Body Image


I went to buy a swimsuit today. It was a painful ordeal. It forced me to pay attention to the ugly bits of my body. It enforced how fat I look because nothing looked nice. It doesn’t help that it’s end of summer, in this small town, nobody sells swimsuit anymore. One of the surf shops sold bikinis and bikinis only. Yeah right, like I was gonna wear bikini. It’s bad enough when I have to wear swimsuit, let alone bikini. Myer had ridiculously small collection but they’re mainly bikinis as well. David Jones had some one piece suits but the choice was very limited, especially for my body size and type. I tried at least 10 different swimsuits, all of them I looked fat in, but that’s a given. When you’re fat, you’re fat. No swimsuit can hide that. My goal was to find something that covers as much as possible. Some showed way too much boobs, some made my boobs looked saggy (they are saggy but there’s no need to show that off), some had no built in bra and nipples are everywhere. You can tell by now boobs are where the problem lies. Anyway, so finally I tried one that claimed to be ‘instantly slimming’. I thought it was one size too big but heck, it fit perfectly (it’s always depressing when you find you’re one size bigger!). Boobs are not falling out, fat lumps on the stomach are quite hidden although it’s of course still bulging, my back isn’t overly exposed, and it’s black. And oh, I CAN breath. I didn’t look good, I still looked fat, but at least I don’t look like a plus size porn star.

So I felt rather lucky to have found one in the limited choice I had, until I saw the price tag. It was equal to what I would spend to feed the family for one week. Damn it. It wasn’t on sale like the other swimsuits. Why? Why?!!! Must be the whole instantly slimming deal. Hmmph. Although it made me a little bit relieved, at least that means a lot of people have the same issue thus this item must be in demand therefore the no discount thing.

After asking the cashier to check the price I took it back to the rack. I stood there for few minutes trying to look for alternatives. Tried on a few more, but I looked disgusting in all of them. I didn’t want to be in agony for any longer so I decided to buy it.

It made me think about body image. I needed that swimsuit because my old one ripped. Swimming is my attempt to fix this body image issue. It’s the only exercise that works effectively for my situation. It’s fine I could afford the price tag but what if I couldn’t? Does that mean I can’t swim anymore? I would feel like I’m stuck in this ugly body, I would feel helpless and unhappy.

Then I walked pass the chocolates section of the shop. 50% off Easter confectioneries. Had I not been able to afford that swimsuit, I would feel so depressed because I can’t swim anymore, and I would buy some chocolates to make me feel better, because that I can afford, then I’ll get fatter, and I’ll get more depressed. Then I’ll hide from the world because I feel so ugly. I will have no confidence, I cut off ties with friends, eat more chocolates, and get even fatter. And one day I would die alone and fat and ugly. How depressing is that?

Anyway, my point was, it’s awful how society judges people based on how they look. I have a friend who likes to whisper and made fun of overweight people who dresses badly. She doesn’t whisper to me because she probably knows I hate it, but she does it with her other friends. I think it’s so cruel. Fashion sense is a gift. Not everyone has that gift. Some people tries to be fashionable but it’s not their talent so they fail. Is it necessary to poke fun at them? Make them feel like an outcast?

I was one of those who’s fashioned challenged. I don’t know what looks good or what looks bad. My aim when I choose my clothes is not so I look pretty or so I stand out. My aim is to not attract the attention of the fashion nazis, to look as ordinary and as plain as possible, to be invisible. When I put an effort to look fashionable, I end up looking like a clown and I’m sure I’ll be the target of whisper and stares of those fashion nazis.

So if you happen to stumble across this post, I hope the next time you see a badly dressed person, you have mercy on them. Don’t point or stare, don’t whisper and don’t tell your friend. It’s usually enough torture for them having to get out of their pajamas and choose something to wear. There’s no need to add to their misery.

And if you have a friend who dresses badly, offer to help. Play dress up, choose clothes for them. Teach them what looks good and what looks bad. They’ll be forever thankful.

