Prose by Priyanka Hasija // Photograph by Clemence Leclerc
I’m standing in front of the mirror and staring at my reflection.
Chubby cheeks, flabby arms, thunder thighs and a comfortable belly.
I raid my wardrobe to find a beautiful dress. By a beautiful dress, I mean a dress in which I look thin and pretty.
Thin and pretty. I have heard those two words together so many times, I almost believe they are synonyms.
I sigh. Another day of feeling uncomfortable in my own skin.
I repeat the same thing every morning.
My mirror detests seeing my grumpy face, my wardrobe is now filled with clothes that cover me completely and I shy away from the camera almost all the time.
Until I break.
It’s 2 am and I’m crying with a carton of ice cream safe on my thighs.
I want to rip out my skin and feel free.
I break in ways I never thought I could.
Self-hatred can make you depressed. It can make you feel trapped. It can make you feel like you don’t deserve a place in this world.
Every person has that one moment when they decide to finally quit whatever is harming them. That one moment might be fleeting but the impact is long-lasting.
That moment arrived when I was feeling my worst and I knew I had to heal.
It took time.
I started looking at myself with a smile.
I finally gave myself a good look and realised how beautiful I really was.
The same body I had detested became the body I started worshiping.
I liked my curves and wore all my favourite dresses to flaunt them.
I started taking care of myself.
And what I realised completely left me surprised.
My beauty had always been there. The negativity had blinded my eyes. There was nothing wrong with the way I was.
It did take months to reach this stage but I still thank that night.
Today I am comfortable in my skin and I proudly call myself beautiful.
Go ahead and fall for yourself.
Beauty is so much more than a size.
Society defined what beauty is but now we shall show society that one word can have many definitions.
I’m a girl with curves and I’m beautiful.
Just like you. Just like every other girl.