and it was every Christmas or Easter that I had always started a new plan to diet. Didn’t work, as per usual.
But it was later than that (about the first year of working) that I had discovered an underlying condition that I had, which was responsible for my weight gain all these years. Now ladies, if your periods have been absent for more than 3 months, and you are not pregnant or sexually active, please please see a gynaecologist. If you have a grown child, or a friend who has not been getting her periods, take her to a gynaecologist.
What I had was polycystic ovarian syndrome. You can read all about it here, but the gist of it is that my hormones were imbalanced. I was producing too much of the male hormone. On top of all the other symptoms, I was also gaining weight like mad and it wasn’t sheddable.
But this isn’t one of those sad pieces about my journey with PCOS, about how I had the help of a diabetic pill for about two years that enabled me to shed the excess weight with proper exercise, and live with nausea pre- and post-meals.
It’s about how, after having lost the weight that I had lived with most of my life, people are considering that to be ‘ideal’. ‘Thicc’. It was such an odd thing to go through, because here I was, trying to fit in and blend with the rest with a slimmer figure, just to find that my former self was the #bodygoalsAF.
Boys who used to make fun of me for being fat were posting photos of their Women Crush Wednesday as Ashley Graham, or Iskra. They posted on their IG stories about how only dogs go for bones. About how there should be more cushion for the pushin’.
Girls were posting about how their goals are to be thicc and healthy – squatting heavily to get the bum that I used to jokingly wish I could donate.
So, am I now not supposed to feel bad about my big boobs and even bigger butt?
Again, this isn’t meant to be a sob story, or even an empowering one. It is mainly my musings on society and its ability to skew the ideal image. When Rihanna started getting thicker, the internet rejoiced. Then there are articles about why ‘thin is out, thick is in‘ and ‘why it’s awesome to be thick‘. I honestly cannot keep up.
How long will this one run for? Should we give it a couple of years before the world decides that a tanned and thicc, glowy goddess isn’t that aspirational anymore, and that we should all go back to ‘nothing tastes as good as skinny feels‘. But who gets to decide what look is in, what waist size is perfect (for now) and what #bodygoals should be?
As much as I’d like to say it’s you, it really isn’t happening.
I’ve tried, all these years. I still cannot accept my body as it is. I don’t think I’ll ever. And one day, I might regret this when I’m old and grey. I might regret the fact that I spent my whole youth just hating on this body that ran well enough, that helped me recover from sicknesses fast enough, and this body that really couldn’t comprehend why it’s getting so much flak from its owner.
So again, I’m wondering. When did this thicc trend begin, and when will it end? And what ever will come next?
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Cover image courtesy of Long-Healthylife.com.