What’s Up With Me? is precisely that sort of a book, with practical suggestions for coping with the rollercoaster that growing up is.
Tisca Chopra—actor, mother, film director-producer and author—has friendly, sensible and doable ideas on everything from your changing body to pimples and periods, health and hygiene to safety and self-worth, relationships and boys to emotions, and much, much more. Gynaecologist Dr Mala Arora and psychologist Malvika Varma chip in to help Tisca provide you with more information about it all.
This straight-talking book for girls aged eight to thirteen will reassure you and spur you on to feel super good about yourself as you jump through the hoops of puberty into fabulous adulthood!
Here is an excerpt from What’s Up With Me?
Beauty is something you and your friends will chat about a lot when you are growing up. Often, the subject of conversations is how much better looking-someone else is.
Sometimes one just doesn’t feel good-looking enough. You may find yourself obsessing with one or another body part, thinking it is far from perfect. That is so normal! I used to be so self-conscious about my body that I didn’t focus on the good things about me—like my eyes or my smile. I kept thinking I wasn’t normal.
That brings me to the question of normal—what is normal? Why is that normal and who said it is normal? I have been scanning bookshops for years but am yet to find the ‘Normal Rulebook’. So, what is ‘normal’ keeps changing and to fixate on it is really foolish.
I have had the privilege to work with some of the most ‘good-looking’ people in the country, and I can assure you that they are a product of a lot of hard work. They not only keep fit with a lot of exercise and eating right, but there’s also an army of makeup artists, hairdressers and stylists that helps them look the way they do.
The one thing that makes people truly beautiful though is that they are confident about themselves. They are aware of their weaknesses too, but they choose to highlight their best parts with a lot of joy. Happy people are beautiful people. Confidence actually makes people look beautiful. Think about it, have you ever seen an ugly, smiling face?
Just fixating on one body part can lead to total misery.
Discover your uniqueness
Ultimately, what makes you beautiful is what is unique to you. For example, a crooked smile or a dimple on your chin; anything that makes you, YOU.
Physical appearance is one thing, but often it’s the way we behave that makes people want to know us better. You may find that people are attracted by a crazy sense of humour, clever one-liners or sometimes just being the kindest and most compassionate person in the room.
So, my suggestion to all of you, who are struggling with your bodies that are growing into adulthood at this point, is to think about yourselves as being more than just a body. Rather, be a spirit inside a body. The body can keep shaping up in a multitude of ways as you evolve into an adult. But the more important thing is to look inside and see if you have the stamina—both physical and emotional.
Do you have patience, kindness and tolerance? Have you acquired any knowledge of our world and its people? Are you brave enough to try new things? Are you courageous enough to stand up for things that you believe in? Those are the things that will stay with you even when you are seventy-five years old and have tons of silver hair and probably have passed this book on to your granddaughters. So, I would suggest, please don’t get stuck too much with what is pretty, what is normal and trying to fit in. Discover yourself.
Fa(c)t of the Matter
The world is obsessed with fat and thin. Trust me, I’ve been there. I was a chubby pre-teen. I used to ask my father if I was too fat because somebody in school had called me moti. My poor father didn’t really know what to say because it was pretty evident that I was overweight. He said there wasn’t anything that I couldn’t do anything about it. He suggested that I start walking with him an hour every day.
So, I started walking a lot. I lost a lot of weight, and that made me very happy. But what thrilled me, even more, was that I had achieved it with hard work and focus.
You can be a far-fitter version of yourself. And thinking fit or unfit rather than fat or thin is smarter.
Let’s get this straight, there is no perfect. There is no ideal body shape. Your perfect body shape is the one you have right now. It’s the way nature intended you to be. Do not allow anyone to body shame you by calling you moti, sukdi, lambu and shortie. Tell them loud and clear that you are perfect, exactly as you are.
Extracted with permission from What’s Up With Me? by Tisca Chopra, First published by Red Panda, an imprint of Westland Publications Private Limited.
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