Updated: Oct 12, 2018
Im going to start with a little throwback of why I did this series and then explain the rest. I did this series as it was my personal goal. I did it part of my final project before I finished my (photography) college. I had promised myself that one day I would document how my illness made me feel to how I came out off it, through my art and I finally had the courage and the time to do it. Sharing my story was something I had to do, so finally in 2015 I did it. I shaved my head mainly for this to make it as authentic as possible.
This series represents how it made me feel to how I came out feeling and how doing this series made me finally feel. Special thanks to my people Apeksha, Dhanish, Savni, Nikhil & my lovely help Archana to make this possible.
I was always bigger than my classmates. Starting from the 4th and 5th grade I began getting teased and bullied for being bigger than others. At first I didn’t know what it meant but days later I would see myself standing in front of mirrors hating my body or staring at my friends wondering why I can't wear that or questioning if I will I ever be able to wear that. And this just increased as I got older, so did the teasing and the name calling.
I always say it isn’t their fault, it’s society. We’re taught certain things at a young age and it sticks with you. Even the bad. We’re taught unwanted things like what's pretty and ugly, fat and thin, tall and short, fair and dark. And that sticks and you call people out when you think someone is not the way they’re “supposed to be”.
I would put myself through hell to cover my fat, to fit in, to not have people call me these names. I wanted to feel pretty, be pretty, be thin and wear clothes without being conscious off my body, or realising my body is “ugly” compared to my friends.
I reached grade 9 now and since grade 6 I had ways to cover myself so no unwanted fat would be seen. Grade 9 was a black V neck woollen sweater that I would wear all day everyday no matter what. I still have it actually, it does look pretty good. People thought I was probably doing it for fashion but I just wanted to look in the mirror and feel thin. I also decided at this time I should stop eating because I mean it’s the "only" way I can lose weight & I wasn’t good at sports so this seemed most logical. So I did what I thought was right, ate as less as possible.
At the same time I ended up finding my first real boyfriend. A senior at that. I wondered why he liked me at first, I was just the quiet fat girl but I was ecstatic. I thought things were finally falling into place when I suddenly, I started falling ill. Every other week. My knee suddenly giving out when I got off the bus, next my back giving me shooting pain I had to make people carry my stuff because it was that bad.
One day I had to get admitted, the vomiting wasn't stopping and my back was so bad at this point I didn’t let anyone touch me because of the pain. A whole bunch of chaos later I’m told I have cancer.
I’m pretty shocked just hearing it because when does anyone ever imagine this. I felt my heart break as I realised I cannot go back to school and 9th was supposed to be one of the most important year. And now it was all over. But, I still didn’t feel fear yet. It was weird.
Everyone but me knew the cancer was i