​Never enough for their eyes, Anonymous (15)

Sharing my stories is definitely not something I am used to doing but seeing other teenagers being brave about sharing their experiences on public platforms has definitely given me some courage - which is something that I really needed. I’m currently in grade 10. I have never been particularly body conscious during my middle school years but something has changed. While it may be a combination of things, one of the most significant reasons is how people - especially girls - are constantly body shamed. We all say age is just a number. What about a girl's bra size? Or waist size? Why can’t these ‘just be numbers’ too? Why are people allowed to judge girls in these aspects? In the recent past, I have been called out as ‘flat’ by my guy friends - people I’ve known for most of my life. I always forced myself to take it with a pinch of salt - just so that we’d still stay friends - so I’d always end up laughing it off. One day, I realized it was something I hated and hurt me so much and it was not okay. So I decided to speak up for myself. As one can guess, the response I got was ‘it’s just a joke, why you being so serious. CHILL OUT.’ But seriously, can something on these lines really be a joke? Is body shaming a joke? Really? I hear their words every time I look in the mirror. I suddenly hate my body and the way I look. Suddenly, my goals revolved around appealing to their eyes - my dressing now appeals to them, the amount I exercise has increased just to appeal to them. Something everyone must understand is that Body shaming is NOT a joke. People need to understand that none of them should be taken lightly. Standing up for someone being made fun of because of their ‘... size’ is the least you can do. So what if they tease you for siding with the person being body-shamed. Ask yourself - SO WHAT? To nullify this mindset that body-shaming is okay and can be a joke, we all as individuals need to believe that it not. IT REALLY ISN’T. Being body shamed changes the way an individual looks at himself/herself. Appealing to your own eye is way more important than appealing to your classmates’ eyes. This is something that I have realized and it is something we all must.

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