A PERSONAL EXPERIENCE
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