Body Shaming

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Body Shaming


We all know how all the media sources influence the idea of the perfect body type. More like brainwashing to be honest; brainwashing young children where they bully others or are being bullied. People do say, kids are kids, but when one is being bullied for their body type at a young age, it’ll be stuck into their mind for years to come, possibly forever. When I was 9 years old, someone called me pregnant because I had a big belly and laughed. Of course I was hurt but didn’t show it and ended up chasing them in the playground. I vividly remember every second of that. Some of you may not believe me but I was a UK size 14 by the age of 11, with a 36 inch waist and was very short too.

Other than the media, there are also family, relatives, friends who could also brainwash you. Luckily my parents aren’t the traditional Chinese parents as I had quite a British upbringing. They didn’t tell me that I was fat one bit. They have said that I was getting chubby, but they didn’t see me as a very unhealthy child, they saw that I was happy. Siblings did call me fat whilst growing up but that didn’t bother me even if they were a lot skinnier than I am. However, aunties and uncles on my dad’s side are very traditional. Every time they saw me, they would comment on my weight, call me fat in Chinese which became my nickname whereas they gave my little sister the skinny nickname. All those years, I was hurt and jealous of my sister.

Whenever I had visited Hong Kong between the age of 9 and 13, I would get stared, sniggered and laughed at by randomers whilst I was walking around. Even on route to visit my grandma, walking through the main street in a closed area, I could see shop keepers pointing, laughing and talking to one another as I walked past. I was like the freak show. There weren’t many “big” Chinese people in Hong Kong at the time, it was a rare sight.

From the age of 12, that’s when I had started dieting. I was trying to lose all the weight and inches as fast as I could, even though some extreme measures, and didn’t think of the consequences it would have on my body in the future whilst I was going through puberty. I became obsessed with being skinny and wanting bones to show. From this, I became anaemic, and my time of the months are screwed up. Both are still apparent now.

The past few years, all of this dieting, low self-esteem, zero body confidence and insecurities does affect relationships and it even makes my family and friends worry about me (even till this very day, I’m sorry!). In my last relationship, my self-esteem and body confidence hit rock bottom and was told that it was all my fault that I got “fat” as a kid. Of course that didn’t help anything whatsoever.

I may be a UK size 8 now but has things changed? When I had visited Hong Kong last April, I felt like I was being judged but not as bad wherever I had walked due to all of the psychological damage as a child. Whereas in the UK, I don’t feel like that. I have friends in all shapes and sizes and I don’t judge them whatsoever. I love them to pieces whatever they look like. I may not be 100% recovered but I’m getting there. Some of the bad eating habits are still with me but I’m slowly overcoming them.  Nothing is easy. I do get comments on how skinny my arms and wrists are. I have been called “anorexic” before. Today, my confidence has skyrocketed and I feel great even if I still have my down days.

In the end, you can’t please everyone and words are hurtful no matter at what age you hear them. They always stick with you forever even in the back of your mind regardless of your body type and gender is. It affects both male and female. As long as you’re happy about yourself and have embraced it, that’s all that matters. It’s still a journey for me.

Image credits: Google Images


37 responses to “Body Shaming”

  1. Rebecca Powell says:

    Body shaming is an awful thing! But you've gotta be yourself & be happy regardless of your size! You've come so far! xx

  2. Nicola Eld says:

    I'm in recovery from an eating disorder whichever tarted when I was young. I was always made constantly aware of how thin I was when I was young, and now, I'm a healthy size 8/10 I get comments about my stretch marks (common after eating disorder), they're all down my legs so I'll get sniggers and comments! I'm also a 32G and get nasty comments about that! You can't win, it's madness. People need to support each other! Great post! <3

  3. Naffy says:

    I am so sorry you had to go through all of that! it sounds so horrible! glad you are healthy now. Lots of love xxxx

  4. Angeline Lee says:

    I feel sorry for those who snickered at you, I understand how you feel – my mum was snickered, fingers pointing at her and being stared and I felt like my heart crushed because of seeing my mum getting criticised like that. Many (traditional) Chinese people are just so…narrowed minded, even though I'm from Malaysia but I face the same things you've faced – my dad is a Hong Kong citizen so.. we visit every few years. Hope you're feeling better soon x

  5. Jacqueline M. says:

    I'm 19 and I'm still fat ;P I always have low self esteem till today and I'm glad to have true friends because of that, they do not judge me that's why I love them. <3

  6. beautyqueenuk says:

    Such an awful thing body shaming, you have to accept what you have been given and work it as best as you can, easier said than done I know x

  7. Arian Yupangco says:

    Loving and accepting yourself as a person is definitely the most important matter here. To judge someone solely by their weight, or just their appearance in general, is the most shallow and immature thing anyone can do.

