Daily Life

Struggling with weight in a fatphobic family

For as long as I can remember, I have had issues with my body.

As a chubby child, I hid in the bathroom with snacks, eating them secretly so no one could reprimand me.

As a teenager, I grew beyond what I was raised to see as ideal. Though I recognise my privilege in never being what is generally considered “fat”, to my family I was – the Perfect Vietnamese Girl is slim and flat chested, wearing the traditional áo dài with grace. My breasts grew large and low as soon as puberty hit, and I was born with a butt that wouldn’t quit and certainly didn’t fit into restrictive traditional clothing. Physically, I was “flawed” – and I was reminded constantly.

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