“ I was always praised for my body and the way I looked, so eventually I started to think that it defined me. Girls were always jealous and boys were always looking at me like I only mattered physically. Once I was even asked: "Can you please get fatter? Thanks." And now that I have gained weight, I realise how wrong that was and how much it affected me. I never got the chance to be happy with my body myself, I only kept myself busy with how people reacted to it. I'm not here to be pretty or attractive for anyone else but me.
“ I was 14 and I thought I was completely in love with this guy until he told me that dreadlocks could be made out of my arm hair and laughed.. I will never forget it. I'm still learning to embrace my hair, even when everything around me is telling me that it's not considered feminine.
“ I developed unhealthy habits around food because of fat-shaming. My parents pushed me to start dieting, start tracking my foods, and my friends would laugh at fat jokes. I lost weight by purging, fasting, and picked up binge and purge cycle. People would ask tips on my weight loss journey, even guys approached me too for this, as if my weight loss is the most interesting part of me. I still have a bad relationship with food. Fat-shaming, even subtly, can permanently damaged someone. I couldn't look at food the same way ever again.
“ I've had a ton of negative comments thrown at me... you're fat, you're too thin, you're too muscular. You look like a rat, a rabbit, a pig... your nose looks like a ski jump... you have bad hair... your eyebrows suck... why are your teeth like that? You're head is SO big.... you have a man's arse. But people have said nice things too, I choose to focus on those.
“ Lots of butthurt, insecure men have ridiculed my height (6’3) over the years. If not that, really creepy ones have openly expressed their weird fetish for tall women. Thanks to this, I don’t feel like a normal person at all. I can’t go a day without wishing I was short because I either feel incapable of being attractive or just simply a fetish rather than a human being. It seems nobody has a normal view on women who are taller than average.
“ As a Kid I’d always be called by my class mates, friends & cousins even for being too skinny because I was a fussy eater & couldn’t help. And honestly I’ve looked like this since grade 6th & I’m 24 right now so it’s just been like this for me since forever, I don’t see myself changing much. People around me casually mentioned “Don't go outside air pressure is so high and put some coins or stones in your pocket while going outside otherwise you 'll fly with air" and many more other comments too which I can't mention here.
“ One day, when I was around 10-11, my dad looked at my stomach from side view and told me that real women should have curves in chest and booty area and not the stomach.. and that I have it all, just reversed. He didn't mean to hurt me, and I wasn't particularly hurt by it then... But a few years and eating disorders later I realized maybe that wasn't such a clever thing to say to your child.
“ A major high street fashion chain does not stock above size 14 in their stores as standard. I was told so by a sales assistant when I asked if they had a size 18 in a dress I fell in love with. She said - ‘We’re a high-fashion retailer and there are other brands that cater specifically for women like you’.
“ My first experience of shaving my pubic hair was when I was 15, when my first boyfriend told me that I should shave. Prior to this I had no idea that pubic hair was shameful. 11 years later, although I know I am not shaving for myself - I still feel like I wouldn't be able to enjoy sex without shaving.
“ I once sat in on my sisters physical therapy session. Her therapist turned to me as I was giggling at my sister and said ‘I don’t know why you’re laughing. You can’t wear a big jumper to hide that big belly forever’. Totally unrelated to why I was laughing, and I was 12. That’s 12 years ago and I still think about it when I wear loose clothing.
“ When I was 14/15 and had got stretch marks on my hips which I thought were normal but didn't know what they were called when my mum saw them gasped and in very concerned voice said "you have stretch marks? Why didn't you tell me!?" And after the next time she went to the shop she had got me bio oil for them without even talking to me about any of this.
“ Once when I was eating a packet of crisps, my brother was watching me with revulsion and said, with so much contempt, "Don't you KNOW how disgusting you look?" I was 16 and I've never forgotten it, although I'm nearly 40. I think it's the single most unkind thing anyone has ever said to me — no one can wound quite as much as a sibling can.