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A revenge body refers to when a person loses weight after a break-up to make their ex-partner jealous. It is a body type that induces (or is supposed to induce) regret in another person.
‘Hi, I am Ross’s ‘little’ sister’, a very excited Monica reaches out to Chandler when introduced to him for the first time. He looks at her and responds with a sarcastic smirk and an extremely mocking gesture ‘Yeah, right!’ Confused, not being able to comprehend how to react Monica rubbishes off the entire situation and moves on to her next idea to impress his brother’s best friend and college roommate. Deep down she knew what had happened.
Cut to the next year, Chandler visits Ross’s house again on Thanksgiving and when Monica appears with all her extra kilos shed and looking her best in a beautiful blue dress, Chandler is blown away. The wooing now happens another way around. What Monica achieves is popularly known as in new-age language ‘Revenge Body.’
A revenge body refers to when a person loses weight after a break-up to make their ex-partner jealous. It is a body type that induces (or is supposed to induce) regret in another person. It is based on the significantly transforming oneself, to the extent that your ex-partner repents ending the relationship with you. The problem is not with transforming oneself and becoming a better version of yourself. The underlying pressure, anxiety and the need to prove yourself to someone else is problematic and equally harmful to the overall well-being of the individual.
Body-positive activists around the globe take issue with the term for many reasons. The entire concept that your body transformation or physical appearance can manipulate someone to be wanting to be with you is flawed. To begin with, if you are changing your body for someone else, then ultimately you are the one at the receiving end because you are still allowing that person to dictate your life and your body. You are in a way trying to seek approval from them. And what if you are not successful in inducing the feeling of regret in them? They linger in your thoughts, remain the focus of your life and also sends a subtle message that the reason they should have stayed with you was solely dependent on your appearance. This should, in any case, never be the reason to be with someone in the very first place. It can lead you to develop a toxic relationship with your body and instil in your mind that this can make you earn some sort of validation or social currency. If you really want to seek validation, try to seek it from yourself.
No matter how philosophical it might sound, revenge can never be healthy. Seeking revenge can never undo the problems that were there in a relationship irrespective of whether the other person wronged you in some way or the other. While I understand it could be secretly rewarding and can give a sense of achievement, it might also lead to a lot of undue pressure and anxiety in the process. Most importantly, taking revenge based solely on your physical appearance proves that your shape and size were never perfect and you are in a way giving a green signal to all the body shamers out there.
When was the last time you ran into a friend who has gained weight and told them that they look better now? Instead, we all start sympathizing and say that don’t worry you will go back to your original shape. We never see a ‘fat’ picture in the ‘after’ column of before-after comparison. As far as I can recall and know, fitting into a ‘kind of body type’ has been an inevitable ticket to happiness. I agree that physical transformation is tough and it is commendable to achieve it, but it shouldn’t be done under the garb of ‘proving’ something to someone. Also, it should not come with a subtle suggestion that the person looks immeasurably better than what he/she was before.
Our society is obsessed with ‘It’s not that bad’ syndrome. Whenever someone talks about how ‘Oh my arms are so fat’ or ‘I better go to the gym, need to prep for my revenge body, our instinct response is ‘don’t worry, it’s not that bad!’ By saying this, we are subtly implying that it is bad however the person is not a victim of too heavy, too thick or too flat body parts. They are doing just fine but could do much better. The thing is there is nothing ‘bad’ in having thick arms or flat breasts. By subtly implying that there is something wrong, we are not only insulting the other person but we are giving out a message of ‘non-acceptance’ of what they have. We are over imposing the notion that body parts can be ‘bad.’
As cliché as it might sound, our bodies are temples we live in. It is our home, our place of worship and it is extremely crucial that we all embrace it the way it is. Yes, physical fitness, being healthy as well as overall well- being is undoubtedly very important. Therefore, we should strive to do it for ourselves and not as a mere revenge tool for others.
Have you ever thought what would have happened if Monica never lost weight?
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Rajshri Deshpande, who played the fiery protagonist in Trial by Fire along with Abhay Deol speaks of her journey and her social work.
Rajshri Deshpande as the protagonist in ‘Trial by Fire’, the recent Netflix show has received raving reviews along with the show itself for its sensitive portrayal of the Uphaar Cinema Hall fire tragedy, 1997 and its aftermath.
The limited series is based on the book by the same name written by Neelam and Shekhar Krishnamoorthy, who lost both their children in the tragedy. We got an opportunity to interview Rajshri Deshpande who played Neelam Krishnamoorthy, the woman who has been relentlessly crusading in the court for holding the owners responsible for the sheer negligence.
Rajshri Deshpande is more than an actor. She is also a social warrior, the rare celebrity from the film industry who has also gone back to her roots to give to poverty struck farming villages in her native Marathwada, with her NGO Nabhangan Foundation. Of course a chance to speak with her one on one was a must!
“What is a woman’s job, Ramesh? Taking care of parents-in-law, husband, children, home and things at work—all at the same time? She isn’t God or a superhuman."
The arrays of workstations were occupied by people peering into their computer screens. The clicks of keyboard keys were punctuated by the occasional footsteps moving around to brainstorm or collaborate with colleagues in their cubicles. Most employees went about their tasks without looking at the person seated on either side of their workstation. Meenakshi was one of them.
The thirty-one-year-old marketing manager in a leading eCommerce company in India sat straight in her seat, her eyes on the screen, her fingers punching furiously into the keys. She was in a flow and wanted to finish the report while the thoughts and words were coming effortlessly into her mind.
Natu-Natu. The mellifluous ringtone interrupted her thoughts. She frowned at her mobile phone with half a mind to keep it ringing until she noticed the caller’s name on the screen, making her pick up the phone immediately.
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