Written by: Angana Sen Gupta
“Bhaiya next parathe main thora ghee zyada dalna. Aaj kal aap bade kanjusi kar rahe ho.”
Yes, that’s me fighting for that extra spoon of ghee like every other day and also witnessing those curious stares all filled with one simple question: Are you kidding me woman?
The reason being very simple. I am a 24-year-old, over weight girl, who is least concerned about her scales, rather is more concerned about her taste buds and do not like to deprive them from the simple joy of life which is food.
Since childhood, I have been this fat little chubby girl who would roam around talking to every other person she met. As time passed, thanks to my father’s genes, not only was I broad and fat, to add on to it I became really tall. Hence, now is a ‘gigantic’ figure.
I have never been very concerned about my figure but thanks to our society, more than me they show all kinds of concern. My parents were always asked: “Is she suffering from thyroid?” “Have you tried consulting a dietician for her?” “Does she only eat and do no physical exercise?” “Why don’t you try making her a bit concerned about her figure?” “She is a girl, who will marry her if she remains fat like this?” etc. and the list never ended. Obviously, my parents did get affected and they tried everything possible to make me thin. But unfortunately, all their efforts went into the drains.
Not only this. Every fat person has experienced certain things in life, from shopping to travelling. For example, when you go out shopping, your size availability becomes a headache because you don’t have the perfect hourglass figure according to the societal norms. Travelling in a public transport? From the time you take the bus till the time you get down, those eyes constantly look at you and think is she sitting on two seats and paying for one. In fact, if your luck is really bad then an auto driver may even reject you or ask you to sit exactly in the middle so that the auto does not topple down.
And yes thanks to our media, who have successfully materialized woman to such an extent that, if you are fat you automatically become untouchable or someone with whom you cannot be noticed. A girl should be typically thin. If you are fat, you are either sympathized or looked down upon no matter how hardworking or talented you might be.
The worst scenarios happen when a fat woman wants to get married and that too in a typical arrange marriage structure. As it is, according to Indian culture a girl’s family is never to demand anything on top of that if the girl is fat, it’s like the end of the world for her parents. I have a simple question to all the would-be- groom’s mothers. Is your son even a good human being owing to the recent scenarios of rapes and bride killing for dowry, that you come to a girls house, sit, eat and then humiliate her and her family only because she is fat?
According to recent studies, over 55% of obese people have higher chances of falling prey to acute depression. In our culture, thin is equal to beautiful and being overweight can lower self-esteem, a known trigger for depression. This results in anxiety, low performance, and a greater number of reported suicide attempts.
Thus, the girl you just called fat might be starving to death just to fit into the group. The woman you just rejected from the job might have a family that she needs to support. The girl who was not given the opportunity to give the presentation only because she was not presentable enough has spent nights sleepless just to make the perfect slide.
Obesity can be from various reasons and it is something which is curable. It’s nothing to be ashamed about. Judging someone by their size only reflects your mindset. No one is perfect. Just try accepting people as they are and this you never know might save some one’s life as well.