“Growing up, I tried to excel at my studies, singing, dancing – I wanted to be known for anything other than my fatness. However, my experience wasn’t too bad as I was considered ‘good fat’ for being curvy in the right places – a smaller waist with wider hips, big hair and a small face. I wore my ‘good fat’ badge proudly. I developed a false sense of confidence, thinking I was better than other ‘types’ of fat folk. But I still wanted to lose weight, believing my life would change dramatically if I did.

I linked thinness to success and happiness. It was the body positivity movement that started my journey to becoming the person I am today, but it took years of effort. A concept that helped speed up the process was a post that I saw: ‘Beauty is not the rent we pay to exist in this world’. Right up to that point, I was still clinging to beauty standards. I failed to see that I don’t owe it to anyone to look beautiful.

Rani Dhaschainey, 31, Owner of The Curve Cult

There is deep-rooted conditioning that tells us what beauty is and how our bodies should look. Unlearning this is a huge undertaking. The easiest way to start is by being really selective about the content you consume. Follow more body-positive influencers who speak about fat phobia and fat acceptance. Showing myself some compassion has given me a lot of relief.

Growing up as a perfectionist and overachiever, I struggled a lot with worthiness issues. Constantly reminding myself that I am inherently worthy, no matter what I achieve or don’t achieve, has been really helpful for me.”

As told to us by Rani Dhaschainey