From being called “healthy” to nicknamed “motu,” I can list so many issues that plus-sized girls go through everyday. In India, more specifically, people calling you “healthy” simply means that that they don’t want to call you “fat & ugly” outright.
If my life was a movie, I am sure a good 30% of it would be dedicated to my weight struggles. Full disclaimer- I don’t hate my body. I love it, I am proud of it. Can I lose a few pounds? Of course I can. I understand that.
But when you put your beautiful garland of judgment around my neck, you must understand that unlike some of you- I do not binge on junk food. I like it though and I enjoy it occasionally. But I am not drinking a cola every day or eating potato chips like there is no tomorrow. Another thing- my blood sugar and cholesterol is under control- has always been. Final thing- I am not a gym buff but I am active. I do not lie in a sad, dark corner all day waiting for a doctor or death.
One last thing- I have a life. There is much more to me than my weight.
So before I get too personal, let’s talk about the struggles every plus-sized person faces in India. Though it is from a girl’s perspective, many points mentioned below are gender-neutral. Let me take you on a sad trip to the sad memory lane.
There is nothing more harmful than the stereotype of a large man/woman constantly eating their way through life and getting rejected everywhere. A fat person is a mockery. Don’t even go around telling me that the perception is changing- from Tun Tun to Bharti Singh, there is a slew of women who have been the comic relief in movies and TV and you know what makes them funny- the weight obviously.
This is not all, the fat girl or guy has to be dumb. The size of clothes you wear is indirectly proportional to the size of your brain. So the pea sized brain-holder is either the slowest/dumbest/stupidest in the group or goes ahead to take advantage of his/her sheer size and becomes a bully. In either case, the IQ should be low and hunger or rage be the only emotion that drives the fat guy/girl. How interesting and how convenient.
The secret admirers
“Wow, you are so cool. I wasn’t really expecting you to be so chilled out.”
Alright. What were you expecting me to do? Down a super-sized burger and talk about how shitty my life is.
“You have a beautiful face. Thoda weight lose kar leti to….” or “You would look so beautiful if you didn’t have thunder thighs/flabby arms/ a belly.”
First of all, forget what people told you about fat and attraction. Unless you are morbidly obese and unable to get out of bed to get yourself a glass of water from the kitchen, there is a decent chance someone will like you for who you are. Yeah, not everyone is shallow, but there are still many who secretly admire you, give you genuine compliments and don’t mind hanging out with you unless they are not required to take the next step.
“Who me? Dating her? Na, na. We are just good friends.”
Yeah, “good friend.” Good luck leaning in next time for a kiss.
Finding the right clothes
The most common problem for any plus sized person in this world is to find clothes that really fit. The struggle is endless and while there are several stores selling some good stuff, the choice most of us have is best described as inadequate. The struggle with the clothes is also related to the fit- you can wear an XL of one brand and a XXL of another and there is no way you could guarantee how something fits. Personally, some plus-sized clothing I found was beautiful but didn’t fit well because it had enormous shoulders which didn’t look good on my shorter stature and smaller shoulders than what the brand thought an average plus-sized woman’s shoulders should be like. Not a big problem though, considering that the number of options is only increasing.
The voices in your head
I shouldn’t laugh too loudly.
I shouldn’t appear too confident.
I shouldn’t act too hard to get.
I shouldn’t be too easy.
There are voices in your head constantly telling you that something isn’t right for you. Those voices are experienced by us all but when the size gets in the way, the voices become much louder than you would expect. They are constantly putting doubts in your head, making you think twice. They never remain silent. You double check every ensemble, look for every hidden clue of sarcasm, go almost paranoid at times. This doesn’t happen everyday but when it does, it is devastating.