Recently, I’ve become a celebrity. I can’t walk around in any shopping mall without being constantly approached and talent scouted. Too many of them! They either want to massage my fats away, electrocute my cellulite ghost-buster style, put me in a vibrating contraption that will shake the calories out of me or a combination of all of the above. With this amount of attention, just like any other celebrity, I ask myself ‘Why me?’
Experience has taught me well. I recognised her from far. The anorexic lady, swayed by the strong air conditioning in the mall and yet completely determined, weaving through the crowd with her eyes focused on me. This time I was prepared. She started reciting ‘Hi Madam, we have a special package JUST for you, to help you lose weight at a promotional….’ I looked at her straight in the eye, mustered up my courage and told her ‘I don’t want to lose weight’. Silence. I see the look of absolute horror in her eyes, the shock that has her dumbfounded. While she remains rooted to the spot, I wheel my stroller around her (Kiara in it, flapping her hands around – she is clapping for me obviously) and with a hint of a smile (or smirk), walk away. In my head, I feel like a warrior princess returning triumphant from war, riding on a horse against the backdrop of a rising sun.
Why do I always get approached by weight management companies? Why does it bother me that they approach me? For those of you who don’t know me personally, here are the facts. I am 150cm tall and weigh 53 kg (as of today morning). I certainly am not skinny or slender, neither am I fat or obese. Pregnancy and childbirth did not make me gain weight. I have been this size for 5 years now. Back then, it did not bother me as much. However, after giving birth, I noticed that I constantly apologised for the way I looked. My opening statement is always ‘Sorry I look terrible and flabby’. Having a baby heightened my sense of insecurity. For some reason, I felt pressurised to show society that I have not ‘let myself go’, that I am a super mum; that I am the young 20-something domestic goddess mum with a fabulous body. It is this insecurity that all these weight management companies preyed on.
What made me finally stand up for myself? I asked myself the age old question ‘Is fashion and beauty only for size zero?’ The answer is simple; No. If that were the case, only about 1% of the female population would be allowed normal clothes, the rest of us would just have to drape ourselves in potato sacks. Just because someone is not skinny, it does not make them fat by default. Being fat according to social standards does not always equate to being unhealthy either. Beauty comes in all shapes and sizes. It is truly evil to judge and label someone as ugly or less beautiful only because their figure or weight does not confine to ‘standards’ set by photoshopped magazine covers.
Motherhood is a life-changing experience, not just emotionally and lifestyle wise, but also physically. I am not suggesting that once you are a mother, you should just automatically stop trying to be fit or lose weight. Instead, I am saying we should accept the fact that our bodies have changed to some extent. It could be the addition of some stretch marks, some discolouration, a little flab or a slightly wobbly tummy. Whatever it is, this is us now. Let’s be proud of our new selves. We have done the incredible task of giving life. Let’s wear our battle scars with pride.
I feel liberated now that I have taken the huge step of standing up to bullies who constantly drill into my head that I am obese and that I should be shot for walking around in public. Do not judge us based on our size. Stop confining our entire gender to numbers on a weighing scale; we are much more than that. Most importantly, note to myself:
Face it – Being a mum has changed you, accept it
Love it – You are beautiful; just like everyone else.
Own it – Confidence is true beauty. Walk with your head held high.