When I was six years old, my big sister once told me that if I see the first star of the night sky that I can make any wish and it will come true.
So, the very next evening I was playing in my backyard, waiting for the first star in the sky. I was so thrilled to have spotted one.
I stood there and looked at the reflection of myself in the window of my back sliding door and then I quickly glanced back to the star, I closed my eyes tight shut, took a deep breath and said, “I wish I was skinny like all the other girls at school.”
Being naive at this tender age I naturally assumed my wish would come true, as my big sister said so herself.
As my eyes were still tight shut, I was so excited to open them to see my new body.
With a big smile on my face, I opened my eyes and I looked back at my reflection on the window and saw my fat self, standing there with shock and disappointment all over my face.
I remember hitting my belly and crying.
Isn’t it scary at just the age of six, a girl can be made to hate her body.
I grew up as ‘the fat girl’! I was severely bullied, physically and emotionally, through kindergarten, primary school & high school. Not only was I bullied about my body by students, I was also bullied by some teachers and student’s parents about my physical appearance.
I didn’t feel happy or safe anywhere. My entire school experience was miserable.
I began self-harming my body at the age of nine, I didn’t even know what self-harm was back then but I was doing it to myself. I looked at it as punishment for not being good enough.
I didn’t realise how cruel humans could be to each other and looking back at it now, I can’t believe how cruel we can be to ourselves.
After years of failing numerous attempts to miserably shed my weight by practically starving my body at times and exercising to the limit of vomiting and fainting, I decided I need to stop hating the way I looked.
I was frankly tired of it all! So I sat down and said it was time to start loving myself, no matter what my body looked like. I had to start realising that my size doesn’t devalue me as a person. I didn’t want to be ashamed anymore. I had to embrace and love my body, after all it’s the most amazing thing I’ll ever own. From birth to death.
So on the 23rd of February 2013 I uploaded a photo to Instagram of myself in a one-piece bathing suit. I added the caption, “If other girls can upload photos in their bathers, then so can I.”
After I posted my picture, I had people telling me I was beautiful and women telling me I had inspired them.
I never thought I would be associated with the words ‘beautiful’ and ‘inspiring’. It gave me a tidal wave of confidence about my body image.
Little did I know that this was the beginning of something good. It was the beginning of a new and loving relationship with my body.
It felt good to inspire women with my picture, so I continued to put up more body positivity posts on my Instagram. Not only does it encourage, motivate and influence other women and men all around the world, it still teaches me more self-love each and every day!
I accept all bodies and I would never insult or put down someone’s body or their appearance, so why would I or should I insult my own anymore?
I’ve gained so much out of falling in love with myself. I can confidently look in the mirror at my naked body and feel happy and positive!
I use to look in the mirror and sometimes see my six-year-old self-looking back at me with the hatred in her eyes that I use to feel towards myself.
If could tell my six-year-old self one thing it would be, “Start loving yourself sooner rather than later, you’re beautiful they way you are.”
Learning to love yourself regardless of your size is one of the most crucial and beneficial gifts that a person can give themselves.
I love my fat body.
Let’s end body shaming.
If you or someone you know needs help, you can get support at Lifeline.