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SAFA ALI

TRIGGER WARNING: Eating Disorder


“In my childhood I would hear things from my family and from people in India talk about how “Oh girls need to be skinny. No man is ever going to like you if you have curves or anything.” We always had to wear dupattas or scarves to hide our chest. That’s something that really stuck with me even to this day.


From a young age, I knew that I didn’t have the body type of a stereotypically beautiful woman; I didn’t have the skinny waist and big hips. It wasn’t until it got really bad to the point where I would pass out and lose my hair when I realized I was going through an eating disorder.


It was really hard for me to open up about eating disorders. I would just stop eating. I never felt hungry. It’s not that I was forcing myself not to eat, I just never felt hungry. Every time I took a sip of water I would weigh myself and it was a horrible never ending cycle.


My mom also didn’t really know much about eating disorders, she never grew up learning about them so she would encourage me, unknowingly, saying things like “Oh wow Safa! You look so skinny please keep doing what you are doing”. Everyone encouraged me because I was considered fat and they kept telling me to lose weight. So, when I went to the doctor, she asked me what I would eat in a day. I told her that I ate one meal a day on a good day. This was when she brought up ~eating disorders~. It was something I had heard very little about. She didn’t diagnose me, but she was encouraging me to take it down a notch and eat more fruits and vegetables. That’s when I realized that I had to do something about it.


When I finally did start following a healthy diet, I started gaining a little weight again, but along with this came backlash with reminders of how I was “happier” when I was skinny, but in reality I was not happy at all back then. I understood that they were just trying to look out for me, but at the end of the day I know what is best for me. It took me a while to get here, but I finally realized that my body image shouldn’t be dependent on society and should be a reflection of whatever makes me feel good and confident, both, physically and mentally.”


-Safa