Age is just a number, they say. But guess what? So is weight. I have seen people obsess over how thin or fat they are, pulling at their chubby cheeks or stuffing their bras with tissue paper.
Hell, I have been one of those people. Everyday I would get out of bed and stand in front of the mirror, eyeing myself in distaste as I see my thighs, thick as tree trunks, my double chin or flabby stomach.
I would start the day by reminding myself about how ugly I am, how fat, how… not sexy. I would throw myself down and beat myself until the last drop of self confidence drained away. And the rest of the day only got worse.
As I walked through the halls of my school, all I could think about was what people thought about my fat legs sticking out from underneath my skirt. Did they notice that my cheek wobbled with every step I took? Are they looking at me in the same disgusting way that I looked at myself every morning?
With each passing day my paranoia got worse. I dreaded going to school. I was so focused on my repulsive body image that I hardly paid attention to the presentations I was giving in class.
Every second was agony. I hated being trapped in a vessel that I never made. I was never given the chance to mould it the way I wanted to. No amount of sit-ups or crunches helped me shape my body. I was suffocating beneath all the adipose tissue and peer pressure. My life, I decided, was the absolute worst. ( I know, I was a complete drama queen then).
But over the years, something changed. There is no clear reason that I can think of except that I grew tired. I grew tired of hating myself. I grew tired of constantly obsessing over what people thought of me. I grew tired of hiding.
One day I woke up and the first thing I saw that day was a little bird on the tree outside my window. The next day I was so engrossed in animatedly telling my friends a dream I had the previous night, that I hardly wondered what people thought as I waddled though the passageway.
I gave a presentation in Lit Class about my favourite book and as I fangirled over the characters I fell in love with, I did not even for a moment think about my double chin or my wispy hair. When my perfect, beautiful bestfriend complained about how skinny she was, I smiled as I realised that it wasn’t just me who was so concerned with how I looked- everyone hated themselves, even the “perfect” ones.
It took me not days, but years to come out of my shell. People back then would tell me to stop paying so much attention to my physical appearance. That only made me more aware of how pathetic I was.
If you are like me, the old me, constantly worried about the way you carry yourself, the way you look or about others’ judgemental stares, I have only one thing to say to you.
You will get through this. Like I did. It won’t happen overnight, but it will happen soon. You will come to realise, like I did, that there are more things to worry about. There will be more things that require your attention. More things to fall in love with. When you realise that everyone else are also preoccupied with their own insecurities and flaws, you will realise that they are hardly paying attention to how you look. Everyone are so busy trying to comprehend their own worthiness that they have no time to judge yours. When you realise all this, you will, like me, fall in love with yourself.
You will fall in love with your body and mind, just like I did, and you will then be the most beautiful person in world- you will be yourself. You will come to realise that you have always been this way- you have always been perfect.
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If you have had similar experiences or if this helped you in any way, please let me know in the comments below.