This was originally published in the March 21, 2014 issue of The Philippine Star’s YStyle, in my column Read My Lipstick.
"I’m going to the beach this weekend with my cousins and their really skinny girlfriends and I don’t know what to do," a friend tells us on WhatsApp, following up this statement with a photo nicked off Facebook of said girls, bikini-clad. Wow, abs. But you look perfectly fine, we tell her, and it’s not just lip service, because this particular group of friends is the most blunt and critical I have; they tell it to you straight. She does look perfectly fine. Petite, and slim, and pretty; my friend has nothing to worry about. “No, I’ve gained so much weight! And you know how every group has a token whale? In this group, I’m the token whale!” she wails.
It occurred to me then (not that it hadn’t occurred to me before in some form or another, countless times) that in this group of friends and nearly every other I’d been a part of, I had probably always been the “token whale.” The last time I remember being thin was when I was prepubescent, and the last time I remember being comfortable in my own skin is basically never. I’m far from skinny, and while a good number of people (mostly female; also: my mother) have told me that I should appreciate my full figure more, and that the curves suit me, there’s always this nagging desperation to lose weight that continues to whisper in the back of my head. Because everywhere I look, all I see is skinny.
Even if they were things I really, really wanted (or wanted to do). I’ve always taken the safer road, I’ve always erred on the side of caution. In some cases, I’ve always been afraid of rejection.
But youth is too short—life is too short—for me to be so afraid all the time. I’ve spent so much of…
Butterfly, books and heart bokehs outside my bedroom window.