The impacts of diet culture were extremely difficult to deal with. It appears to be everywhere, whether that be while walking down the street and seeing a sign telling me to lose x amount in x weeks or an Instagram post that advocates restrictive diets.
In particular, hearing comments from friends and family talk about their own diet habits was very confronting.
I felt like I was trapped in a place where I could only see my body as an objective built for the gaze of others rather than what my body did for me. I’m grateful that I can now recognise my body for what it truly is and the home it provides for me.
It’s been a rollercoaster to say the least, there are days that are harder than others.
I still have my days that are difficult and weeks and months that are harder than others but something that always grounds me is reminding myself of how much my body does for me and how much happier I am now.
I am very lucky to have a wonderful support network. I have a couple of close friends and my mum who keep me accountable and give me space to open up to about my struggles. However, this certainly took time, openness and not only my family understanding me but also being able to understand my family’s perspective myself.
The glorification of eating disorders is a common trope in film and tv.
Generally, a beautiful thin white girl, finds her own identity and receives attention and creates strong relationships while being in a state of malnourishment and depression.
It’s surprising to think that these aspects are glorified but the media created seems to perpetuate the myth that this is somewhat normal for white women. It appears to imply that to fit into a white female society one must undergo that narrative.
However, since the rise of the Black Lives Matter movements last year I have been able to unpack the racism that had become so ingrained in me, that forced me to push aside my South Asian culture and place myself into a certain. I now recognise that it never was, and it never is my responsibility to fit a stereotype.
We need to have more people of colour having conversations about mental health. We need spokes at schools who are not just white to educate children on how they can seek help, how they can have conversations with their family about mental health struggles.
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