I've been trying to think about what I should write about, and I thought back to what pushed me to speak out about fatphobia in the first place. Last year for my high school senior project I was told that I could choose any topic of my choice. I thought about what topic I was interested in enough to research about for months. While the idea of fat-phobia did come to mind at moments, I was hesitant to choose that as a topic. I didn't know if I had it within me to talk about my biggest obstacle in front of all my classmates. But this instance was what pushed me over that edge and motivated me to speak out, and for that, I am eternally grateful.
It was December of my senior year that I went to visit my doctor. About halfway into the appointment, we started talking about my weight. That was not unexpected. I was at the doctor's after all. But what was surprising was a question that she had asked me. While talking about my weight, my doctor had asked me, "Lasya, tell me, are you really happy with yourself." Under the impression that she was asking me about how I was feeling about myself in general, I was about to start talking about how I could've started college apps way before instead of procrastinating. It then hit me that she wasn't asking me about whether I was happy about the whole me, but that she was just asking about the part that she could see, whether I was truly happy being a fat girl. At the moment I felt flustered and shocked. I couldn't even piece together any response. After I came home, I realized that she was under the impression that as a teenage girl my happiness is mainly derived from my looks or my weight, but she was wrong.
My happiness is not derived by some number on a scale that fluctuates on a daily basis. My happiness is derived from the quality of the relationships that I have with the people in my life. My happiness is derived from seeing the people I love smile and laugh. My happiness is derived from writing with new fountain pens or finishing another episode of Criminal Minds. My happiness is derived from completing a piece of crochet work or typing a sentence on my typewriter. My happiness is derived from all these things, but it is most definitely not derived from some number on a scale. And to be honest, I am quite disappointed that a person with that level of intelligence and wisdom was unable to comprehend that my life is centered around much more than just continually worrying about what I weigh or how I look.
To be clear, this post is not about me bashing on my doctor for what she said. This post is about me talking about her statement and what was wrong with it so that we can all learn from it. This post is about learning that happiness cannot, and should not, be based on superficial things like looks and weight. If it were, we could never be happy or at peace with our selves. It is even possible that my doctor did not mean to say the statement in this context. She could have meant to say something that had a completely different message but was unable to communicate it with me properly. Anything could have been possible, and we will never know unless I confront her about this. But I cannot because I am too much of a coward to ask her about this in person.