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YOUNG BLOOD

The weight of beauty

06:10 AM October 18, 2018

Living in a world that still standardizes beauty as having a slim waist, long legs and a big butt, my being a plus-size girl makes life a living hell.

Seeing all those models in magazines, runways, billboards and posters with their sharp jawline, popping collarbone, big chest and butt, flat tummy and thin, long legs makes me want to gag whenever I see myself in the mirror.

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I have a round face and double chin, big arms and legs, and my tummy becomes like a three-layered cake whenever I sit down. It is a sight that makes people whisper and laugh whenever I pass by.

“Ang ganda mo sana kaso ang laki mo eh.”

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I laugh as these words enter my ears and stab my heart. My body structure has become an excuse for people to openly criticize me. It seems like weight has become the modern standard of beauty.

It was a lie when they said that beauty is in the inside — it never was and never will be. Nobody sees your personality during the first meeting. It is usually how you look and how you present yourself.

“Uy, ba’t ang tangkad at taba mo? Para kang poste.”

Hearing this, I just smiled and took a bite of my favorite tuna pie. I used to starve myself in order to lose weight. I would puke whatever I ate, just to avoid gaining weight. I became bulimic, and developed ulcer from starvation.

I was a disaster. I was in pain. I felt beautiful, but the world didn’t agree.

“Ano ba naman ’yang suot mo? Tingnan mo ’yung tiyan mo o, ang laki! Hubarin mo ’yan!”

I obeyed silently as I started taking off my favorite blue dress that my mom bought. I always wanted to wear those beautiful shorts and dresses without being judged about how my legs looked fat.

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I once dared to wear a two-piece swimsuit on the beach. I felt confident wearing it, until I heard someone scream, “Uy! Balyena!”

My spark of confidence was immediately put out. Why can’t I just wear what other women wear? The only difference with our bodies is that I just have a higher percentage of body fat.

“Mas payat ka sa picture mo. Parang hindi ikaw ’yun.”

I laughed as my date scrutinized me head to toe. Guys usually like girls who are thin and cute, not someone that makes the pairing look like the number “10.”

I found true love once, or so I thought. We were together for almost two years. I was happy with him because I thought he accepted me for who I was.

Everything was perfect, until I found out that he was in a secret relationship with another girl who was thinner and shorter. I was broken. My self-confidence was even more shattered than it already was.

And then, one day: “Alam mo, you’re perfect just the way you are,” said J (Not his real name).

I was dumbfounded and tears started to well up. All the negativity and bad comments were suddenly blocked out.

It is amazing how one simple gesture of kindness can light up a heart, and also how hasty judgments can destroy someone.

But that day, I was happy. I felt beautiful, and someone agreed.

* * *

Kayle A. Madrinian, 18, is a Grade 12 student of Riverside

College Inc., Bacolod City.

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TAGS: beauty, Kayle A. Madrinian, plus-size girl, standards of beauty, Young Blood
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