This post has been self-published on Youth Ki Awaaz by Kirat S. Just like them, anyone can publish on Youth Ki Awaaz.

‘I Will Use The Word ‘Fat’ Without Feeling Sorry, But Will Society Let Me?’

By Kirat Sodhi:

I am not thin, never was and perhaps never will be. Do I care? Yes. Do I want to care? No. It’s unfair that I have to hear people pass comments, sometimes sneakily, sometimes openly, in jest, in all seriousness and even in pity about my weight and body structure. I don’t think I am unhealthy or overweight and neither do I present myself in unflattering ways. I am fine as I am.

bhumi pednekar
Image source: Twitter

 

And yet, every time someone passes a remark, I go red in the face, I smile and press my lips together, so I don’t give an excuse, argue or snap. Imagine meeting someone after a considerable interval and the first thing they say is “Oh! You’ve put on weight na”? Really? Not “How are you? Oh, I missed you”. We come straight to the point about my diet, my exercise routines, my office routine and everything else that doesn’t concern them.

We are a society that is obsessed with everything – race, caste, colour, weight, financial status, social media presence, non-presence on social media, intelligence, sarcasm ratings and everything else which can minutely describe a person. This is not to say that everyone is obsessed with all of the above but it is true that everyone is particular about one or more of the above. We do find pleasure in the weight gain of an ex-partner, a not-so-good friend and even an actress we don’t like much. Honestly, I don’t have a problem with the attribute that comes with my description but the emotion behind the attribute.

Fat is bad, dark is ugly, thin is sickly. I wish people would stop telling me what they think will work best for me. Please stop making fun of the amount of space I take up when I sit and please, oh please stop counting my calories for me. I am in perfect physical health, and if I have a bad back, it is not because my bums are too big, or my thighs can’t take the weight of my body (I even confirmed this with the doctor). So no don’t tell me to cut down on rice and potatoes and bread and everything else that I enjoy eating.

Don’t call me ‘moti’, ‘golu’, ‘chubs’ and don’t innocently ask me if I miss my old self. My old self was similar, a little thinner perhaps. But still not thin enough to be counted amidst the ‘normal’. Also, I love my new self. Please don’t pass comments about my weight and don’t slyly smile looking at me if there is an ongoing discussion on clothes, shopping and sizes.

I am tired of people being surprised every time they offer me dessert and I refuse (“What? You look like someone who would enjoy indulging”).

I don’t want to wake up in the morning and declare to my innocent husband that “I want to be thin”. I don’t want him to comfort me or pacify me just because someone in office smirked at my ‘weight problems’. I don’t want to spend hours trying dresses, feeling horrible if I don’t fit into a 4 year-old t-shirt. It’s okay, I know it’s okay to not be someone society wants me to be.

I am tired of this everyday barrage of advice that I receive about my weight, exercise and calorie counting techniques. I believe that I am healthy, and I have a normal appetite. I want to love myself, but society makes it difficult for me to do so. I really wish someone would understand my plight.

We don’t think before commenting on someone many a times, and more often than not, out of politeness no one responds to our caustic remarks. But after you leave, the person in question may spend hours contemplating about her weight and skin tone, her hair and everything else that you thought was wrong.

The number of times that we truly compliment someone is embarrassingly lower than the times we notice faults. I am really tired of hearing statements like, “Oh he/she is such a good person, just his/her weight is a problem”. Really?

Fat is fat, but I believe that fat is not ugly, funny or unacceptable. For everyone out there, I have an advice. Please don’t let someone feel unsure or awkward because he/she has a few extra kilos. Don’t torment a guy who is plump, don’t make fun of your mother because she takes time to get up owing to her weight, don’t be uncomfortable going out shopping with your fat friend and don’t share knowing looks with the help staff when she’s trying clothes. Body image issues won’t be a term if people stopped making one feel responsible for looking bad, something that has happened with me.

So yes, I am fat, healthy, plump and everything else you want to call me. I will use the word fat without feeling sorry for myself and without cringing. Just as I have short hair, beautiful eyes, pointy nose, and big bums. And I love them and I love myself.

You must be to comment.
  1. Taru

    Beautiful! An eye-opener. “We are a society that is obsessed with everything – race, caste, colour, weight, financial status, social media presence, non-presence on social media, intelligence, sarcasm ratings and everything else which can minutely describe a person. ” Couldn’t agree more. We have never been more insensitive than now. Thank you for putting this up! Made my day. Cheers 🙂

  2. artika

    So much learning for me in your words. Thank you for sharing.

  3. Drishti negi

    Such a great post..i hope people can learn smthn from it…such correct description of each and every geeling that occurs…i feel so great that someone else could also understand things so accurately.. loved it to the core <3

  4. Jyoti Arora

    That’s a beautiful article. Perfectly to the point.
    Not all of us can have a perfect body. In fact, very few of us can.
    It’s so unfair to make a comment upon an individual’s looks, even if in sympathy. People just don’t understand that careless sympathy can hurt worse than an insult.

  5. Suraj

    I think the problem lies in where film and television idolize a “perfect shape/size” for men and women. Every comment on a person’s weight, size, colour, shape, height, etc is traceable to their perception of a “perfect” whatever that small and big screens advertise.

    I face such disdain from the ones closest to me. Unfortunately, it’s not a perfect world and I don’t know how to make one.

  6. Shaifali

    You write: ”
    I don’t think I am unhealthy or overweight and neither do I present myself in unflattering ways.”

    What’s wrong in presenting yourself as unflattering? I think that is the best way to show a middle finger to the society obsessed with “good-looking” girls.

    We have to deliberately make an effort to stop being conscious of how we look, and to dress up to be comfprtable, rather than appealing/flattering.

  7. Shivani Singh

    Hey Kirat. I just read your piece and it’s amazing. I am currently working on a feature article for my institute project. It’s not a published work, rather for my academic research on body image and I would like to quote some of your words and give you full credit. But to do so, I require your permission.
    If you are okay with it, kindly revert to me on my email address – shivani123325@gmail.com

    regards

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