Welcome to the adventures of fat Michelle in fatphobic Hong Kong part 2!
There are many things I do here that become more controversial just because I’m in a different country. Even eating in public becomes a controversial act, let alone going on the radio for an unprecedented conversation on body positivity. A term I obviously had to explain + this was back in 2015 when it wasn’t even common knowledge here. But one of the most controversial: wearing a bikini.
And standing on the diving board for all to see. Unthinkable. 😂
Before I went to jump, I forgot something so went to climb off and as I got off the board, a woman walked up to me: “Wow you are brave!”
“I know, it looks higher than you think!” I said referring to the diving board.
We both knew she was talking about my body. Unlike the example yesterday, I don’t think she meant it in a nasty way. I believe she genuinely thought I was brave but in my response, I like to believe I normalised my body. After all, if you had said that to a thin woman without scars, she would’ve assumed you were talking about the diving board too!
In HK, I get copious amounts of disapproving looks from adults but it’s the teenage girls who I find most interesting. They stare the most + every time I go to the public pool, there is always one who is almost transfixed on my body. In my mind, I tell myself a story that she is always the one who needs to see my body most. I imagine that she is struggling with her own body + seeing me living my life unashamedly, keeps that little light of hope going that she could do the same one day. I won’t ever know but it’s a nice thought to accompany the stares. It may not be true but I believe the stares are more out of curiosity than cruelness. Curiosity that a person who looked like me could actually be happy!
I remember the 1st person I saw with a scar in a bikini. I was 21. That woman’s body will always stay in my mind and back then I probably stared. But for all the right reasons. Wearing a bikini in my body is revolutionary. Especially in Hong Kong. I welcome the stares cause for change to happen, bodies like mine need to be seen #scarrednotscared