This is Harvir
My best friend in Grade 7 once looked me over and said “You’ve gained weight”. I remember feeling self-conscious in a manner that I had not experienced before. The little fat that I had on my hips seemed gigantic, the little chub that I could grasp between my fingers was too much in my eyes. My hips started widening, going straight from a size 00 to a size 8 in a summer, and the feeling of being unable to fit into your jeans reinforced this unneeded belief of being too fat, too chubby. In Grade 8, the boy sitting beside me made a one off-comment about my nose, calling it too big, and next thing you know the entire class coined me Pinocchio. I would stare at my nose in the mirror, turning my face side to side, looking at it from different angles, hoping to find and angle that would make me feel beautiful. Once the depression hit in my mid-teens, it deepened to a level of self hate that made it difficult to meet my eyes in the mirror. I’m ugly. My nose is too big. Who would ever want to be with someone who is as fat as me? The self-hate encapsulated me so deeply that loving myself was impossible.
The journey to self love was a challenge, but one that I needed to face. I took upon myself to change my perception of myself. I falter from time to time, say a few words that don’t need to leave my mind and vocalize my insecurity with myself, but the amount of love that I have learned to give myself has helped me bloom into the confident woman that I am today.
My fight to love myself is a part of me; I would not be able to look at myself and love my curves, my mind, my Indian nose the way I do today. It all started with quieting the voice that made it difficult to appreciate the body in front of the mirror. I made myself stronger, explored my inner mind to find the positivity through reading, yoga, writing, exercising, running, and surrounding myself with women who were empowered. My sorority sisters, my female friends, my sisters, we’re all women who are proud to be who we are. The ability to stand in front of my sorority sisters and teach them about empowerment is a fulfilling a wish that I have carried with myself for years: to teach women to love themselves, since the women that I once held dear couldn’t do that for me. I want women to realize how beautiful they are, that they’re self-importance is derived from their inner voice, a voice that needs to say, “You’re beautiful”.