There are hundreds of photos of me in this dress. It’s just so hard to find one that does not accentuate my huge tummy, or as my friends would call it, “baby bump”. This is the closest I got to perfection.
And then I realize, I don’t have to go to the office next week so I don’t have to face people anymore and give them the chance to rub my tummy and tell me “Jam klaro kaayo imong tiyan sa imong gi.post.”
This was supposed to be an instagram post but I couldn’t stop writing because there is just so much to say beneath all the lies of all the I AM OKAYs.
We put on our faces and laugh and pretend it is alright until we get used to it, until we learn to put on disclaimers every single time so that it won’t hurt anymore when they put it out there for the whole world to hear and notice.
You know what’s the saddest part of this? Even I, a person who is never indifferent in the face of injustice, find it hard to spit out ENOUGH IS ENOUGH. It is hard because people think I’m supposed to be that person that is never insecure, that is comfortable and just OKAY. I wonder now how many people have been hurting in silence. I wonder how many people have to cringe before they post a picture of themselves. I wonder how many of us do not like going to the beach because of insecurities, because of body-shaming, because they were there first to define who we are and what we should be.
I have been indifferent to this bullying until today because it is easier to write it now that I’m away from people especially from my friends who make it seem so hard for me to painfully say “will you please just shut the **** up because I know that and I know that because I’m the one taking that extra cup of rice every meal so just SHUT UP and stop pointing out my flaws!”
I remember one day when I forced my good friend Orland to jog with me at Abellana. He is taller and healthier than me while I’m a tiny woman supposed to fit in an extra-small-sized dress but have to buy that medium-sized one. Anyway, everyone would force Orland to jog but he just wouldn’t. He would make up all these excuses that he didn’t have shoes or outfit or that his feet hurt (to his defense, this was true or whatever) until one day, he just said yes to me. I can’t tell you how many times I had to tell him “Okay ra lagi na Orly” just to convince him to jog but i know it was quite more than enough to make him say yes. It was my first time to jog btw, in my lifetime. And his, too, probably. Not sure but it is his story to tell.
Like many of you, I don’t exercise. I just had to because I didn’t want to give people any more reasons to point out my flaws. I’m just really happy that Orly was there when I started running, when I started doing something for myself. Somehow, it helped because he was there and I knew we share the same feelings. Again, that is not my story to tell.
Maybe some people are just honestly concerned about our well-being like how I used to force Orly or Semhe to jog with me and that’s okay and I thank you for that and I’m really sorry for this.
Or maybe some people are just so insensitive of other people’s feelings that they need to read this to understand that people are hurting.
Or maybe some people are fighting the same battle like us and just putting up a face and somehow, they need understanding, too.