Childhood as a chubby kid had been fun. Aunties around the block used to pull my cheeks and hand me extra goodies just because I was “cute”. Growing up to be that “fat” kid at the end of the class wasn’t so much fun. I used to be picked last for every group game and people used to think that I might not be bright intellectually either. While it used to be hurtful when boys used to chat with me only to get to that cute friend of mine, it used to be even more hurtful to learn the fact that I am being “ignored” because I am a big girl. Later in my adolescence, this ignorance came to be deeply rooted in my existence. It started morphing into something I then thought was hormonal change but now understand was a need for approval. Approval that I was good enough – Approval that I was dateable – Approval that I was pretty enough.
This need started overshadowing most of my relationships. The kind of friends I made, the kind of conversations I had and especially the boys/men I dated. It was always about how I’ll get to bask in the attention even if it was a borrowed one. I became friends with people who were in the limelight the most, spoke about topics that either were most popular or the most controversial and dated them who flattered me or “liked” me for “being me”. All this did get me attention but, somehow I still ended up feeling lonely or hollow – I wasn’t good enough. Not being good enough pushed me towards hating the girl in the mirror, her silhouette and her attitude towards things. I truly started believing that maybe I wasn’t good enough. Many break-ups and chocolates later, I hit a dead end. This was almost my eureka moment when I understood that maybe bad relationships weren’t always bad because I wasn’t “good enough” for him but maybe because I wasn’t good enough for myself.
It did take sometime, and I am still a lot of work in progress but now I’ve realized that till I treat myself with the care and attention I expect externally, I’ll always end up feeling empty and like a failure. So now, even though some may “pity” the “fat” girl shopping for her size, I’ll be falling in love with the girl in the mirror every day because it is not about those washboard abs or the perfect figure, it’s about how happy I am under all the skin and curves.