In the era where there is a public outrage against “overweight ism”, and out burst against body shaming due to few increased pounds, I’m here to tell tales about the undisclosed frustrations of thin-shaming and skinny shaming..
5.3” tall and 42 kgs…it’s ME.
Why have you become so thin? Is the first compulsory 10 mark question I have been answering all through my life. The rest of the questions are variables. Like,
After college- Marital questions. Post wedding, the possible pregnancy enquirers etc.
The stages of questions will range according to the time gap between two notable public-private events in ones life.
Graduation-wedding. Wedding-pregnancy. They are all directly proportional. The more the gap increases, the more there’s a demand for details like birth star, job status, personal life status, weekend hobby status etc at EVERY gathering. It doesn’t end there. The social service extends to free diet tips to improve the weight factor to attract random suitable match, conceiving tips, dosha-removal techniques to delivering full term babies, etc etc.
In today’s world, one doesn’t need to know the depth of the subject on which they render unsolicited advice. A person who is a gram lesser or greater than you, can become your at-the-moment dietician/ nutrition and health specialist. Some one married for 1 month becomes a relationship counselor and Coming to post marital life and a small delay in kickstarting the “family status” can awaken the obstetrician and gynecologist interest of so many common men and women. All it requires is for you to take the step out in public. You will be bombarded with so many suggestions for all your unspoken and undisclosed life problems. I still respect few considerate, genuine, understanding and compassionate people. I have benefited from them too.
But the remaining 80%t of them do this service as a part of their mundane existence which has to be rested in peace. Most of them do it to boost their ego.
Ok! Coming to the topic, After 33years of my existence, very few people have accepted the fact that I would remain thin for the rest of my life and it’s a genetic factor. The rest of them? Probably whine about my attitude problem! There were days when I used to avoid stepping out to meet these so called sociable people and was severely accused for being an antisocial element in our family. Especially during the weddings. I used to feel very conspicuous in traditional clothes because of all the nonsense they spew. This emotional harassment was targeted on parents too. They were questioned about the reasons associated with the kid’s weight, colour and height factors after 30 years of the kids birth.
On a lighter note, Apart from life threatening frustration factors, this weight issue leads to various comedy or errors that remains etched in our memory forever.
I was always mistook as the younger one in our house. Once, taking off from work, I had gone to a school to enquire about my brother’s upcoming 11th std admissions. Since the 12 th boards were going on, I was asked to wait outside the principals office. After some serious 1.5 hours wait, a stern, bespectacled man came out and gave me a good 2 min stare. As a token of respect I stood up and kindly put forth my enquiry about the admissions for my sibling, which was followed by another 2 min stare. Before I could rephrase my request for the second time he screamed “first concentrate on your 10th exams. They are the stepping stones for a good future. Don’t divert your focus on other things. Go study. Will see about the admissions after the 10th boards”. I was like what..? Sir,I’m an engineer and I am working! This is for my brother’s admissions. I don’t think he even wanted to listen as he walked away without believing me. It could have be taken as a compliment had it not rubbed off the wounds of my mom who was constantly subjected to high tension alliance seeking pressure. Hearing from me that people still thought about me as a school girl did no good to her heart. My mother had a dent in her hopes of getting me married at the earliest. The day was ruined and then we lived happily ever after a few hours of back and forth arguments.
I generally prefer to stay away from attending weddings to avoid such moral science lectures. Of course mine being an exception. During the previous night of my wedding programs, our family had gathered in the wedding hall for dinner. The caterers were busily attending each of them personally, as they were in that “first impression is the best impression “ phase. And after a long overwhelming day, in an honest attempt to avoid unnecessary fashion, make up and costume design ideas from all the elders there, I had taken the corner seat with my parents at the dinner table. The head caterer kept ensuring my mom not to worry about the bride as he would make sure-that the bride ate dinner. We kept ignoring that assurance for quite sometime, until he came to my mom with a plate full of delicacies asking her about the bride’s whereabouts. My mom introduced me as her daughter to him. He smiled at me, ruffling my hair and again put forth the same question to her. She was perplexed and replied “ I have only one daughter. And my daughter is the bride”. He gave me a sad look and told me “eat nicely. Then only you will look little fat in the wedding”(which was technically the day after). Such is my attraction towards highly ridiculous weight gain advices.
And at the wedding scene, sometimes few innocent comments from naïve elders attract more embarrassment. Like a kind aunty came to me and told me that she couldn’t recognize me at the moment as I had grown up so much since the day she had seen me long long ago. My husband’s eyebrows shot past his fore head hearing this comment. Not to blame him. As I don’t remember growing an inch taller after 8 or 9 th class and growing wider is never been a part of my growth chart at all.
Ending my rambling with one more story. At the waiting hall of my last pregnancy check up, an old lady who accompanied a considerably heavily pregnant woman asked me casually “how many months now ?”
I replied to her that I was due in a week.
She instantly shot back “is the baby at-least around 1 to 1.5 kgs yet?”. And further bombarded me with advices to improve my weight in a week time and enlightened me about the negative repercussions if it was not done.
That was enough to chill my bones. Incidentally I had to undergo c sec the very next day. The first question to doc after my boy was born was about the weight of my baby. Scar(r)ed for life ya!!!
And by God’s grace he was very much normal and nothing close to that lady’s predictions, except that I had spent the night before delivery worrying about the baby unnecessarily.
So this concludes the story of a normal human being trying to live in the moment in this era of “sudden” or over the night doctors/counselor/nutrition and dietitians/ educationalists cropping up here and there. Rest in peace all advices.
However we are, where ever we are Happiness lies in the way we carry our self and see our self..