Monday, March 8, 2010

Your Size, My Size?

If there is one pressure most women agree they feel through the majority of their lives, it is the need to be thin. What thin is, or what thin enough is, we do not know. Perhaps everyone I know has been through a phase where they were on a diet that involved shutting off food, or have pounded that treadmill for hours on end. I, myself, have been part of that large, large collective. In my defence, though, I was young, and consequently, naive.

Thinking back now, I have to say, this apprehension regarding our bodies is probably inherent. Society, that vile concoction, has told us time and again. We need to be thin, or atleast, 'average' sized. Once again, the ramifications of those terms escape me. To think this process of angst toward your own body is a by-product of something your parents and your immediate family instigates in you is chilling, to say the least.
As you grow up, and become more foolish by the day, all those contrived mediums of propagating hatred strive to make sure you hate yourself, your guts for biting into an apple. Our hatred fuels their profit. It is actually cold, clear logic. The more you despise yourself, the more some corporate gains out of you spending on pills, lotions, exercise machines, and even clothes that are maybe too small.
But, while I do enjoy corporate-bashing, I must not digress.
The only question I am raising here, to myself, is the one question which is of absolute significance. Whatever happened to individuality? Why can't a woman be the size she wants to be and be happy with it? For the life of me, I do not understand the notion that you have to be reed thin to fit into the socially acceptable definition of beautiful, attractive or plain pretty. As far as my confused existence is concerned, there really are no rules which say that a woman has to slog herself to death to gain acceptance from strangers. Why is it then that people who have some flesh on their scrawny bones have to murmur something about being big-boned so as to avoid being judged? Why is it then that a Christina Hendricks is seen as an anomaly in that utterly perplexing world of beauty? And why is it that every time you Google Gabourey Sidibe, 6,40,000 results regarding her weight show up?
Perhaps we are just raring to judge and to cast aspersions on people who are comfortable with how they look, what they weigh. The fairness, and the politics to that, we will never know. We are not supposed to.
Before I am criticised for trying to justify and encourage obesity, I would like to clarify my stance. No, I am not doing anything of the sort. Obesity is unhealthy and rampant. But so is anorexia. And bulimia. And BDD. It is sad to note how many, many young people are falling prey to mistaken perceptions about themselves. And yet, the onus is not on being fit, or even being healthy. Oh, that dreaded word! Laziness, or remaining inactive, is not my proposed alternative to this madness inducing regime people are adopting. Hardly.
But is it correct, or even fair, to burden someone with the realisation of constantly having to lose weight when they take a walk, or when they are swimming? Where is the fun in that? And where, pray, is the fun in homogeneity?


Umang Sabarwal said...

yeah i get it and i agree.. the skinny devils who coax people to shed weight are evil..those who suddumb to such pressures are worse.. but i have you to keep me from being an anorexic bitch...

Stuti said...

Umang: Hahah! You are going to execute me one day. Skinny people are not bitches/devils. They just are like that. No point haranguing yourself into being like that, simply because it is the norm to, is there?