Sitting in my favourite restaurant, ordering another yummy batura, I can feel everyone’s eyes boring into me. You see, I am fat… really fat. And I think that those people focusing on me are instinctively feeling sorry me.
Once in a while, I wonder why the world finds it so difficult to understand me. I feel as though I need to tell the world that there is nothing wrong with being fat. Instead, there are a few things that “non-fat” people need to know.
The first thing that everybody needs to understand about overweight people is that we don’t need sympathy. There is nothing so pitiable about people who may be a little… err… plump.
At times, I want to scream, “Stop judging! I am happy the way I am!” I have a fulfilling life, along with a great set of friends who understand me and who consider me their personal celebrity.
Second, well-meaning but uncomfortable looks, questions, and suggestions to “become thin” only affect our self-esteem and make us feel sad. Such feedback does not inspire us to actually want to become thin.
Third, being fat does not make us different in our physical capabilities. If anything, we are more flexible than the skinny critics who ask us stupid questions and, generally, bat their eyelashes to get attention. Personally, I love adventure sports. However, just by looking at me, people often pass judgment saying that this girl couldn’t possibly climb rocks or try scuba diving. All I can say to them is, “Get a clue.”
Most of my friends these days fear that growing fat will make them unpopular with the opposite sex. So they starve themselves to death and miss out on the small things that can make them happy.
Television actress Kirstie Alley, known for her fluctuating weight, once said, “There’s a lot more to life than how fat or how thin you are.” I would like to add that it is your attitude that makes you popular and demands respect, not your figure. Sure, looks matter, but not at the cost of your happiness. In any case, there is no such thing as a perfect size.
There was a time when I used to think that I couldn’t do many things because I was fat. But, gradually, my attitude changed. While exploring the caves in Kolar with my classmates recently, I seriously doubted that I would be able to get into the narrow caves and climb the rocks in the blistering heat. But then, the crazy side of me never let me give up. The satisfaction I got after completing the expedition was beyond words. My confidence got a huge boost.
I firmly believe now that the only way to enjoy life is to accept yourself the way you are large, small, thin or tall!
Angana Sengupta is a student of Commits College. This article has been excerpted from “The Chronicle.” Used with permission.