Let me begin by saying I faced the dilemma most writers face – what do I call my book?
I wanted to call this post Hips Don’t Lie because hips are what I will be talking about. But I’m not a Shakira fan.
Anyway, on the occasion of Women’s Day, I’ve decided to become more woman than I am.
No, hang on, I’m not turning into a French feminist or anything though it would be fun to go on morchas and try sleeping with other French feminists and write voluminous and scathing papers about patriarchy and what a bad deal we’ve had so far and now just you wait, we’re going to stick it right up your… or actually not, so it really hurts where it counts. Or just do it with thinkers like Sartre, and talk about existentialism, and ponder upon Nietzsche over breakfast in a French café, smoking a cigarette, and wearing no bra.
But alas, it’s a bit of an anachronism. Besides, I like wearing bras.
So instead I’m beginning a movement with myself. Literally, a movement. I went and hired myself a personal trainer. So I lose weight and align all the curves, and become the myth women like Shakira are perpetrating – the wahow womanhood.
Wahow Women make heads turn when they walk, when they breathe, when they exist. These women stop hearts and kill men when they apply lipstick in public. May be people hang on to every word the wahow woman says, I don’t know, I’m not one yet. But the one thing most certainly people (who probably are nothing wow themselves) don’t do with wahow women is say, “Oh look, you’ve just raided a bakery,” as a way to begin conversation and put you at ease.
There is this thing about being fat, you know. Everyone notices it.
And sadly enough, often that is all they notice. Your hips really don’t lie in today’s world. Wide hips are almost taken for incompetence. Large people make boring mates. You can’t want to do that truck (I believe, truck is one of the many derogatory terms used to describe large people).
Never mind that they might be people who probably make you happy, who are great listeners, who are witty, who give great massages, or have other skills that might make you a happy girl/guy as the case may be. No one wants to discover that.
As this guy who is a friend’s friend apparently keeps saying, “You know, Rati, I am a very sexy man, but the girl will have to really uncover many of my layers to find that man.” Ah well.
And if a man is saying that, imagine the plight of an overweight woman! Mon dieu!
There can only be self-discovery.
I’ve been pleasantly plump to grossly overweight most of my life and so far it’s not really bothered me except during visits to and from the doctor. I’ve cut people off rudely and without guilt and done my ice-bitch routine when the weight issue was under discussion as ‘polite’ party conversation.
But after recent heartbreak I said, ‘Oh well, if I can’t do you, I might as well do me.’ And imagine my horror when I found myself incapable of even doing myself. In deep despair, I was looking inwards into my soul and I found myself longing for someone slightly more in shape, someone svelte as it were, someone curvy who’d make heads turn. So that was it. I decided I wanted me to be a wahow woman. For me.
And since I know I am a woman who can discuss philosophy and Eliot, I began to question this desire to be wahow woman. I mean, what does it say about me? Am I insecure? Am I shallow? Is appearance all there is?
After much soul-searching I found what I was looking for – an answer that would be as close to the truth as possible, something that will show me in a nice, intelligent light, something that reassures me how wahow I am already.
You see, nearly all the women in my life are wahow already. (You can appreciate that count better when I tell you my colleges were Women Only spaces.) It’s just that most are not obviously so, like Shakira.
And most women I know are like me, they begin with imperfection and create something as near perfect as they can manage. They show sense, style, and sensitivity in nearly all the awful things life meets out. And if it’s a perfect body they want, they work to get it. But these women do it only to please themselves. They go out there and get what they want because they want it. Not because it’s expected, not to toe a line, not to subscribe to the majority.
They get up and usually allow nothing to get them down.
Like I am doing.
And ouch, it hurts – rather deliciously.
Happy Women’s Day.