Sometimes, just an ordinary act of walking out of confined walls into the real world can bring up so many challenges.
The moment I walked up to the shopkeeper, he stared at me from head to toe, halted his gaze at my breasts and back to my face.
Twenty-six years and I’m still not used to being objectified. Yes used to, because isn’t that what we are expected to do, either become gatekeepers of our own safety or suck up the salt?
I have always been bigger or taller, or heavier or ‘unhealthy’. The list goes on but the fact remains. I am not averagely sized. I am not your eye’s pie nor will I ever be.
I am the one that will stare you back for every time you look into my direction. I am the thunder to your shaky flight. And I will keep judging you till the time you take me at face value.
I cannot even keep an account of how many people I know or meet in my daily life that have gone through similar experiences.
The friend who is too skinny, the one who has the prettiest eyes, the one with the shiny hair, the one with the most beautiful soul, the one with the strongest sense of emotion, even the one who might just change the world in two years, the strongest of sailors, have been interrupted by wild winds of self-destruction. And for what? Women spend their entire lives in self-doubt.
I know more than a handful of girls who have grown up to be insecure young women contrary to the carefree bold and strong minds they entail. I may be just one of them. I am not sure. The uncertainty surfaces, flying through the window like the dust that settled on it last night, every time I’m forced to look inwards.
I blame us all. Women telling women to change, parents telling children to groom themselves better, friends calling friends names because they think they are privileged or anyone telling anyone what they believe the other should do in order to be better versions of themselves. And eventually, we tell our bodies that they are not good enough.
I want to make one thing very clear here, I’m not an advocate of unhealthy lifestyles nor am I a campaigner of self-defense ego fanatics.
No one appreciates outward criticism in the age where people struggle with internal conflicts on daily basis. Neither do the critics realize the impact they will forever leave on an impressionable young mind still developing perceptions of the world and society. Being a critique is not pardoned unless you are constructive and first, your own.
So if you have ever been “advised” on the methodologies of the female body, you better get up, take a stand for yourself, go stand in front of the mirror, strip down and kiss your own awesome self.
Here is a little list of connotations that some of us might have come across at least once in our lifetime (I know I have):
- Tum Thoda weight kam karoge to bahut sundar lagoge
- If you don’t lose weight, no one will ever marry you
- I really like you but I’d date you if you dropped a few pounds.
- Obese people are unhealthy!
- When are you joining the gym?
- Ye kya haal bana Rakha hai?
- You’re so pretty BUT you’ll look even prettier (keyword – hotter) once you start working out.
- Tumhari Shaadi to halwai se hogi (a la family)
- Don’t sit on that chair. It might break.
- How much do you really weigh?
- Dude, you were so thin, what happened, how did you grow ass and boobs?- (ummmm its called Evolution)
- How does a guy bear your weight?
- You’re too strong for me ! (and that’s bad how?)
- When I was your age, I had a tiny waist.
- You shouldn’t eat this late. Better yet you should never eat
- I’m sure you are a big girl with big needs –(And I have failed to understand the big needs of these big people, so wait, do petite people have limited desires?)
- Fat people can’t really dance! Or They are not flexible.
- You’ll never change
- Insecure much?
- Please wear a longer shirt.
- You can’t go out like that.
- You’ve gained toooo much. I think it’s time you start reflecting.
- Only two chapattis? Is that enough for you?
- You must be hungry.
- What? You want to wear a bikini? LOL
- You should come with me for a jog no?
- You wanted to act? Big fat joke on camera!
- Did you get your thyroid checked? ( like annually )
- You should count your calories.
- Are you diabetic? You know your dad was.
- Do you have a family history of obesity?
Enough! Body shaming is not to be taken lightly anymore. It’s a building block to bigger problems. And trust me when I say that most of the people that take pride in “correcting” you, will be active participants in your life, friends and family included.
Depression and self-destruction of mental health is a not a bilateral discussion anymore. Everything in the most minuscule form can reshape your hopes and dreams. Let’s at least acknowledge we have all fallen prey to believing we could do much better.
How are you doing? I just read your first blog post and i loved it so much that i just couldn’t resist messaging you! I can’t even tell how closely I relate to this article. I have been those plus size girls for as long as I remember, I have never been lucky enough to have a small waist people drool over. For being a bigger woman, i have been body shamed a zillion times. I sometime feel that body shaming has become a part of me I believe. I can’t tell you how many people have judged me on the basis of my size and whats the funniest part is few of the people who have been constantly body shaming me have been a part of my “family”, my extended family.
I wonder how a few extra kilos on the body can totally change a perspective of you as a person! I wonder how is being fat really the worse thing a human being can be? Is fat really worse that being evil, jealous, shallow, cruel and cold-hearted?
I don’t understand that if i am a certain weight, I am good for nothing…but had i been 10 kilos lesser than what I weigh today, i would have been way better! All my qualities are negligible because i weight a few kilos more than what i should have been.
26 and unmarried, i am told that the reason why i am still unmarried is my extra weight. How is my weight anyway a criteria to find a soulmate? I still fail to understand…My mother is fat, i still love her anyway. Her weight has absolutely no relation to my love for her. How can looks or size be a measure to love someone. Is it not the heart that matters? The heart, nature, compatibility, like-mindedness… all these don’t matter? A pretty face or a hot body isn’t going to stay the same forever. The prettiest face will wrinkle one day…the hottest boobs will sag one day…so would the love die with that? Why is a stereotype that only thin/fit people can get married… the fat ones too deserve to be loved! And that to without conditions…
Kid you not, i have been told hell number of times that i have a pretty face but shedding some weight would make me look better…wow…my weight wouldn’t change my features, i would still have big eyes and fat nose.
I fail to understand how can my worth be measured by the size of my waist. I think there’s a problem with the society we live in where we are constantly taught that how we look is more important than how we are. I hope your post reaches to as many people and a atleast a few change their thought on the same.
I am so glad to have read your blog. I hope someday people realise that beauty and size of the body aren’t accomplishments, they are mere happy by-products of time and DNA. Also that Beauty isn’t size specific.
Sending lots of love your way. God bless you.
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We are all in this together and it’s time we take charge of how and what we are to others. Not that it matters what people think because it’s you who will write your history and not the other way round. It becomes an issue when people make your body ‘their’ business. Thank you for the honest comment and sharing how you feel. I appreciate it so much. More power to you. Much love and hugs. Keep writing Sugandha, you make a difference. All the difference. X
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