My Body Is NOT My Identity

Reeti K.C.
Posted March 2, 2020 from Nepal

My body, a public scrutiny, a box of unwanted comments and an epitome of how one should not be. My body, an icebreaker to uninvited conversations on a pubic vehicle where I want to shrink myself into minuscule being but cannot while the bus driver does not move until the number of passengers doubles the number of seats.

In one of those rides two years ago, a woman sitting next to me said that I should not wear a skirt because fat thighs are a disgrace. She said it loud enough for everyone on the bus to hear it. The comment was followed by a loud uproar of laughter. I joined everyone too but in that crowded vehicle, I was searching for air to breathe in because suddenly I felt the lack of it. I wanted to disappear from this world at that moment. Was I not strong enough to defy her? Maybe I was but I did not because I believed her. I felt I was wrong to wear a skirt. Maybe fat girls should not wear skirts in a public vehicle for my thighs maybe disgraceful as a woman. I never wore a skirt on a bus since that day.

At age 13, someone told me they do not like chubby girls. So I skipping dinner for a year maybe. It was around that time I started to believe I was ugly because I was fat. My friends were thin and pretty, and I, a misfit. That was what I felt.

At age 15, I liked a boy but maybe I was not allowed to. I was pointed and laughed at. My self-confidence dropped to zero. Since then, I befriended books and my own company rather than people. I lost my voice and my identity while trying to find who I was. To be honest, I did not even dare to look for it. My identity was somehow always connected with my body. I could not detach it with who I really was. I felt inferior and small inside because I was physically big outside.

At age 17, a relative asked me if I was the fattest person in school. I did not know the relative and that was the first question she chose to ask me. When I replied with a no, the second question was, “So are you the second fattest?”

Since a very young age, people associated my body with my identity and it was natural for me to do so too. I started becoming self-conscious about my weight and I tried many ways to reduce it but when I failed, I chose the best option I could find, to isolate myself for a long time.

As an adulting 23-year-old, I have realized that my body is a part of me, and my identity has nothing to do with how I look. It is my beliefs, the way I think, act and many more intangible things with no association with my physical self. In this material age, it is very easy to believe you are what you look like and the people around you will not make it easy for you either. It takes time to find the real you but you will. I did.

My body, maybe a public scrutiny, a box of unwanted comments and an epitome of how one should not be for you, but my body is mine and it does not, in any way define the real me or my identity.

This story was submitted in response to The Real Me.

Comments 9

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Hello, Reeti dear,

I love this post so much because I also went through the same scrutiny about my body since I was a girl. I am happy you are speaking up about this issue that only one kind of body is deemed beautiful.

This resonates with me, "I have realized that my body is a part of me, and my identity has nothing to do with how I look. It is my beliefs, the way I think, act and many more intangible things with no association with my physical self." Powerful.

Please continue writing. You definitely have a voice and a gift.

Reeti K.C.
Mar 04
Mar 04

Dear Karen,
Thank you so much for reading. I am glad to write about this issue many women go through and needs to change.

You are welcome, dear. Happy Women's Day! Press on!

Tamarack Verrall
Mar 02
Mar 02

Dear Reeti,
With your story you have broken through the ongoing message repeated over and over that as girls and women we are "supposed" to all look alike, and especially that we are to stay small, even child size when that is just not the way we are naturally. "It is my beliefs, the way I think, act and many more intangible things". Yes, our lives re so much deeper than our bodies. we are born into. Women in many places are standing up to this myth that we are to be uniformly tiny as women. It is voices like yours that undo this myth. Stride on, dear sister. You are beautiful, and a courageous and gifted writer.

Reeti K.C.
Mar 04
Mar 04

Dear Tamarack,
I am glad to write this story and let people know about the bodily expectations put upon us since childhood which impacts us for a very long time. Thank you so much for reading the kind words.

Anita Shrestha
Mar 02
Mar 02

Thank you for sharing

Reeti K.C.
Mar 04
Mar 04

Thank you so much for reading.

Beth Lacey
Mar 04
Mar 04

We are so much more than our bodies and you have articulated that very well

Reeti K.C.
Mar 04
Mar 04

I am glad to share this story and put my experiences into words. Thank you for reading.