Growing up in a society as a person who doesn’t have the so-called ‘perfect body’ invites comments that a lot of us spend our lives getting over. 

And the worst part is, people who make these comments are blissfully unaware of the impact of their words. Very often, it’s ‘just a joke’, or a ‘concerned remark’ in their heads. What they don’t realise is, that the person they are talking to, has heard the same, if not ruder things, from hundreds of others.

Throwing light on the same is the poem Leave My Body Alone by Harshita Gupta on Tape A Tale.

She starts the poem by narrating the life of a “fat girl” and things she had to hear growing up.

Things got so bad, that she stopped going out, fearing the inevitability of being ridiculed for how she looked.

She’d even fear going on stage because she knew deep down that people will not even notice her talent. Their focus would be something else.

Basically, she was always afraid. Of everything. And slowly, she went inside her shell. 

Around this time, she found out that she was suffering from PCOD and her weight-gain was a result of that.

She was advised by the doctors to control her weight and she followed that suggestion. But there was another motivation. To give an answer to everyone who was rude to her.

Hence, she stopped eating anything she liked. She started exercising regularly and two years later, achieved a body that made her confident. 

And she thought she had won. However, soon this girl realised that it doesn’t work like that. You may be able to change your body but the insecurities that live in your head, they don’t leave that easily.

She’d still find it tough to be romantically involved with a guy as the stretch marks on her body reminded her of all the disrespectful comments people made about her.

In the end, Harshita reveals that she is the same girl her poem is based on. 

With her poem, she shares a very important message, and it’s simple too: That if people cared about the weight of their words instead of weight of others, the world would be a much safer and a happier place.

For the mental scars don’t heal easily. As Harshita puts it, she will win the day “don’t sit on that bike because you’re bound to cause a wheelie” doesn’t pop in her head. You can listen to the whole poem, here: