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

Yes, I Am Fat. Now, Shut The Fuck Up And Move On

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Women are almost always judged and called out on the basis of their appearances.

I am the woman in the picture. Fat. I remember my 2nd grade. It was the first time when people started using the word to describe me. Painful memories of my class teacher calling me out to show the whole class what a fat person looks like come into my mind. I will always remember how terribly ashamed I felt when everyone in the class looked me up and down, as a bunch of seven year olds comprehended for the first time what fat is. Imagine the damage it does to a child’s mind when they realise that they are not “normal” looking!

Fat. Rakesh (name changed) my first crush told my best friend when she asked him about his feelings for me, “she is a smart girl. I only asked her out because she will help me with the answers in the exams, I don’t like fat girls,” he said. “I can get way, way better girls than her.”

Fat. “You’re so fat. No one will marry you,” said my mother.

Fat. “Who will want to get serious with a fatty like you?” asked my brother.

Fat. “Oye, truck! Oye, container! Oye batate (potato)! Rikishi (a sumo wrestler)! Snorlacks (a large sized pokemon that sleeps all the time)!” were the names given to me by my friends.

I am 24 years old, sitting in a gynaecologist’s office, dragged in here by my mother because I am fat.

I am earning now, and hence, out of my hard earned money, I spent ₹1,700 on a full abdominal sonography, ₹2,500 on thyroid hormone test, prolactin test, glucose challenge test and fasting sugar test. There was another ₹1,000 for consulting said doctor.

A quarter of my salary gone, I walk out with a diagnosis that failed to convince me. And to add salt to my wounds, the doctor said, “plus you will look much better when you lose weight (excuse me, are you saying I am ugly?) and you will become fairer, if you diet (I am south Indian honey! That is a racist thing to say).” What does a gynaecologist have to do with skin?

I avoid going to the doctor even if I am extremely sick because one time, I went in for a diagnosis of my headache and was asked to lose weight, turns out I had sinusitis (c’mon doctors, you have to stop kidding me).

I avoid going socialising where I know people are fat-phobic like parties that have “socially credited” good looking people. One time, a lady in church stopped me in public and asked me, “can I give you some advice?” And before I could say anything, she says, “lose some weight, you are really looking very bad like this, I feel sorry for you.” Imagine my horror!

It was Easter, I wore my best dress, wore considerable amounts of make up to have this lady tell me such horrible things? I never asked you how I look, what the fuck is wrong with you? I don’t tell you that you are ugly, I smile at you and wish you “happy easter” like a normal, polite person and walk on home to get drunk on homemade wine and cake!

Recently, I called out some friends on a Whatsapp group about fat-phobic language directed towards me and sexist jokes that they made generally about women and I was called an extremist feminist! After considerable amounts of explanation (where I should have been the one being apologised to, instead I was left justifying myself), they agreed to not use that kind of language, but this incident dented our friendship.

Now, I am scared of talking about my pain with my friends when they call me truck, tractor, container or batata or the several dreadful things associated with big or large. Should I laugh it off? Why should I? How am I the extremist? Is my use of negative language killing you? If anything, I feel like dying every day when jokes are made at my expense.

I felt like dying every day when the person I used to love wanted me to keep our relationship a secret because I am fat and our common friends made fun of him.

Who is the extremist here?

Is it right to put a seven year old girl on the spot in front of the whole class? Is it right to ask a healthy person again and again what is wrong with her? Sometimes, I find myself waiting for some manifestation of illness because I am overweight. It’s been 24 years, I am still waiting.

In what world is it right, that I can’t even tell my friends that I am seeing someone because he is embarrassed of me?

I ask myself, why this treatment? Everyone ranging from close family, friends and boyfriends feel the need to point out that I am fat. I am not even going to start telling you about internet trolls and the cyber-bullying I suffer.

Ableism: Use of inconsiderate language towards differently abled people, or a thought process that discriminates against people who are not normatively bodied, like in this case against people who have extra fat.

You know where I have found the most amount of acceptance? With children. I work for an organisation called Nareshwadi Learning Centre (www.nareshwadi.org ) where I work closely with tribal or orphaned children and I make it my point to share my experience about fat-phobia, ableism, sexism and classism with kids so that they pave a future, where individuals like me do not have to suffer at the hands of friends, relatives and loved ones.

And they gladly empathise. I wish adults had half the empathy that these kids have.

A person can be fat for a variety of reasons, genetic, physiological or psychological. It’s nobody’s place to judge. I have taken it upon myself, a mission to educate anyone who is ready to listen.

I deserve as much love and respect as the next person and I hope you get it too.

Everyone is beautiful, every size, every shape, every colour is so fucking beautiful. The wonder and innocence in the eyes of children is beautiful, the love shining in the eyes of a newly married couple is beautiful, the toothless smile of the old lady I meet in the train is beautiful. Let us all stop being so rude to each other and love each other to death instead!

