It is. If you are living in the Caribbean, it is.
In India, I’ve always had to lose a few kilos. More than a few perhaps. Nagging aunts and “concerned” relatives were always rolling eyes at me. Cabbage soups and no- rice policies were forcefully implemented. Ice cream in the fridge was off limit. Why? Cause fat girls cant land good guys. No one wants to see a fat bride. Ok, I might be overdoing the severity of their taunts but it was always there. Being fat was the elephant in the room. No one said anything directly, well not directly to me, but the common consensus was that fat was bad. Fat girl, more so.
But I did get married. and then started the “Did you hear about that girl, who couldn’t have kids cause she was fat?” comments. Examples flowed in from every quarter. I had to knock off a few kilos pronto or my future generations would be in trouble. But I could never come over from the dark side. Ever. I was always fat. I was fat baby, fat toddler, fat teen. There was a tiny window in between when the sambars and idlis in the hostel won their battle against my fat. But it was temporary. Also, I was ‘skinny’ only in comparison to myself. For all practical purposes, I was still fat. Every crowded alley, every little party, every office meeting, the years of conditioning reared it head. I would wade through life conscious of my body and its size. Until, the wonderful sunny Caribbean happened. Where large woman were desirable. Where the size of your butt did not matter. Where my search for tops, long enough to cover my butt ended. Here, people look at you. Not your size. Agreed their concept of beauty is different to mine but still I love and marvel at the fact that it is often the fattest girl who is most hit on at a party. Or the fattest girl has the hunkiest of men wanting a date with here. Here, all the magazines that insist on beauty being reed thin can take a hike. Angelina Jolies and Kareena Kapoors with their size zero can go suck an egg and what a world of good it would do them too, to have an egg or two in their tummy. Here, no one is too fat to wear any particular type of clothing. Here I get asked, “why do you wanna lose more weight” when I talk about losing some. Here people look at you.
I am not saying be fat for fat sake. If you can bend over and tie your own shoe laces and if your vitals are in tip top shape then should a few extra kilos matter so much? Obesity is an epidemic, being over weight is not. I can play a game of tennis. I can jog a few miles. I can run after my hyper little son. I can still remain fat. I am active, I am fat but there are other sides to my personality too.
When did fat become an insult. Aren’t women supposed to be curvy? Are we not supposed to have wide child bearing hips? Don’t all our old paintings and sculptures show voluptuous woman? So then where and when did the ‘Your so fat’ jokes creep stealthily into our psyche? When did the ‘covergirls’ become so appealing that anorexia became common place?
You should come visit the Caribbean sometime,to gain a whole new perspective, if you not a few pounds. Come here to learn to look at people. To look at people and not just see people. And while you are here, drop by my place, I make a mean jerk chicken.