I have always been a girl disgusted by societies view of weight. I feel sick when I see the latest thigh gap, A4 paper or iPhone sized trend clogging social media. The standards that people place on themselves and others disgusts me.
Although I can’t wholeheartedly say that I haven’t been drawn in by some of these views myself, because I have. I’ve been dragged in to the cycle of a society obsessed by looks and beauty. Weighing myself at every opportunity, looking at my stomach in the mirror each night to see how much it protrudes and wishing I was considered good enough.
As a child I was fat – not adorable ‘aw aren’t you so cute’ puppy fat, but full on mammoth obese.
At the age of approximately 8 (or around then) I fractured my spine. This meant exercise – even walking -was excruciating. I could do nothing – I couldn’t even sit down or stand up for a long periods of time.
At the age of 11, I became house bound for at least 8 months – maybe more. I put on weight at a considerable speed. At such an age, I hadn’t considered the standards placed on people. I thought I was okay but the people around me thought differently.
It wasn’t until I saw a photo of myself at a friends birthday party that I realised how much fat I was carrying. My stomach was round and protruded from under my dress. In honest truth, I looked 9 months pregnant.
I gave up chocolate for lent in desperation that it would fix the problem.
It wasn’t until I was older that I realised that it was around this time my meals were slowly becoming smaller and my weight was being dictated by those around me.
At the age of 12, at a parents evening, my P.E. Teacher commented on my ‘tremendous’ weight loss. In a year I went from protruding stomach to mediocre. For the first time in my life I was thin.
At the age of 16, I joined circuit training class in my high school. I pursued every exercise with full determination, insisting to maintain the weight I had come to be.
At the age of 18, weight fell from my bones at a considerable rate. That’s what stress does. My fat deteriorated to nothing. My stomach flat, my face slim, and finally, I was considered good enough.
At the age of 20, I went to university. Semester 1 with late nights, alcohol and ridiculous eating patterns made me gain weight again. Moving from 9.4stone to 10.7stone in a matter of months.
I felt comfortable with myself even with such a gain. My stomach didn’t protrude and my clothes still fit – what was the problem?
But at Christmas I was more aware of such a gain. It was commented on as soon as I returned home. I was regarded fat again. I travelled back to university with the intention to lose weight. I took up yoga and cut my meals – eating at decent times and cutting down alcohol intake.
In April, returning home for Easter break the conversation was initiated again. This time telling me I would never fit back in to my prom dress if I intended to wear it for my friends 21st. Telling me to stand up so they can see, so they could analyse, comment, and deduce. Telling me that since Christmas I had lost weight but I was still bigger than I was before.
They were offended when I told them to fuck off. Offended when I went quiet and ‘moody’. Offended at my actions and not theirs.
It has recently come to my attention that people are obsessed by weight more so than I had originally thought. Having been educated in an all girls school you would have thought that such thoughts and opinions surrounded us constantly, but they didn’t. It is only since my foundation year and experience of university that I have realised that such thoughts trap us.
It saddens me that my friends go home and are told they are fat, told they aren’t good enough and even worse told to change. I hate how they are compared to their younger selves or even worse their siblings. And I hate how they feel guilty for not being this perfect doll ideal.