I go online to see his pictures
So perfect, so handsome & so beautiful
I scroll down and look at his body
“so toned, so fit, so hot!”
And then I look in the mirror and see myself
And what follows is a deep sigh
A languish of sadness, unhappiness and pain
I try to love myself, I really do
I tell myself, “it’s what’s inside that matters”
But is that really true?
With all these images, flashing in front of my eyes
The Instagram pictures, the YouTube videos and chiseled bodies on TV
And then I look at my friends transforming their bodies and lives,
I find myself- inadequate and incomplete and lacking
Our bodies and faces have become the currency of modern intimacy
Our bodies have begun to define the very basis with which we navigate our sexuality
This sexuality, so sexually charged and so explicit, I find it hard to keep up
To keep up appearances, to look a certain way and feel a certain way, I don’t know if I can do it anymore!
I often feel as though I’m not beautiful enough, not worthy of love
I touch the scars on my legs and it pains me to see them
I see his photos, his beautiful body and it fills me with sorrow
“Why was I born this way?”
I am a man and I feel this pain
I try to convince myself that this too will pass
That self love is key & that no two bodies are ever the same
But I can’t help but go back to his profile consume his pictures & compare our lives
It’s a toxic feeling, one that hits me in my gut everytime
I rationalise, theorise and conceptualise the reason for my being and body
I convince myself: “you are beautiful just the way you are”, but that is often not enough, and I know it
There are days when I feel beautiful, and then there are days I do not
I seek validation, from myself and others
And it is tiring, exhausting and saddening
These images are so upsetting, so demotivating and so off putting
I don’t know what to do except channel this guilt and remorse through poetry
I have tried and tried, to get that body, to get that look, to lead that life and look “that” way
But it’s not who I am
Who am I then? And what do I truly desire?
To be like him or to be like me?
Will I find love if I stay the way I am?
Or will I be rejected for someone “better”?
I do not know….
Image via Pixabay
Kanav Narayan Sahgal is a post-graduate student at Azim Premji University, Bangalore where he'
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