OO, Mataba Ako!
Beauty is in the eyes of the beholder. When Ruffa Gutierrez answered one of the most famous questions in the Miss World Beauty Pageant, I believed her and have lived by the lessons of her winning statement. BEAUTY.IS.IN.THE.EYES.OF.THE.BEHOLDER. Not her thighs, not her large waist, not her flabby arms.
I want to let this out while I still can. I am fat. A size 14 at age 27, I am obese according to my mother. Every day, I look at my self in the mirror, hoping that one day, my double chin will be gone, I will get my old arms, waist, thighs and confidence back. Whenever I meet people who saw me when I was in my thinnest, they’d say, “What happened to you, you look so much better when you were thinner.” Blah, blah, blah.
It’s not like I do not see myself in the mirror everyday, but the audacity to brush the reality all the more?
Those who really knew me, those who really care, would not mind how big or fat I look now. They will greet me by asking how I was, how was work, what am I up to, and most of the time, they’d leave the “fat” comment after the conversation. This made me feel that they not only cared about how I look more than just being polite, but that they did care about how I was doing in my life. For the longest time, I watched my body weight go up and down due to depression, stress, fatigue, and other health reasons. And for the longest time, I battled my way to losing weight, sleeping early, having enough rest, even when my body refused to respond.
After years of struggling, and probably since I am getting older, I have come to realize that it is not just about getting my old figure back that really mattered. What bothered me the most was that people around me seemed to only care about how I looked and not about my well-being. Most people who gave the “fat” comment did not even bother to ask me where I am working, how is my PhD application coming along, how many people I have helped with my human rights projects, etc. In time, I have learned to value those who greeted me for my smile, for my refreshed aura, for my current endeavors, and not on how I look.
I have decided to change my lifestyle recently not to avoid these offensive comments, but more to make myself happy. I realized that I owe myself a good pampering, better health options, and brighter aura. When I look at myself in the mirror now, I do not mind the extra inches here or there. What I do mind is how I take care of myself, how I take care of the people around me, and if people liked me not just for how I look but with how I treat them. Beauty is, indeed, in the eyes of the beholder, and that true beauty is what other people see inside you.
So if you notice someone gaining some weight, please take the time to know how they are and what they’re up to, because that will be the best beauty regimen that they will need in their life.#
Photo credit: imdb.com