“ 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.
“ People constantly say to my baby niece "you're such a pretty girl", "you're so beautiful". While this is 'positive' it's also very one dimensional and it's still lookism. I worry it will constrain her thoughts or ambitions if it continues while she is growing up because she can be so much more than her looks.
“ I was a waitress for a while and we were made to wear tight dresses with short sleeves. One time my boss told me to suck my stomach in and stand straight. Another time a young girl with a family I was serving pointed at my arms and remarked loudly that they were hairy (I have quite hairy arms). Her mother didn’t say anything.