Body shaming is a serious offence and not many people realize that. I simply had to write something that would address this issue in the mildest way at the least. All things considered, hate can be thrust upon you in any form and social media is just a little too handy these days. In the following story, the protagonist receives a message from a high school friend after a year of reconnecting. Now, it is just a text message, yet there is a phenomenal impact on this character across 3000 miles.
A WhatsApp message invaded the sanctity of my phone. Getting messages from people I liked was welcome, unless it is from an undesirable cockroach. And the message I received was from no likeable person.
Hello, long time, no see, it said. Sighing deeply, I read the name of the sender – Jabna Kamurudeen. A swarm of memories whirled in my head like a tidal wave, smothering me in the process. It was a text from a “friend” of mine from the past. It had been a year since I last texted her, hoping it would be the last time as we never had contact after finishing high school. The wounds were still fresh in my mind like it happened yesterday. I didn’t want my past to bother me so much but unfortunately, it did.
Afterwards, I replied as I knew the two blue ticks would give me away. Dang you, WhatsApp, for your stupid hack to let people know the recipient has read the bloody message!
Hi, I am fine, how about you?
I sent back a mandatory reply and tucked my phone under the pillow. Not wanting to face her pretentious pleasantness because I knew her for what she was. Of course I knew how she thought and functioned. That was the problem, I knew her a little too well because politeness is the last thing on her plate. Although I did return the courtesy, my mind kept flashing back to all the nastiness of her past actions.
Afterward, we exchanged more pleasantries, discussing our kids and that of our friends’ as well. More photos were shared and commented on. Nothing elaborate, just the same old – Oh how cute they look!
Finally, she asked me something. Maybe something that nagged her all along.
Are you still fat? Or have you become thin…
Naturally, my fingers hovered over the keypad as I processed her question. What the actual ****? Was my internal and immediate response. Wanting to be mature about her query, I casually let slip that I am healthy and fine. If that was what she implied. I chose the non-violent response as I contemplated a set of colourful profanities. No, I wasn’t going to give her the satisfaction of me expressing my rage. Most definitely not.
Although, I have gained a few pounds, I am still the same old me. One of the many downsides of postpartum, of course.
Little quick on the reply, I thought. I wanted it to be prompt and un-coerced. She needed to know that I did not give a rat’s fart to her taunts. The only way to do that was to react in the mildest way possible.
Oh, it’s okay. You will be fine. For this reason, you must follow the proper diet and exercise regularly.
Given her intolerable behaviour from the past, I could certify that she was being a complete scumbag. Honestly, I did not have time to deal with her desperate attempt at making me feel low. I wound up the conversation with the excuse of a soiled diaper. In a way, I felt like a coward for bolting from her ridiculous inquiry about my physique. However, I was proud of the way I dealt with the animosity towards the body shaming.
Do not let the haters have that kind of power over you. Above all, live your life the way you want to and not because someone else wishes you do so. Also, just because you are fat doesn’t mean you are not healthy!
I hope you guys could connect with this little piece of fiction. And remember, body shaming is bullying.