And oh, the next time you see an overweight person with a badly fitted swimsuit, again don’t point and stare. Maybe her old swimsuit ripped, it was end of season, nobody sells swimsuit anymore and she can’t afford the ‘instantly slimming’ one that costs one week’s worth of grocery. She had to buy the next best thing, a cheap badly fitted one, just so she can go swimming and lose weight and hopefully look better.

Please, just don’t judge people by what they wear. Nobody purposely dresses badly. They don’t go out of their way trying to be a sore in your eyes. They just aren’t gifted with a good fashion sense.


China, North Korea and Vietnam

One bored afternoon at work, I began looking up about North Korea. The life in North Korea always intrigue me. Google’s boss’ daughter got a chance to follow his dad in his visit to North Korea and write up his experience here. I think it illustrates  how bizarre life is over there.

Another thing that intrigue me is the North Korean defectors, people who managed to escape North Korea by crossing border to China and the journey they took to eventually arrive in South Korea where they’re re-educated and given money so they can integrate with South Korean’s society. I imagine the big shock they’re in since most of them would have been brainwashed since birth that the world beyond North Korea is a bad bad world. A little bit like that movie ‘The Island‘ which happens to be one of my favourite movie. So I guess North Korea is The Island in real life.

So this morning I was talking about it with my husband who’s from Vietnam. He said that China will send the defectors back to North Korea if they’re caught as China is North Korea’s biggest ally. I told him that these people who didn’t get caught in China usually then escape to Thailand where they surrender themselves to police which would earn them free ticket to South Korea (the ultimate destination) as according to the law they’re illegal and the government will ‘deport’ them to South Korea. Mission accomplished!

Anyway, I also read that some of them went to Vietnam and was then airlifted to South Korea. The funny bit is, since Vietnam is a communist country, just like China and technically North Korea, Vietnam isn’t supposed to help these defectors but they did although they refused to admit it. According to South Korean government, these people were airlifted from an ‘unidentified South East Asian Country’. Vietnam blatantly denied that it was them who did it and even went into all the trouble to deport some south korean individuals in vietnam who helped the north koreans.

I find the relationship between China, North Korea, and Vietnam is rather cute. China is like the strict Big Daddy, North Korea is the mean older sibling, and Vietnam is the nice younger one. The young sibling knows how mean his big brother is but since they’re one family, the little brother couldn’t say anything bad about the older one so he does things behind everyone’s back to rescue people from the mean brother and then pretend as if nothing happened to save the family ‘face’ and to not anger his brother and father. He even went into the trouble of pretending to be ‘mean’ to those going against his big brother to cover his ‘good deed’ trail.

I wish I can draw comic, this will make a good comic.

How to spot a drama queen from 50 miles away

1. Usually the most talkative in the group.

2. The one that makes you feel like you’re best friends eventhough you hardly know each other

3.The one that likes to pull someone aside in front of a group of people to have a ‘private’ conversation. Often the said conversation usually about a trivial thing like ‘do you have 10 bucks I could borrow?’

4. The one who would tell you something about someone that you’re not supposed to know.

5. The one that freaks out when you don’t answer calls or reply to sms immediately.

6. The one who often takes ‘ a break’ from social media. This person tends to like to ‘deactivate’ their account, or in extreme case, delete it only to create a new one later on because she can’t stand being left out.

7. The one who ‘disappears’ at random. Suddenly her phone is lost or has no credit.

8. The one who makes it sound like she’s the unluckiest person on earth.

9. The one that makes it like nobody understands her.

10. The one who has heaps of friends but still says she has nobody.

11. The one who has as many enemies as friends. These enemies usually are ex friends.

12. The one who would talk shit to you about her ex friends without you asking.

13. The one who always has jaw dropping stories to tell. Then one day you eventually find out the stories actually aren’t as interesting as she make them sound.

14. The one who can turn your ordinary story into a jaw dropping story.

15. The one who always reads wrongly between the lines. Even when there’s nothing between the lines to read, she’ll still see something. For example: You say, “l can’t talk right now, can I call you back later?” She hears, “I hate you.”

16. The one who always knows someone who knows someone important/famous. For example: “I know this because my friend whose friend is jackie chan’s second cousin’s granddaughter told me.”

17. The one who always has a story to top your story.

Feel free to add more!