Mama, My Nonexistent Self-Confidence is a Product of Your Fatphobia and Abuse

By: Salma G

For all the times that you’d get mad or annoyed, whenever I mention a dessert I’m craving…

For all the times you’d decide to call me “ba2ara” or “gamoosa” instead of my actual name…

For all the times, as a child, when I would eat behind your back because I was afraid of your reaction…

For all the doctors you took me to, all the diet plans you memorized and recited, as if they’re a prayer for me to be the skinny child you so wanted to have…

For all of those definitive moments, when you’d force me to get on the scale, to look at the numbers- the ones you’re so obsessed with, that you desperately wanted to see dropping, “lose 10 kgs, no 15, how about 20?” el mohem ye2elo w 5alas, sa7?

All the eye rolls and the disappointed looks that follow. 

All the times you told me “oshfoti batnek, matdakhalish el t-shirt gowwa el pantalon, far7ana awi b kershek?”

All the clothes you said people my size would never pull off. I’ve heard it so many times that when I go to a store, I just stop picking out items, and let you decide, 3ashan awafar 3ala nafsi el kalam.

All the canceled plans I didn’t lose enough weight to earn, and the midnight breakdowns after being reminded, yet again, that I’m fat. I never knew that a three-lettered word would hurt that much.

All the jokes you’d send me about weight gain, yet I never feel like laughing. Instead, a sense of discomfort shows up, making me hold my belly and just wish if I could squeeze it in and watch it disappear.

I no longer ask you what you think of my look before going out because I don’t want to, rather don’t need to, there is always something that’s going to be said, isn’t there?

All the “mesh hankhes wala eih?” or “enti te5enti wala eih?” eli batsaba7 watmasi beeha, sometimes even get greeted with after a long separation. 

All the family gatherings I regretted going to, the conversations you had, the fingers you pointed, “leeh mateb2ish rofaya3a zai araybek? Homa a7san menek f eih?”, “has2al khaltek heya bet2akelhom eih, yemken yenfa3”

I used to ignore all of this and cool down for a few hours with my friends, sometimes alone, but now that I’m stuck at home and it’s getting a lot worse. The comments have become more hurtful, the jokes even more frequent, the stares, when I get close to the fridge, even nastier, and the fights even louder.

You know what? Put a lock on the fridge, hide it in your bedroom, guard it with a camera. Oh, and stop buying sweets, boycott CBC Sofra, duct tape my mouth, do whatever it is that will bring you relief, that will stop you shoving “FAT” down my throat, every single time I pass by the hallway, hoping that it would block the food from going in.

I know that you’re doing this out of love, I’m sure, but right now, I need you to understand that this is not helping. I need you to get that the reason you’re doing this is not actually for my sake, it’s for yours because you never asked me how I feel about it all or how I think about my body. 

You expect my ideal body standards to be the same as yours, for me to hate the same things you do. Well congratulations, I hate my thighs, my hips, my loose arms, my tummy rolls, now what?

You mistake fat-shaming for motivation and diets for eating healthy. I just wish you would listen when I show you body-positive videos, that you’d see people like Lizzo, Nabila Noor, Barbie Ferreira, and believe that beauty doesn’t just belong to bones. 

Ommy, efhami en elenti bete3melih feyya da fatphobia, I love you, but I can’t take it anymore.

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