  8. Bunny Kiss says:

    If a child is overweight, the parents are responsible. You didn't do anything wrong but you went through all this because your parents didn't control what you ate or they gave you too much food? I don't know but parents are responsible for their children.

    • nicolyl says:

      it was neither. my parents didnt give me a lot of food. they did help control my eating, trying to make me eat more greens but i was a VERY stubborn child. it's not always the parents fault

  9. Thom Watson says:

    Great article and I've gone away to think about writing a comment before just blurting something out.

    It's a very fine line really. The way you felt; the measures to which you went and the results of what you did to yourself are horrendous and I wouldn't wish that on anyway; I can completely understand the damaging psychological effects that you have been left with and people sniggering and laughing are just arseholes; that's not how you deal with any situation.

    On the other end of the scale, being that size at your age is not right. That's not about how you look, because ultimately how someone looks is irrelevant and people who judge others on being fat or thin simply because of how they appear are rather pathetic. It's about health, and being that size at such a young age is beyond unhealthy.

    The problem with people saying 'accept yourself', 'be who you are', 'love your size', etc etc are fanning the flames. It's about teaching a child about healthy eating, about the benefits and about living a healthy and active lifestyle. The only way you can become fat is to take in more calories than you burn, that's it, regardless of conditions which may exacerbate this, that's the truth of it. If a person stores fat more easily, it's because they have a slower metabolism, which means they need a lower caloric/fat intake – it's very basic nutritional principles.

    I liked that you use 'body shaming' rather than 'fat shaming' because people shouldn't be 'proud' of being overweight although being a bit chubbier and shapelier as long as you're roughly within your BMI is awesome, some people are naturally bigger, as I am, and to say that any woman/man outside of a size 0 aren't attractive is tosh!

    It's ultimately about health and people continue to be very uneducated about what contributes to a healthy lifestyle and what they can do about it (things being fat free but loaded with sugar etc). We need to address this in our schools and parents need to be taught that however stubborn their child is, they need to stay healthy.

    You were in the position you were in because a lack of informative resources and help; this still continues to be the case for many people. It's not OK to be enormous and squeeze oneself into a wrap dress and body shaper as it's important to find a happy-medium between all that bass and treble. With Heart Disease being THE biggest killer in the UK, it's time we all faced the harsh reality but do it in a way that's positive, healthy and happy.

  10. Michelle K says:

    I'm so sorry to hear this lovely, I can't believe your own family used to call you names. It says more about them than it does about you xxx

  11. Hina Naz says:

    aww I am sorry. It definitely health which contributes to life. Near ro me its immature

  12. Cindy Tong says:

    awwww sorry to hear this but im happy that your confidence is back…I was always a fat girl even till family do say i am fat but not over hurting me so im still fine but i think as long as u r happy with ur body screw those who judgge!!

  13. Zubaida Rasool says:

    Great post, you need to be confident whatever size you got. It is good that you got over this issue 🙂

  14. Christina Trinh says:

    All the media play kills the self esteem that women should have. It takes a lot to finally be comfortable in your own skin, but as long as you are healthy and you work with what you got then it's all good. Many people put pressures on us but adopting the "I'll do me and you do you" mentality helped me come a long way 🙂 You're doing great!

  15. Kelly McKenny says:

    Aww, this is so sad. People can be very mean and judgemental and when you are young especially it's so hard to ignore comments like that xx

  16. Mhisha Cuyson says:

    i consider myself chubby, but I love it! what can I do, i love eating and all. We should really love ourselves more and don't mind what other people says.

