“On the days I didn’t focus on my height, I was unsatisfied with my weight – the self-criticism never stopped. In my culture, women are expected to be slim and dainty. It’s an expectation that has been passed through generations. We grow up being told stories about how thin our mothers and grandmothers were when they were our age. In addition to that, majority of India’s media solely features fair, skinny women. Those who don’t fit that mould, who deviate from our concrete ideal, are made to blend into the background. The fact that these standards – ones that originated a completely different time – are still existent and promoted today, is nonsensical. We need to realize that the old is no longer applicable. Change because you want to, not because society expects you to. Or be comfortable with what you are. You don’t have to explain your choices to anyone.”
Kanika Nagpal was born in India, raised in Singapore and is currently completing a double degree in Management and Accounting at Macquarie University, Sydney.