Since childhood, I had always been my parents little chubby girl—surrounded by love & affection. I am not thin, never was and perhaps never will be. Growing up, I always came across people passing comments, sometimes with concern, sometimes just out of sheer pity and sometimes to make fun of my body.
My family never made me feel that things could be different outside this comfort space and that has hit me hard when I entered the school. My chubbiness & curves were no longer the traits of affection rather became the mode of dejection. I was a victim of verbal bullying in school. People in my school didn’t make me their friend or won’t include me in their group just because I was fat. From being loved as a chubby child to being body shamed for the same has made me shattered.
For as long I can go back to my conscious memory I remember ‘Dance’ being my one true love. The one thing I admired the most, admired me in return. To me, it was not just a source of pleasure rather acted as a little escape from the world where self-love was hard to find. It was a medium to make me fall in love with myself again. I’ve been dancing in public since I was 4. I used to participate a lot in competitions and school programmes.
When I was 12 or 13, people around me, my fellow batchmates, suddenly started making fun of me whenever I used to participate in a dance. They used to say that dance is not for FAT PEOPLE. The bully and comments became a regular thing. Some girls even wrote on the washroom gates that my dance teacher in school has a thing for me otherwise who would select a fatty for dance. After all the bullying, I quitted. I gave up. I stopped dancing.
I lost all my confidence. The constant name-calling & trash talks made me doubt my worth. I started believing that my body & character is not meant to do all this. I started questioning my existence and gave up on that one little escape I enjoyed committing the most.
I started hating myself after everything happened to me in school. I turned into a quiet person, stopped sharing things with my friends and family because I thought I’ll be judged for everything.
For the next few years, I lay there, in the cell of utter distress and debris. Time passed on, I got into my senior years. I got busy with my studies so much that I forgot that I ever used to dance. After my 12th boards, I failed my entrance exams, faced some real life issues. I felt like a loser during those days. In those moments of losing myself I thought that only dance could help me out right now because I forget everything while dancing.
After all these years of mental isolation, I have learned something very crucial. Nobody in particular acted as a guardian to me who could pull me out of this chaos and made me fall in love with myself again. That day, I acknowledged it’s only who can take care of yourself. Haters will hate you, they will make you feel worthless despite how much effort you put in to make things better.
So why not give it a moment, and chase what your heart truly needs? Why not find those little escapes of comfort that make you fall in love with yourself? So I enrolled back in a dancing school in 2018, this time with a more clear and compassionate standpoint. I was so nervous while entering there, I had 0 confidence. But to throw myself into a class I’ve been dreading and dreaming from past 6-7 years itself was a personal achievement for me. Since then I haven’t stopped. I’ve started participating in events and competitions again.
This change wasn’t drastic. Body shaming hasn’t stopped but I evolved from all the hatred. Still when I step on the stage I hear the comments but now it doesn’t matter.
People called me by names then, they call me by names now. I am nothing but a “plump girl who dances” for them. Sorry I’ve got curves, but I’m no more ashamed of myself. I’m proud of myself the way I am. Yet what has changed over this period is me. Me who loves me, who cares for me and who owns myself for the way I am.”