I was bullied throughout the time I was in kindergarten up to Primary 6. I was called names like “Pig”, “Chicken” and “Fat Cow”, yet in reality, I was not really that fat at all. I was neither overweight nor close to being overweight; I was merely somewhat plump with baby fats. However, because of the words that labelled me, for years I truly believed I was fat and ugly and therefore, did not deserve friends or to be loved.
It was not just words. People around me publicly shamed me by chasing me around and laughing at me because my fat jiggled, they left notes and scribbles on my table telling me how no one could ever love someone like me and how worthless I was because I did not look as good as someone else. Because of this, I discarded and deleted all photos of how I used to look, hoping this would mean there was no trace of how I was when I grew up.
In primary school, we were taught about bullying – how to identify if you are being bullied and what to do if you are being bullied. I recognised that I was being bullied and like how we were taught, I tried to go to my teachers and to my parents. However, both sets of adults told me the same thing – that everyone around me was merely teasing or joking and I was taking things too seriously, hence it is my fault for feeling bad and lousy about myself because I let their words get to me. Many adults in my life did not believe that I was being bullied by those around me because I was always taller than most.
As a result of this environment, I eventually fell into anorexia. Unlike many people who suffer from anorexia, I did not lose much of my body mass because I could not overcome that hunger that I felt; I continued to eat just slightly less. But because my body and mind were not in sync, I began to hate myself from the inside out, ridiculing myself for not being able to control my hunger and for eating. In addition, because I did not lose the excess weight, no one believed I was diagnosed with anorexia; instead, I was told that I was attention-seeking and making up lies for popularity sake.
I never had the support of anyone in terms of my body image issues; no one ever told me I was not fat, no one told me it was in my mind, no one told me I was beautiful the way I was. It took years of time to love myself and slowly come to the realisation that I had truly been living my life for others and what they thought of me. For years, I could stand up for my abilities and my passions but I could never stand up for my appearance and my insecurities. It was a long and arduous process that I had to go through, however I hope that my story will help someone else going through the same thing without any help.
You do not have to live your life for anyone but yourself. Whether you are taller, shorter, larger, smaller or anything at all, it does not matter because the only thing that truly matters is to be happy. Stay away from the people who look down on you or do not support you the way you deserve. No matter how you look, I know that you are beautiful anyway and you definitely deserve happiness, even if no one else thinks so.