Indian Families And Fat Shaming, A Relationship That Is Meant To Be Broken!
If you were a fat kid, I’m sure you were adored by everyone in your family as they pulled your cheeks and called you “cute”,”chubby” and “golu-molu”. But, this dynamic quickly changes if you don’t manage to lose the extra kilos when you touch the double digits. Yes, fat shaming in Indian families begins as early as the teenage years.Source: Freepik
Nowadays, with increasing sensitisation towards body shaming, people around you will not explicitly point in your direction and say ‘fat’. But the way they subtly do it, is somehow worse since this doesn’t mean that people have suddenly stopped poking their noses in other people’s business, it means that even the nicest family members can be saying the worse things about you, behind your back.
“Maybe eat less, you are getting healthier”, “You should walk more, it’s good for your health “, “Have you tried drinking green tea?, “Should you wear that short dress?” and “Have you checked your thyroid?” These are some of the sentences most people have heard from their relatives. These relatives make every event a tornado of comments on your weight, which you have to brave through. I mean, what else can you even do?
These so-called “well-wishers” who want the best for you, by attacking your shortcomings are just concerned about you disrupting the conventional body image. These self-appointed custodians of morality and righteousness, label you as “lazy” or “irresponsible”. Being fat doesn’t always mean that you’re unhealthy, it could just be your body type or hormones. Nobody should be subjected to ridicule or criticism because of their body type.
It’s sad when people then, try to justify their comments by saying that they meant to help the person by giving advice. Why is it so hard to understand that even unsolicited advice on how to lose weight is a comment on how they don’t fit the widely accepted body type and makes things worse?
But, Why Is There Such An Obsession For This Conventional Body Type?
The root cause for this lies in the future aspect of getting married. This isn’t just for women although women are unfortunately the primary targets. They should fit the box of a particular body type which is considered desirable by men. Because if they are fat or skinny they will not be loved by men. This very Indian idea of being a particular body type to find a wedding match gives the authority to even your distant relatives, who you might meet only during some wedding, to comment on your body.Source: Freepik
This leads to people hating the word ‘fat’. They start to hate their own body and their self-confidence or self-esteem plummets. They actually start questioning, if they will ever be loved by someone. Fat shaming a person slowly poisons their mental health. This however still exists and is a reality for all Indian families. This situation can be so dire that gaining an extra kilo might not be as harmful to your physical health as to your mental health and self-love.Source: Freepik
People need to realise that words can do a lot of harm to a person. If a person will need your advice, they will ask you. Even with advice, consent matters. We should adopt a ‘live and let live’ attitude in life, to make it a better place for everyone. Stop trying to make everyone comply with what society wants in a conventional manner.
Screw fatphobia, let them live their life just the way they want and at the same time, live yours freely. Come on, we all deserve that!
Image Source: Freepik