i was nine when i started associating
fat with ugly.
it didn’t take much really;
a few kids mocking my body,
random adults commenting on my eating,
clothing stores pressuring me to shrink.
fat = ugly
i saw women around me,
from curvy to obese,
hating themselves on the daily,
yearning to be skinny
so they could finally be happy.
fat = ugly
i was seventeen when i first considered suicide –
dead was better than ugly, right?
it took me another ten years after that
to realise I was worthy of life
no matter what I looked like.
but even now,
as i try to change the narrative of my story,
my brain still cannot separate the idea
that fat equals ugly.
I wrote this poem a while ago but I would be lying if I said I have overcome the idea that fat = ugly. Funnily enough though, these words only ring true when they’re about me. I look around and make no distinction of beauty between larger and smaller bodies. I don’t think people should strive to lose or gain weight unless it is clinically critical but, even then, weight or figure should not be factors to determine someone’s attractiveness or worthiness. Thankfully, this conditioning has only affected the way I see myself, and not how I see other people. However, I still don’t understand why I am so willing to believe in society’s ideals of beauty for myself, when I find the whole thing preposterous to begin with. Struggling with body image is confusing as hell, and I wish I knew how to snap out of the diet culture mindset for my own sake.