"I was the Head Girl in school. Usually, kids with such profiles are supposed to be confident. But, like most teenagers, I was susceptible to peer pressure.
I was constantly teased and put down by my friends. The reason was that I was allegedly a skinny bag of bones with a non-appealing figure. My friends wouldn’t hesitate to call me chipkali or a stick. What was most insensitive of them was that they compared me to someone who had survived a famine.
I would get unsolicited advice to eat more because I had no meat on my bones. I had no option but to take it in my stride and stay cool amongst my peers. I simply laughed along. But, for a long time, I wet my pillow with tears while putting on a brave face. I wouldn’t expose my wound to my friends or parents.
After all, for them it was only ‘friendly teasing’.
The school wasn’t the only place where being thin was an issue. At home, some of my newly-wed bhabhis shared similar stories. They had to take supplements that helped them put on weight ‘in the right places’ before they could get married.
With time, I started becoming more conscious of my appearance. My self-esteem was linked to how people perceived me. Fortunately, due to my achievements at school - and, of course, Fashion TV - I did not hit the rock bottom of low confidence. The advent of FTV meant that my kind of figure was ‘in’. Suddenly, girls were begging me to tell them how I ‘maintained’ my figure. The ‘bone-bag’ was now in vogue.
This showed me that there is no ideal figure. Full-bodied people are ‘fat’ and skinny ones are ‘bag of bones’. There is no way to please everyone. I know now that I’m worth much more than my size or weight. I don’t care anymore whether my figure is ‘in’ or ‘out’.
Today, if I see someone making jokes around body types, I intervene. I can’t relish quips that can hurt someone’s self-image. It isn’t about being cool to fit in anymore. Now, it is about being respectful. "