shonalie [1 of 2]

“I was born with the “Raha” nose, and ever since I was about 8 years old, I’ve thought it was too big for my face. At the age of only fourteen, I would beg my parents to get me a nose job. At the same time, when I graduated high school, my body changed dramatically: my legs were no longer pencil thin and my hips grew wider. Conscious of society’s seemingly cookie cutter look, this was all really hard for me to deal with.

It took me a long time to realize that my body ‘goals’ were the issue. For some reason, we’re trained to find faults in everything, to pick at our flaws to the point that we would alter them in the blink of an eye. The way we live, its normal and natural to body shame. The media has done away with girls with fuller frames and promoted thigh gaps, to the point where merely scrolling through Instagram makes you regret your last meal and causes waves of self-analysis.

This, coupled with the fact that our generation thinks there’s a “better” version of pretty much everything out there, is a problem. And I don’t just mean physical features, I mean one’s lifestyle and accomplishments too. Each opportunity appears to be a door to something better. We’re never satisfied. Because of this desperation to excel, I find myself being unable to look after my body’s basic needs, let alone appreciate it. Whether its drinking coffee instead of water, or using concealer instead of sleeping well – we discount our physical and mental health in order to fulfill what we think society expects of us.”

Shonalie Raha is of Indian descent, grew up in Singapore and studied at Carleton University, Ottowa. She is currently working in Singapore at Sun Electric.

Photo Credits to Varsha Sundar

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