In my culture, the ideal woman is slim.
Growing up, I was always taller than everyone else. I was heavier, which translated to the belief that I was larger, fatter. I struggled with the idea that I was overweight – something that we are taught to be ashamed of from early on. In high school, I would starve myself and feel incredibly guilty if I ever ate anything remotely unhealthy. My nails and hair grew fragile, my acne-covered skin grew worse and worse – my body wasn’t receiving basic nutrition. I looked at the scale every morning. I got incredibly thin, but I didn’t realize it. We hardly ever do. Today, I look back at pictures and I’m appalled, because I don’t recall seeing this frail, thin version me in my reflection. My weight obsession altered my self-perception, and I only realize that today.