In my teen years, I was always called ‘fat’ and people kept hammering about how I needed to stop eating so much and this and that else it would affect me in future and blah blah blah. It was induced in me so much that I also called myself fat- even when I knew it wasn’t because of food because I did eat once or twice a day and when I wanted, I ate thrice, buh twas all definitely not junk. So, I was healthy, but people saw fat. Plus, my body was a hereditary thing from my mum’s and only after I crossed my teen years did I realize through throwback pictures that I wasn’t even fat at all and I was only a healthy child, but sincerely, you’d tell you I was so lean then- if you ever get a chance to see those pictures.
This leaves me wondering what people actually saw and how much they influenced my self-esteem, eating habits and success because I declined from opportunities that would ever take me to the front of the scene, I hated taking pictures and all and I just generally shied away from everyone including myself. They always made it feel like being ‘fat’ was my fault, it was unacceptable, an undisciplined act, I was unable to ‘know the right thing and do it’ and they saw it as a failure on my part for my inability to control what I ate, how much I ate, when I ate and just self-control. Truth, I was judged and made to feel like there was something wrong with me which I had the power to fix, but refused to.
Today, a lot of people are being judged, criticized, condemned and tagged things they’re not before we even got to know them a little more or better. Obese people are body shamed and ridiculed for their failure to have self-control, smokers, drug addicts- who are even called criminals, depressed and suicidal people- who are seen as people with the inability to create hope and meaning in their lives which is equally classified as their fault with words thrown around ‘maybe if he/she tried a little harder, this wouldn’t have happened’ – as if it’s even their fault that they’re depressed.
According to the judges of our life’s choices, we should all have some sort of self-control, prevent emotional outburst, prevent the sins we commit out of passion, avoid addiction and everything else by not letting our emotions get in the way of our ‘common sense’ all the time. As a result of this, we start a new journey- which becomes addictive in the long run- to achieve our body goals through starvation, dieting, portion control, addictive work out patterns, staying away from friends who are probably passionate about smoking, clubbing, having threesomes and not going to church etc. This desire to constantly change ourselves and be right in the eyes of others leads us to even greater addictions and negatively influences our self-esteem amongst others. This new journey to becoming a better version of ourselves gives us something to be hopeful for.
My take on this: Please stop judging people from a close or far distance. Stop body shaming people. Stop ridiculing them about the things they’re passionate about which is a sin to you. Stop tampering with their self-esteem and if you have some advice to give, please do so from a place of better, personal relations and understanding, from a place of love and value for the next person, from a place of concern that will not totally send them packing, but will help them move in with you because you understand the roots of their over-weight, their smoking habit, their inattention to details, their perfectionist side, their reason for depression and all. Please be a little bit more understanding, loving, helpful, encouraging and committed. If you don’t dig deeper, you’ll never know where the roots are. So, don’t judge me because I’ve had enough personal judgements on my own.