LOVE THE TUMMY.

Hello Beautiful,

Writing this is so difficult, because I always start crying when I try to think of what to tell you.

I’m sorry.

Sorry that you feel you have no one whom you can confide in. Sorry that somewhere along the way you began to feel like you were not good enough; that you were ugly and unattractive; that you have to become skinny in order to feel pretty. Sorry that you hate every single inch of your body.

I can only hope that this letter convinces you to drop the extreme exercises and crazy diet of half a cob of mahindi choma for lunch and a Galitos salad for dinner. I hope I can show you that there’s more to life than starvation and abs. I hope you read this before your immunity takes a turn for the worse, your white-blood cell count becomes dangerously low, and you get diseases that leave you hospitalized.

Eating disorders (EDs) are real, and you have one.

I still don’t know how this happened. Maybe it was years of Pearl talking about the tummy tuck you’d pay for her to get, and what non-skinny people can and cannot wear. Maybe it was that ex-lover who constantly made fun of your big stomach, or the people around you, who were obsessed with dieting. Maybe it was the models on the magazine covers that read “What you have to do to get the PERFECT body”. Maybe it was society that brainwashed you (and everyone else) into thinking that in order to be beautiful, you have to look a certain way. Lose the tummy. Erase the stretch marks.Slim down a whole lot.

I know you’re thinking, “But I don’t look malnourished. I may have lost a couple of kgs, but I feel fine.”

EDs come in all shapes and sizes. This is something society is yet to grasp.Fat, thin and in-between people can have EDs. People of Colour can have EDs. Men can have EDs.

You need to know…

YOU ARE BEAUTIFUL.

YOUR TUMMY ROLLS.

YOUR JIGGLY THIGHS.

YOUR BIG BUM.

YOUR STRETCH MARKS.

YOU, JUST THE WAY YOU ARE.

YOU ARE BEAUTIFUL.

Believing this will take a while. Self-acceptance will not come easy. I still struggle with it. I still find myself installing and uninstalling apps that count calories. I sometimes still click on those Military Diet YouTube videos and toy with the idea of losing 5 kgs in a week. I try out the slimming teas and laxatives that Aunty L takes for a day or two before I come back to my senses.

It’s not easy but it’s worth it.

The liberation you’ll attain when you decide to love yourself and stop living within society’s beauty constraints is unimaginable. Your life will suddenly be filled with so much happiness. You will interact with people whom you’ll inspire. People who will tell you that because of YOU, because of YOUR story, they have a bit more confidence and are learning to love their beautiful bodies. Can you believe it? You with the big stomach and the thigh dimples. YOU.

So delete those dieting apps, stop scrolling through #WomenWithAbs pictures and get yourself a proper meal.

YOUR DRESS SIZE DOES NOT DETERMINE YOUR WORTH.

Love,

Future Beautiful.

 

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