You must be to comment.
  1. Manisha Choudhury

    The problem is with the society we live. How much we say inner beauty matters but at the end people first choose the person who looks beautiful. And definition of beautiful is hilarious in our society. “Beautiful” means fair and slim.
    And wat about heart of those.. Does it actually matter. This post rightly describes about how a person goes through who is dark and fat. I can understand this bcoz I lost all my confidence due to this stupid definition of beauty. All thanks to our society and their so called thought and perspective…
    I wish people came out of such definition of beauty!!

  2. Dimpal Thawani

    You are beautiful. Loved your thoughts. Keep going! Lots of luck and love!????

    1. Jogitha Josey

      Thank you so much. Very kind of you

  3. Tiyasha Chatterjee

    So well-written Jogitha. And I totally empathise with you because I go through the same on a regular basis. It’s a sad world we live in where we have to beg to be loved, cared for and respected for who we are.

    1. Jogitha Josey

      Thank you. I appreciate your comment

  4. Sneha Bijlani

    You’re beautiful in every way! Loved how well you’ve expressed yourself. I pity those people who cannot see the real you. Never put yourself down. You’re awesome!! 🙂

    1. Jogitha Josey

      Thank you so much sneha

  5. Manoj Kanti Dutta

    ₹1,700 on a full abdominal sonography, ₹2,500 on thyroid hormone test, prolactin test, glucose challenge test and fasting sugar test. What were the results of these tests?

    1. Jogitha Josey

      Everything was normal.

  6. Khadija Ejaz

    I totally believe you. I grew up very thin but when I started putting on weight because of various stressors as a young woman, I was the object of similar hostility from family members even, forget other people. I felt for years as if they didn’t love me anymore. The change in their behaviour was shocking. I don’t understand what makes people think they can make comments like that to someone’s face. I once even witnessed a grownup female childhood friend being given the same unsolicited “advice” by this random aunty at a party the way you write about in your own experience. WTF, man. I’m sorry you have been treated so badly – people (yes, even those who are supposed to love you) can be assholes. That’s probably the hardest part to accept.

    1. Jogitha Josey

      I am grateful that you understand

  7. Sourav Singh

    I can only express shock that ppl like u are allowed to influence the mass to be over sensitive to petty issues of life.

  8. Saswati Chakraborty

    Totally understand , empathise and agree with you. Ever since I started to recognise myself in a mirror, I am overweight. Not only I identify with your everyday struggle and humiliation, in my case it is worst as my mother is the biggest problem. Even my independence and success didn’t stop her from humiliating me because of my fatness whenever I wear some fine dresses. The world will be like what it is, but I have seen a whole family and relatives laugh n talk about my fatness when I scored better than most of them in exams, when in spite of minimum guidance and investment in my education n upbringing in an otherwise well-to -do family, I managed to succeed with a good job n, I was and have been still ridiculed by my relatives , bcoz am FAT! So…..unless they start to make humans with less vitruols in their minds, this won’t stop. Just ignore and enjoy life…..

  9. Rohit Mehra

    It is a great and courageous thing to write about Body Shaming which is becoming a matter of Undue Societal Pressure. Just because a person is fat does not mean that a person shd call someone truck tractor potato and all sorts of non sensical names… When a person calls you something of that sort imagine them as one and try to laugh it off… you will feel destressed every time you laugh… And always thank the person who calls you tractor… A tractor makes a barren land fertile and truck is used to transport raw materials and essentials from one place to another… Kudos to You for standing up to them…

    1. Jogitha Josey

      Thanks i appreciate your comment

  10. Lakshmi Menon

    Totally relatable. Body shaming happens to me too although unlike your reason here, the shaming is that I’m too thin. There’s just no end to being called weak and ‘anorexic’ when as far as I know I’ve been perfectly fine.
    A size never determined what anyone was thus I just give no fucks anymore to free comments. At the end of the day I really like how I look. That’s all that matters.

  11. Sushma Braggs

    Jogitha, Salute you! Just to share – many who care two hoots are prompt enough to suggest, ‘why? Please take care? Do exercise? colour your Grey’s!’. My answer is a flat- ‘ Would you take me to the moon or Switzerland for a honeymoon?’ . I am 45 now, this response was given to a colleague about 10 years back and he , still around, never repeated the comment! To the condescending attendants at the mall, I flatly state that ‘I wouldnot mind having clothes one size larger since I may decide to add on weight!’. The frustration on their face is worth the reverse sadism! Attitude is within, ability is inside, assessment of worth is from what is insl one – when there is a void , there is a tendency to judge others basis what is visible alone. In market place we see and make a choice to own or reject; in places of worship, you submit to the unseen…… And in the end , fat or no fat, only some part of the bones would remain- specially the skull- which holds the brains!!!! Only work , and mostly of love, will survive us…. Best Wishes and love. Continue to inspire….

