Our country is one where people would rather go to questionable so-called professionals for health advice (sexual or otherwise) and checkups than an actual doctor. Where, at the mention of the word ‘sex’, you can cut the tension with a knife. Where, during biology class, you can hear the snickers and the giggles somewhere in the background while the only exposition to the knowledge of our bodies and it’s functioning is when it’s ‘part of the (highly-censored-even-at-the-cost-of-factual-accuracy) syllabus’. It’s frustrating how people are willing to take unnecessary risks when it comes to their one and only body.

I’ve been told a lot of ridiculous things associated with the human body and it’s functioning (countless statements from uncles who rely on Whatsapp forwards) and I’m sure there are others who have heard their own share of bogus myths. Now, I would like to raise a question. Why the myths? Why do some people choose to believe false statements from unreliable sources (sorry, relatives on the family group, you need to double check your ‘facts’ from NASA) and let other people dictate over their own well being?

Maybe it’s because people just like to live in ignorance or because of the lack of communication. Lack of communication in the sense that we would rather kick a door made with nails than talk about the holy temple that is our body. People self medicate, take advice from the chemist, go to a dodgy “professional” suggested by a weird family member, who promises to cure your ailment, but you can be the judge of that.

These ‘professionals’ thrive off of lack of knowledge and end up doing nothing but more damage, whilst sucking up your money. Now, if only you’d known that the eruption at your intimate place was because of a rash and not a sexually transmitted disease or ‘negative energy’ in your body, you could’ve saved yourself a lot of money, time and well, ridiculousness. You wouldn’t think that sexual health clinics are something of a rarity in a country with a population of 1.3 billion.  But, well, they are. Needless to say, as the second most populated country in the world, we really, really need them. You know what else is unusual among a population of 1.3 billion people? The unwillingness to talk about and educate people about the normal and not-so normal things going on, both inside and outside our body.

Mistaking myths for facts is deadly, both for the body and the mind. Without proper knowledge, I could tell you that the little bump on your jaw is because of a slowly growing tumour and not because of an ingrown hair. Either way, taking a risk and playing your own doctor is something that’s not advisable, as a tumour could be benign and an ingrown hair could lead to painful infections, one never knows.

In all seriousness, my point throughout this article is this- Take care of yourself, both mentally and physically. Your own body and mind come before everything and everyone else. Talk, learn, educate yourself and others about the things that affect us. If one person speaks out about their problems, not everyone will be able to relate to it, but know this- by talking about it, you’ll be helping out someone who’s not comfortable speaking out, but shares a sense of similarity and knows that they aren’t alone. Your body isn’t “gross” or “disgusting” and it’s well-being is certainly not something you should be overlooking. In the words of Daisy Ridley, who was diagnosed with Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS) and endometriosis, “From your head to the tips of your toes, we only have one body, let us all make sure ours is working in tip top condition, and take help if it’s needed.

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