Imperfections Make Us Perfect Humans

When I was in Elementary School, I was always pressured my parents and doctors to gain weight. I was considered underweight, while my perfectly pretty cousins went flaunting around their “perfect” weight. I listened to my parents when I was in 5th grade and started eating. To my parents’ horror by the time I was in 6th grade, I gained 30 pounds in one year. This was around the time that my cousins were starting to diet and lose their fat. No one in the family would have negative thoughts about me gaining weight if I grew taller. But no, I stayed under 5 feet and gained more weight.

So here I was again, throughout middle school, trying to live up to my parents’ standard of losing all that weight. However, by the time I graduated high school, I gained another 20 pounds. The cousin that I graduated with was obese as well, but she lost 40 pounds throughout high school. My parents were really ashamed that I couldn’t do that.

It was also weird when we took family portraits and I’m the one that stands out from the picture. My whole family is skinny, and some people wondered if I was adopted. Even during our family trip to Asia, people were asking me if I was naturally fat or pregnant. To save my parents’ face, I lied to them and said that I was 7 months pregnant and my husband was on a business trip. 

By the time I went to college, I really thought I was going to gain the Freshman 15. I was already considered obese in the Asian BMI scale, and I didn’t wanted to disappoint my parents any further. My mom made a deal with me - if I lose 20 pounds in two weeks, I would be able to go to an annual concert that I’ve been dying to go to for years. I finally got to lose 10 pounds in one week after a vigorous diet. I excitedly told my mom about this, and she asked me to visit her for the weekends. While I was looking for the perfect outfit to show off the pounds I shed, I started to point out flaws in my body that showed that I look the same. I didn’t look like I lost any weight at all. My parents and I met that weekend, and they agreed - I looked the same. I stepped on the scale to show them, and they shook their head - I lost the 10 pounds, but they expected me to be more dedicated and lose more than that. I didn’t get to the concert in the end…

But here I am, just sitting down in my “Funsize dork” shirt typing away… And I thought to myself - people can point out the imperfections easily, but they can never point out the perfect things. We look at these “perfect” people that the media portrays and strive for that perfection, but did we ever consider that some people are heavily edited or don’t even appear to look like what the media portrays them to be? I remember hearing a story of a model who attempted suicide, because she kept seeing how she was Photoshopped in many of her pictures. She knew she wasn’t perfect, and the media kept making her look perfect to the audience.

Taking that into consideration, I thought about my past and the 50 pounds of weight I’ve gained overtime. Though I’m not happy that I gained that much weight, I’m happy that I can accept this imperfection. I am human after all.

Anonymous | Orlando, FL | USA

Share your story