  12. Kanu Verma

    hey jogitha …i can feel all dis as i am suffering from all dese stuff from my childhood .Even when i drsd up myself beautifully for any family function dn mah relatives used to say you r looking beautiful “but plz loose ur weight u will b more ” .means is this a praise or mental harrasment ? one of my classmates compete with me by saying u r much fatty dn me . however i have thyroid n some hormonal issues bt nobody here can understand us btr dn us .so be positive n plz donot gt so stressed u r beautifullllllll my friend 🙂 n yes even i know some peole who usually say “loose your weight beta “, among those some are really very caring who know the harmful effect of being obese so take it as good advice even t i am taking now n srsy after doing dis i am happy .even i hadnot loose even a gram bt start seeing d positive side of everything let me feel good .dont bother just chill enjoy ur life “workout not for society but only for own health” is my funda now 🙂 n i have started giving answers to those who used to say me moti ….kadduu n awl by noticing their weakness n dn taunting d same whn dy say me motii n wateva to let them realise d pain of abusing n taunting …. so be positive dnt change fr society …as kush to log khnge logo ka kaam hai khna enjoy ir lyf as its tooo short lods of love to yew n best wishes

  13. Nazia Kabani

    No you aren’t fat. You are just more awesome!
    The school teacher part really made me feel bad. For the school. Is that the kind of upbringing teachers are supposed to give?
    Fat shaming is ridiculous. I have a mass of fat in my body and I don’t care. High time we don’t care about people bothering us with all this. Yeah, you need to lose weight if you are unhealthy but not when everything is normal. You need to feel comfortable in your body first. I feel if people like these stop calling you fat or when you don’t give a damn that’ll be a time you’ll be the happiest and I feel being happy is what should matter! Love you <3

  14. Akshaya Ravichandran

    I am sorry for the humiliation that you are undergoing and here’s what I think.. There are far more important reasons than social appeal and acceptance to not be obese. I think it is important that you realize that a doctor’s advise to lose weight even when you seek their opinion for a different problem is for reasons beyond physical beauty. I think it is to let you know that your cholesterol levels may go berserk and a variety of heart related issues will follow, i.e., Physically obese people are prone to heart diseases. You have to realize the importance of keeping yourself fit not just slim (keep in mind “fit” and “slim” are completely different terms) as obesity tends to wear you out easily. You should also be warned of knee/joint problems that may arise and restrict you from walking normally, forget running. I think for now, it is important to not give importance to what other people think about your appearance and focus on getting fit by exercising everyday and eating nutritious food to live a long and healthy life. Leading a healthy life will boost your confidence in many ways that you cannot even imagine. Also, if you have healthy habits, physical beauty will follow even when you don’t ask for it.

    1. Jogitha Josey

      Are you assuming i am not working out? Or have weak bones? How do thin people get heart disease? Also are you assuming that the food that I eat is not healthy because I am fat ? Wow.

  15. Akshaya Ravichandran

    I am sorry for the humiliation that you are undergoing and here’s what I think.. There are far more important reasons than social appeal and acceptance to not be obese. I think it is important that you realize that a doctor’s advise to lose weight even when you seek their opinion for a different problem is for reasons beyond physical beauty. It is to let you know that your cholesterol levels may go berserk and a variety of heart related issues may follow, i.e., Physically obese people are prone to heart diseases. You have to realize the importance of keeping yourself fit not just slim (keep in mind “fit” and “slim” are two completely different terms) as obesity tends to wear you out easily. You should also be warned of knee/joint problems that may arise and restrict you from walking normally, forget running. Now that you have realized that everyone is beautiful regardless of their shape, size, sex, color, race, half the battle is won. You can stop giving importance to what others feel about your appearance and focus on getting fit by exercising everyday and eating nutritious food to live a long and healthy life. The best part about this is, if you have healthy habits, people’s standards of physical beauty will follow even when you don’t ask for it.

    1. Jogitha Josey

      Are you assuming that I don’t have the said healthy habits?

  16. alibabajalibaba

    People should keep their stupid advice to their stupid goddamn selves. I’m about to be morbidly obese man and I don’t give a crap because I want to kill myself if even one more goddamn person gives me health advice. I hate my family because they have reduced me to a damn action figure (male doll basically, but to give it some manly goddamn characteristic). I’m fat. I’d be thin if I could get to bike to work everyday but my city has horribly deadly traffic. I wish my worth was not dependent on the mass of my skin. But who cares. I’ll eat my problems away.

    1. Jogitha Josey

      Yes its important to like yourself the most

  17. Tanisha Das

    To the author
    I could feel every word in the article . I have gone through the same things. As I child It really affected me fat shamed in school, in the road or any family gathering .Now I am 23 still fat shamed but at least now i have come to the realization that I am more than the way I look I know I am a smart confident women

    1. Jogitha Josey

      Hey Tanisha,
      I hope this shows that there are many people going through the same pain as you are. It is important to accept your own body and not let anyone tell you how it should look based on what they like. Build a positive relationship with your body – this may or may not entail exercising and dieting. There are people who love me with my fatness and there are people who still hound me with their advice, but I have realized it is no one’s place to tell me anything about my body. Much love!

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