I like compliments.
They make me happy.
Complimenting my hair, my clothes, my personality.
Because someone actually said something nice to me without my asking.
I don’t ask for compliments. People just give them to you.
But, you know, there is a compliment I don’t like.
Compliments about my weight.
Growing up, I’ve been sensitive about my weight.
Being Indian, or of any culture I presume, your aunts and uncles observe your weight. Why? I’m not sure.
Maybe they just want you to be healthy.
Maybe they just want you to make sure you’re not starving yourself.
Maybe they just want to make sure that they give you a bowl full of insecurities and self-consciousness.
Ever since I was about 8 or 9 people have been talking about my weight.
Not just people. Family. Extended family. Close family.
Ever since a young age I’ve been told I was “too skinny.”
Almost at every family function I was told this.
And to say it bothered me would be an understatement.
I tried to make myself gain weight. I tried to eat more.
But I physically could not.
And I had to stick with being too skinny.
I was so so so scared whenever I had to throw away my food.
Because even if I didn’t finish a crumb someone would look at my plate and say “That’s all your going to eat?”
I had to figure out ways to hide my plate. Like throwing a napkin over it.
Trust me I would eat, but somedays I took more than I could eat.
Whenever I would go to the hospital for a checkup or to the doctor, once I got on the weight scale I tried not to make it a big deal. But I knew that the presence of my parents were there.
Of course, my parents are just making sure I’m healthy. But really?
My weight haunted me for the rest of my pre-teen years.
I believed that I had to please these people.
Today, I’m ecstatic to say that if other people have a problem with my weight or my eating habits then that’s their problem.
But that doesn’t mean that the whole thing went away.
A few months ago, my family and I were getting this aunt from the airport and literally the very first thing that she said to me once she got in the car was,
“You’ve gained some weight.”
Shouldn’t I be happy? I mean for half of my life people had told me I’m too skinny and I should eat more. I should be glad that I’m being told the opposite of that right?
So very wrong.
Why is my weight a topic?
It shouldn’t be.
If I’m losing weight or gaining weight it shouldn’t be your concern.
I don’t even care if it’s considered a compliment, I don’t want it.
That might sound rude or petty or whatever.
But I really do not want you talking about my weight. Or generalizing it.
I’ve learned to love the body that I’m in.
I’ve learned to love the person that I am today.
Even if you’re making coversation with me, there are so many other things you could ask me about.
This is to the people who made me insecure.
Please don’t talk about my weight.
I really couldn’t care less what you think.
I am me and you are you.
Don’t worry about my eating habits.
I’m healthy. I eat. I love food.
I’m still growing I’ve barely reached 20 years of my life.
Thank you for in some sense worrying about me.
But I’m my own person.
If I think I’m not healthy I’ll work on it.
But I’m pretty happy with who I am right now.
But, for real, thank you. Thank you for the insecurities. Thank you for bringing me down. Thank you for making me self-conscious.
It’s made me stronger. It’s made me passionate. It’s made me change my perspective.
So thank you for making me stronger.
But I don’t want weight compliments.