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The heights of fa(t)shion!

By Udita Madan | Last Updated: Friday, August 21, 2015 - 15:31
 
Udita Madan
Unplugged
 

So, imagine this. You're sitting in your bedroom or your living room, reading a book, minding your own business, when suddenly, out of the blue, someone comes in and says, “Get up and move for once, you couch potato!” Sound familiar? To people like me, it might. By referring to myself, I mean healthy people.

No? Okay, curvy people.

Okay, fine. Plump people.

Alright, I get it, overweight, then.

Ugh, fine, fat, okay?

Fat people. There. I said it. So? What's the big deal? It's not like we live in Harry Potter world and saying “fat” is taboo, just like Voldemort (gasp!). To those who are not familiar with this scenario, well, congratulations to you, you lucky duckies! And to those few who are all too well-versed with these kind of situations, welcome to the club!

How do people even define the term 'fat'? Think about it. There are actually various versions of fat and all of them mixed up! If an acquaintance has to describe you or for that matter, if your own family members have to expound you to someone, they'll probably say, “Oh, he's/she's healthy” or “He/she is on the healthier side” or worse, “He's/she's slightly plump”. Being nice, are we? Just say they're fat, already! Why beat around the bush? And since when did the word “fat” become derogatory or abusive? It isn't.

Healthy, curvy, chubby, plump, overweight and fat have different definitions. Plain and simply put, they are different from each other. Oh wait! There's another version which goes something like, “the heavier side”. How sweet! Oh, don't say that. She'll just put on more weight if you call her 'sweet', so let's just keep the level at saccharine sweet, shall we? At least that way it's sugar-free.

So, we like eating, prefer the weekly dining out sessions with family and/or friends (yes, please!), thank our lucky stars if they occur more than once in a week (thank God for small mercies!), wait in anticipation for the dessert after every meal (one blueberry cheesecake, a double chocolate fudge mousse cake with extra chocolate sauce and gajar ka halwa please!), look for new things to eat or cook on cookery shows, recipe books, the internet, et al, (Sanjeev Kapoor made a new Mexican dish the other day!), have the photograph of your favourite dish or a scrumptious looking dessert as a wallpaper on your phone (just kidding!) and we could probably run a thousand miles on the mere mention of “health food” or “diet food” or “diet”.

By now, most of you who feel this way, would have, in all likelihood, started dreaming about that mouth-watering dish or dessert, but my point is not to make you realize this, because you already know that, don't you? My point in question is that do people really have to make a big deal out of the fact that we live to eat and not the other way around? I fail to comprehend the so-called big issue here.

You could take a thin sliver of cake on your plate and a hundred disapproving “tsk tsk” sounds will echo right at you from all directions. For some, I'm sure the same sounds are heard even if they carry a healthy sliced apple on their plates. I feel you, I really do. Who doesn't like to eat? Everyone does. We just like it a little bit more, that's it!

By saying this, I'm not negating the value of physical activity. I wholly agree that exercising is most essential for not just us, but for non-foodies as well. I, for one, detest exercising (my laziness gets the best of me), but still try to fit some physical activity somewhere in my daily schedule to avoid health-related problems. But giving sermons to people about their weight is just plain wrong. If listening to hour-long sermons had the power to make people thin, then I'm all set to endure 24-hour sessions, bring it on! It doesn't do anything except make it difficult for the person to accept oneself, lower the person's self-confidence and self-esteem and more than anything else, it diminishes their self-love.

Beauty is not about being fat or thin, having no marks, having the perfect hour-glass figure, thigh gaps, plump lips, high cheekbones, washboard abs or being a specific skin colour. It's about how you feel on the inside. I have struggled with weight loss, done everything from healthy dieting to crash dieting to starving myself, none of which helped much because the moment I bit into something that contained even the smallest amount of carbs, my weight shot up faster than you can say “fat”. But I'm still at a weight that society wouldn't approve of. Just like most of the girls in the world, I wanted to have "that 'perfect' bikini body". It only dawned upon me later that there is no "perfect bikini body". You are what you are. Your body is your temple. Learn to worship it. Learn to appreciate it. Your life is non-negotiable.

And for those who feel that people calling you “healthy” is nice, well knock knock! Reality check!They're still calling you fat. It would be far easier if people simply said “fat” and got it over with. In fact, I like it! I accept my flab and I'm proud of it. My flab is a part of me and it's who I am.

The only reason I'm sharing this is because I know a lot of people are struggling with weight just like you and me. I just want to reach out and tell them not to agonize over every single gram and every bulge. And kindly, cull society's berserk notions of "beauty" because just like Bruno Mars says, “You're amazing just the way you are!” You don't need the society to define your beauty. Your weight, just like your age, is just a number that can never measure up to what you are from within. You'll still be the same person whether you lose or gain weight. Be yourself, carry yourself with confidence and you can conquer the world. After all, like they say, It's your life. Make it large! Or XL. Or XXL. Whatever suits you, really!   

First Published: Friday, August 21, 2015 - 12:38

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