It’s embedded in us as a society to talk about other people’s weight, comment on their skin colour and make them feel insecure about their deepest insecurities. It starts with strangers ‘mistaking you for having kids by simply judging you from your body type’ to ‘relatives telling you that it’s time to start losing weight warna acha rishta nahi ayega.’ When you do start losing weight, the same unnecessary comments follow. Aunties feel like it is their duty to comment on one’s physical features every chance they get – so much that they discuss a 9 month old’s skin colour! The same thing happened to me.
Being on the heavier side of the scale in a Pakistani society is difficult. People offer advice without realising the fact that the other person might have an eating disorder, or some other medical issue that might be making it difficult to lose weight. They also find it difficult to believe that some people love the way they look and don’t need constant reminders of changing their body, with which they have a positive relationship with.
It starts from ‘ek roti khao, don’t have junk food aur roz 3 km walk karo.’ It changes when you lose weight and are in the weight bracket or the society’s accepted body type. Now it is ‘itna kam kyun kha rahi ho, itne se kuch nahi hoga, abb bus kardo dieting’. Everyone has their own input whether it’s needed or not. Coming from someone who lost weight, society did not make it any easier. I experienced the same thing at every other family gathering when I was working out. When one has constant interference in one’s journey of acceptance towards their body and existence, it is difficult to have a healthy relationship with one’s body.
Ultimately, the confidence that you are proud of takes a hit and you struggle to resurface with a healthy mind. The constant reminder to be the ‘perfect body type’ to people who are heavy, or people who are struggling to put on weight can be really demotivating. When you look at yourself, you look at yourself through the eyes of the taunting aunties. And end up critiquing every curve of your body. One thing that I noticed is that the un-needed comments keep coming even after you lose weight; comments that target your body type and makes you feel like your worth is determined by you looking a certain way.
What I learned is that we are so much more than our body types, the number on the scale and the size on the back of our kurta. It is about time that we, as the future of Pakistan, work towards body positivity. We need to help and support those who are advocating for a positive turn related to body image and learn to accept ourselves as we are, for we already are beautiful.