On Twitter yesterday, I found someone I have heard about. I decided to follow him. Till he tweeted this. “Sindhi fatso on train’s eating Koki with pickle. She’s gonna choke n die one day on Koki.”
Earlier this week, a heavily pregnant friend in Australia was abused by a stranger because she decided to sit down in a mall as she felt slightly dizzy. The man who also wanted to sit down yelled at her for being a ‘fat chick’ and a ‘lazy woman’ and therefore committing the biggest crime of all – sitting down for a spell.
Months back on Facebook, there was this supposedly inspirational quote on exercise that a man I know had posted. Mark Lauren, author of You are your own gym says, ‘It blows me away every time I walk into a nice home and meet its proud, overweight, out-of-shape owner. They just don’t get it. Your real home is not your apartment or your house or your city or even your country, but your body. It is the only thing you, your soul and your mind, will always live inside of so long as you walk the earth. It is the single most important physical thing in this world you can take care of.
Mark doesn’t seem to get the fact that no one is fat because they want to be fat. Nor are they fat because they believe that their body is not the single most important thing in this world. It’s not even as if they don’t take care of it. There are a plethora of reasons why people are shaped the way they are or weigh as much as they do. And yes, it might lead to complications in health but they are not really self-destructive. This might shock Mark but ‘fat people’ are not doing it on purpose. Please read my man, Gopics, on FAT which tells it as it is.
If you are a woman in particular, the ideal body construct can make or break your life. If you are slightly plump, everyone from your neighbour’s dhobi to the President of the company you work for will take it upon themselves to tell you how if you want to get a man, get a raise, get a promotion, get married, get shagged, have a child, have two children, have a son, get an invite to the NYE party, you MUST lose weight. “What is this! Being a girl, a woman, you are looking like this!”
It’s always about ‘looking’ a particular way. When you look a certain way, stereotypes automatically get appended to your personality. Which is why a lot of people will find absolutely nothing wrong with this new Weight Watchers ad.
The lyrics actually state, ‘I used to be so boring…’ and ‘my life revolved around TV, easier to be someone than be me, now I know what I want out of life, in bright colours so my body can’t hide.’ From being fat and boring, losing weight helps one to transition to someone with confidence who wants to now wear bright colours. If you are rid of fat then verily, the world is your fucking oyster.
Say you are a woman. You are round. You have breasts that leap out of every dress you wear and create cleavage where none needs to be there. Most people are uncomfortable around all that fat, those breasts. Ostensibly. In their dirty minds, they want to do you. Oh how they want to do you. From the neighbour’s dhobi to the President of the company you work for, they all want to do you. You are the Silk Smitha of their B-grade movie collection. You are the Shakeela of their secret porn stash. Even their women know that. This is why the women stare at you the way they do and say all those snide things to you, out of spite and jealousy. It’s the only explanation that makes sense. It’s these sexual undercurrents that will have them spurn you and superficially tell you that you must lose weight. That womanhood as should be, has taken a beating because of you.
Hell, what do you expect? To be treated as a person and not as a body? To be seen for who you are and what you bring to their lives? To be understood? To be seen for the beautiful woman you are? To be in a Gauguin painting? No darling, all you are is a dirty picture. Cover up, go home, stop eating, and start running. If you cannot do that, shut yourself up in a home and watch TV, you lazy twat, that’s all you will be good for.
The man who had posted the quote on Facebook told me, ‘The world judges by appearance, unfortunately, and while you live in it, you play by the rules.’ So ‘fat people’ are now also being deliberately anti-social and not playing by the rules. Is it any wonder then that they only sit lazily at home and watch TV?
Personally, blogging about my health and weight has seemed to have helped my life. Now although I am almost entirely spherical, no one has the gall to tell me anything about my weight to my face. If they have read my posts which I suspect most of them have (and I am grateful for the hits, believe me), they know I will paste them to the wall in such a way that they won’t find it easy to peel themselves off it in a hurry. So I am a fat woman with a razor tongue – a force best avoided.
In a world that has so many human rights issues worth fighting for, I had never imagined that I would have to fight for the right to look the way I am; to be treated equally and with respect for the being I am; to not be treated differently – with bias or pity – for being a certain body type, for being overweight. It’s so appalling that people who ought to know better will not bother to hear the other side of the story, and can say such absolutely crass and insensitive things about someone’s appearance or food habits. And get away with it.
Then The Dirty Picture happened.
Newspapers say that it’s now okay to be fat. TV Channels talk about how it’s perfectly fine to have rolls of flesh on your stomach in 2012, because Vidya Balan has made it all sexy.
Fat, lovers, is the new sexy. Even ostensibly now.
But wait. Before you smile in delight and think about investing in low-rise jeans and showing off your ample curves, realise how twisted it all is, really. In a world obsessed with appearance, only a hit movie can save us. We need a hit movie to validate our shape now. A hit movie about a sad B-grade, erotic movie star’s traumatic life vindicates our right to be woman, to be fat and sexy now.
Ooh la la.
Well, screw you.