Life is such an ironical tale that the subtle things we tend to ignore are the ones which weigh the most. A few days back, a similar incident transformed into a big issue which is troubling my heart for past two weeks. I was doing my work and there was someone talking of some girl. I was not a part of the conversation but the voices coming up weren’t able to escape my ears. I was not totally attentive and rather I was passively listening to the conversation. I heard that the girl was beautiful and had fairy like eyes. From the description, I was able to sum her up as a fair, independent and charismatic young lady. Then suddenly there was an obstruction, the tone of the voice changed and it was like a speedy vehicle was suddenly given a powerful brake. The word 'but' hit my ear and after that what I heard was no longer some ordinary discussion, not even a national issue but something of a vast magnitude. I heard that the girl was 'fat', I know you would say that now I am being over - dramatic but if you continue listening to me, you will realize that we had actually underestimated the harm it poses to humanity. The girl was rejected by him because she was overweight. The boy demanded photographs one after another in different poses and considered her not suitable for a wife because her contour was not confirming to the set standard.
I realized the illusion we all are living in. Just imagine a fine talented and educated woman was rejected just because of her body contour. Just imagine the impact of those words on the mind of that innocent girl. If we put ourselves in that place then we would realize that how painful a process it is when a person feels ashamed of their own body. Thousands of good virtues faded in front of the artificial light of the body.
Another day while I was strolling in the park, I heard a child sobbing all by himself. I asked him gently, “what happened to you child?” he replied back, “I left my football team because they all teased me that I was too thin and that I dont have the strength to even lift a football". The words coming from his immature mouth pierced my heart and suddenly the terms 'fat' and 'thin' started appearing more obnoxious than they ever sounded. I felt disgusted that the size of our body is deciding the course of our life! These subtle stories though simple in appearance are raising heavy questions. Why is a fat person assumed to be a poor dancer? Why is an over weight girl rejected for marriage? Why a malnourished and skinny model is admired? Why does the sweet post maternal fat keeps the young mothers awake? In fact, why does the word 'fat' or 'thin' exist at all? Does all these things appear insignificant? Am I truly being hyperbolic? I don't think so! These questions further are raising a more fundamental question, 'are we reducing weight to get 'healthy', or to 'please the society'?' Many of us didn't even know that the two things are different from each other.
Let us consider an example, suppose there is a girl who is overweight and there are two friends namely 'A' and 'B'. One day 'A' said “Tina you must lose weight otherwise you will become susceptible to other diseases”. Following her, 'B' said, ”Tina you must lose weight otherwise you will not be selected in the dance competition". Both the questions aim at encouraging Tina to lose weight but don't you think they are poles apart from each other when it comes to their approach. After experiencing these hurtful incidents, I realized that the boundary between what is healthy and what is socially acceptable is getting merged. What we are doing today is not for ourselves but because we wish to confirm to the set standards of society.
It pains me that how carelessly we dart such insensitive remarks with so much ease without realizing that these words which are insignificant to us may actually mean a world to others. The worst thing in life is to make someone feel less of themselves. Just imagine the pain in the eyes of that girl who is not accepted because she is not as society wants her to be. One day these stereotypes shall grow into poor self esteem, lack of confidence and other psychological disturbances which will affect our lives every single day.
The demarcation between 'healthy advice' and 'body shaming' is hazy and many innocent people are suffering from it . Health has nothing to do with fat or thin. For me, health is when you are happy with your life. People won't stop saying things and we cannot stop them as well. All I believe is in loving your body unconditionally because only you should be the critic of your life and your body is not out of proportion but a variation which is like a new shade. For others to love you, first dare to love yourself.