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Everywhere you look, someone is dictating your body image -telling you to be thinner, or fatter. How does this morbid obsession with weight affect us?
I am not fat anymore.
No more clicking of tongues by older aunties at weddings, no more people teaching me yoga the moment they set eyes on my extra fat, and no more uncles telling me how their wives never gained weight after pregnancy.
I am not fat anymore because my baby is too thin.
The conversations now revolve around how much he eats or doesn’t eat and whether I am absolutely sure that he is a one year old and not 10 months old. I am given advice on how I should make him ‘plump’. Well, he is not a chicken, thank you very much.
A few years ago, the topic of polite conversation was the weather. Suddenly, everywhere I turn people are talking about weight. How to lose it, gain it, or maintain it. Everyone seems to be upset about the weight that they have or don’t have. Even the women with the ‘perfect figures’ like Deepika Padukone are taking the 2 week wedding challenge. I know of little girls who point at their tiny paunch and get upset about how fat they are.
I know of little girls who point at their tiny paunch and get upset about how fat they are. Where does this obsession end?
It is so ingrained in our psyche- that most conversations come around to this weighty issue. I almost had to bite my tongue to avoid joining in on a conversation regarding one of my cousins’ weight. Because I know how much it upset me at a wedding when every smiling namaste of mine was met with how much weight I had put on. I stayed indoors for most of that wedding because I ran out of sarcastic retorts pretty soon. Now in retrospect, I was not fat then. Neither am I fat now. I have a normal BMI and am healthy. I just won’t be walking on any ramps soon. Why are we so relentless about this weight issue and hell bent on making girls, women, and probably some men feel they are not good enough or are not trying hard enough? When it boils down to the real problems and difficulties we face in life, weight is such a non-issue.
When it boils down to the real problems and difficulties we face in life, weight is such a non-issue.
Shouldn’t the focus be on being healthy? A popular dietitian had written that anything can make you thin – starvation, sickness, or mental agonies. The same applies to putting on weight – stress, hormonal imbalances, and genetics- all play a role. Why obsess about making ourselves thin or fat, and commenting about others? Human bodies don’t stay 16 years old all our lives. They go through many expansions and contractions. I hope more people accept that, and be a little more thoughtful the next time they want to comment on someone else’s weight. I am sure they have weighing machines and mirrors at home.
Pic courtesy: Barbara K (Used under a CC license)
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