When I tell my story, I’m used to people scoffing and saying crazy things like
“Why would anybody not want to eat?”
“Do you want to die?”
Ever since I was a child, I’ve always dreamt of being a model. I would sit comfortably and watch Fashion TV or lingeringly peruse through the magazine Aunty Amaka brings back from her numerous jobs, she was a photographer you see.
I was a fat child who got teased a lot, who was treated like a criminal because she obviously ate too much. But the truth was that I didn’t even eat at all, the taunts made me hate food. In school, nobody wanted the fat girl on their team and I was always without friends.
And as I grew older, I subscribed to the mainstream ideology of beauty being thin and trim, and I went on a strict ‘diet’.
I would eat just an apple and struggle to survive a whole day without food. I believed being thin was the key to becoming a model. It was not easy at all; sometimes I would experience some sort of burning pain in abdomen, or feel so dizzy in class. But it was yielding result; I lost ten pounds within a month. People started noticing and started coming closer to me, and for the first time in my life I was really happy. I was determined and decided put in extra work.
But I was perpetually in fear, what if i stop dieting and return to my pudgy self, would people still like me?
The fear consumed me, and I was soon going an entire day without food. I didn’t think my lifestyle was a disorder until i was diagnosed with ulcer. It changed the way I lived my life as I was placed on a special diet, and had to eat constantly because of the drugs.
I had to learn to love myself, to love my body. I also got to know that models are not always thin, that we also have plus-size models.
It has not been easy, but I believe it would get better.