  17. Esha says:

    Judging people by their body type and color is absolutely disgusting. I know how hard it can be recover from such harsh comments about oneself. Big hug to you. 🙂

  18. Kumiko Mae says:

    Interesting to come by your post when last night i was body shaming… myself! I feel like i'm in a not so great place right now and my confidence is getting drained at times

  19. Mindy Pauline says:

    I can totally relate and i feel your pain, Nicol. I was a fat kid myself, and i am still huge now for Asian standard (i'm actually a UK size 8 as well, but everybody around me are size 4 *LOL*) which nobody would let me forget about that fact. Living in Indonesia (i'm Chinese Indonesian), people seem to think that commenting on your weight (particularly if you gain them) is a very normal way to start a conversation. I've been told plenty of times that i have "such a pretty face" and what a shame about my weight, i could be so stunning and beautiful if only i am skinny. I've also been told to "start obsessing about your weight like you used to", little that they know that i fainted on daily basis (due to low low blood pressure, low sugar level, etc for not eating for days) when i was obsessed with my weight. I am finally at peace with my body and i wish people would lay off the stupid comments!+

  20. Isabella Tang says:

    I'm really sorry to hear about your experience 🙁 Nobody should have to go through something like that – at the age of 9 though? That's absolutely crazy and should never happen! Can completely relate to the whole chinese thing though, seems to be embedded in our 'culture'…let's hope it changes some day as it really can have such a serious psychological effect x
    | Life as a Petite || Fashion, Crafts & Lifestyle Blog |

  21. jessica ie says:

    I know how it feels and i used to treated like nothing.. But im grateful for it because of the bullies, now I got better body and motivation ^^


  22. Alpa Leonis says:

    Yup… I agree with you. Its definitely difficult when people say things that can hurt and demotivate us…. but glad you came out of it. Body does not matter … heart matters most !

  23. ♥Sarah♥ says:

    I'm glad that you manage to come out and become a stronger woman, be positive and stay strong! =)

  24. Julie Bardoe says:

    Thank you for sharing this, I can imagine it wasn't easy to write. The whole body image thing really annoys me, as long as you're healthy and happy then that should be all that matters! x

  25. Chaicy Style A Pastiche says:

    I get the drift! Out here Body shaming used to be quite big a thing, until there was this huge wave where a lot of NGO's and therapists campaigned against it. On the contrary to what you wrote In my country people with smaller / petite body types under go this sort of stress.

    GIG Love
    xoxo Chaicy – New Post up – Style.. A Pastiche!

  26. Leeshastarr says:

    Great post and thank you for sharing it with us! All you have to remember is you're a beautiful young lady and don't let any bring you down. I've always been overweight, even as a child, so I know how it feels to be made fun of and I wouldn't wish it on my worst enemy.

    GIG LOVE | The Life of Leeshastarr

  27. Mia Foo says:

    well, you can't please everybody. if you're on the heavier end, people will call you fat. if you're on the lighter end, some will still criticise you for being 'too skinny'. what matters most is how you feel about yourself. if you feel that you're too big to be healthy, lose the fats and get healthy! do not shed your true self just because others do not like how it looks.

  28. Lovelyladyjb says:

    What matters is your health! I do believe we are thrown ideas and images all day that force people into a corner and its truly a battle in your mind of how to react to it all! You are beautiful love, thanks for letting us into this side of your life. I pray for your strength. You're amazing.

  29. Maria Clara Novita Kusumahati says:

    i know sometimes it so unfair judge them by the size. also media influence how the way we think and act about body image. show must go on, and life keep going on! 🙂

  30. Miss Ika says:

    I am plus size girl sometime i loss confident .but always think positive to get back the cofident

  31. Simply Fashion TV says:

    Thanks for sharing your story! It's amazing how many other girls are in this position. We all can relate because media makes us out to be imperfect in one way or anther. Again, thanks for sharing. I hope many lives are touched and changed for the better because of it!

  32. Sin Yee says:

    Very great post. I enjoyed reading it. I personally think healthy is more important. Too fat will cause a lot of health problem. So keeping fit helps to keep us away from those sickness.

  33. Khushboo Motihar says:

    It is so sad that you had such a terrible experience in your childhood but I am glad that you managed to come out of it so confidently. Kudos to you dear! 🙂

  34. FancyFrancy says:

    Thank you for being so open and candid about your experiences. It's interesting how remarks made to us as a child can have lasting effects. Happy to hear you are doing better and will pray that you stay doing well! lots of gig love!!! xoxo Francy @

  35. Heena Shah-Dhedhi says:

    Salute… You sure are an inspiration for many. It isnt easy to come out of an awful experience and talk about it. You have so much courage that most with the perfect bodies wouldn't. GIGLove

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