Shazia Mirza: Diary of a disappointing daughter

I am in LA. I have been here only three days but already I’ve been told that I look fat, frumpy and need to see a dermatologist.

Of course, I blame my parents.

I think, “If only they had told me I was amazing 50 times a day, every day, then maybe I could survive in Hollywood a bit better.” When someone tells me I’m fat, then maybe it wouldn’t bother me so much. I’m not sure about the truth of this theory. I’m just guessing, but it seems logical and right to blame the parents.

My parents were never ones to lavish praise on us and instead they pointed out our faults in public.

Once when I was 12 my dad introduced me to one of his colleagues as, “This is my daughter Shazia – she’s got a bad habit of picking her nose.” I can’t remember what the date is today but I can remember a comment my dad made about me 20 years ago.
Everyone in the public eye has awful things said about them, and I’m no exception, but I find the people least affected by hurtful comments are the ones whose parents instilled everlasting confidence in them. Parents who constantly told their children they were beautiful and great and wonderful.

My parents, who highlighted my nose-picking, bum-picking and general disappointment in me, will be for ever blamed for the criticisms I get in my life and can’t cope with. Maybe their punishment is that they have to read this column every week.

I win.