Being fat isn’t the best thing to be and being a fat Indian can be worse.
We Indians love name-calling and disparagement humor (I’ll explain this in detail in a different post). Putting down people comes to us naturally. Educated or not, we take pleasure in making fun of others. And why should educated people behave any different? Education doesn’t guarantee common sense, does it?
I’ve been made fun of all my life for being fat. If you’re a fatphobe and you’re reading this, I’m 100% sure that you would be quick to brand me as “lazy” . You know what? I won’t waste my time telling you you’re wrong. You’re not the first fatphobe I’ve encountered in my life and you sure won’t be the last.
My first encounter with fatphobes haunts me to this day. I was a carefree kid until that fateful day at school when a group of kids laughed at me for being who I was. That was the day I was exposed to the ways of this unkind world we live in. Their behavior affected me so much that it left a deep scar that is uglier than any stretch mark can ever be.
If only someone told me back then that things would only get worse, I’d have stopped wasting time on finding ways to hide my body. So, I went on to try different things and one “solution” that seemed to help was wearing a loose sweater. Not only did it hide the fat, it also made me feel “safe” from the prying eyes. I’d wear sweater to school despite the scorching summer heat. I’d be soaked in sweat and feeling super uncomfortable, but I dared not remove my sweater. At times, the unbearable heat pushed me to the verge of tears. Guess what, I had a solution for that too – heading to the rest room and letting the heart bleed.
All this happened about 15 years back and the world hasn’t changed a lot since when it comes to body shaming. Although the world seems more progressive, our thought process is as regressive as ever. We have terribly failed at building a world that is kind and considerate.
And I don’t think this world will change just because people like me expect a little kindness and acceptance. What this wretched world has taught me so far is that it has nothing but ridicule to offer to people who are fat…irrespective of the reason. And why would a fatphobe stop and think of reasons anyway? Predators don’t think. All they know is to pounce and pounce they will.
I have had my share of losing and gaining weight and no matter how much weight I shed, what I cannot (perhaps never) shed is my fear. The fear of being laughed at, the fear of being called names. No matter how hard I try to let go, the taunts will haunt me for the rest of my life and their laughter will ring in my ears louder than my tinnitus ever can. I’ll have nightmares and sleep paralysis and several other issues, none of which are any fatphobe’s concern.
So, go on. Hurt me. Make fun of me. Call me fat. Laugh at me. Call me Moti (fatso in Hindi), or Dummi (fatso in Kannada), or by any other name that pleases you. Say all you want to and if that makes you feel better about yourself, GOOD FOR YOU!. If putting someone down is your idea of feeling better, go on. I’m right here.