Body shaming. The malignant cancer that pervades every stratum of our society, destroying lives, spoiling careers, breaking hearts, driving victims to suicide.
You’re fat, you’re bald, you’re short, you’re old, you’re dark, your butt is big, your chest is flat. The abuse is relentless. The humiliation endless.
Fat shaming is a particularly cruel form of body-shaming.
Who will marry you, the fat girl’s mother screams at her everyday. Get off your fat ass, yells that fat girl’s father. Give me twenty minutes on the treadmill, bellows her gym instructor.
Take my weight-loss challenge, says her “nutritionist”. Do my yoga program and get slim and sexy. Learn my secret breathing techniques, and watch the fat come pouring out of your nostrils.
Eat quinoa (Rs. 400 per kilo). And kale (Rs. 500 per kilo). Eat raw fruits and salads (and give yourself cholera or gastroenteritis). Eat red chillies (and crap your guts out). Guzzle green tea (and screw up your liver). No, no, green coffee is better. Actually, rotten apple vinegar is the best, since it will rot your teeth as well as your liver.
Run, swim, cycle, pump iron, sweat, grunt. No pain, no gain. Winners never quit, quitters never win. Lose weight, gain pride.
What a load of crap.
Our standards of beauty are defined for us by half-witted celebs and lifestyle gurus. These standards are physiologically unattainable, medically dangerous, and completely unnatural.
Don’t you get it? Body-shaming is an organised racket. Your irrational fear pays for your nutritionist’s Mercedes, your lifestyle guru’s condo, and your cosmetic surgeon’s holiday to Italy.
You are kept in a state of constant paranoia about your appearance. Do I look too old? Is my ass too fat? Does my head shine too much? Is everyone laughing at my paunch?
Eventually, you’ll end up as a genuine nutcase. Either you will get an eating disorder like anorexia nervosa or bulimia, or you will develop an anxiety disorder or clinical depression. I’m not kidding. I’ve seen it happen, right before my eyes.
Here is the question you should be asking yourself, every day- Why the eff should somebody else decide if I am beautiful or not?
The day you get the right answer to this question, your life will be yours again.
Let’s say, for argument’s sake, you’re a few kilos above “normal”, as defined by the above-mentioned half-witted lifestyle gurus and celebs.
This is what you need to do. First, visit your doctor and get a thorough check-up. If your vital signs and health parameters are normal, and you are at no risk for an ailment like diabetes or hypertension and assuming you do not have a hormonal imbalance, then do not bother about your weight.
Yes, it is not a bad idea to practise healthy eating and regular exercise, if you are not already doing so. But, do them only for your health, and not for your physical appearance. Otherwise, you will get into the clutches of expensive gyms, self-styled “nutritionists”, and similar societal parasites who thrive on human misery. And one fine morning, you will either be bankrupt or on a shrink’s couch.
Believe me, if you pursue perfection in your physical appearance, you will never attain it. Never.
So don’t bother. You are as beautiful as you say. Be nice to yourself. Enjoy a pizza. Or a sundae. Or a nice evening out (with a mask, of course). If no one wants to join you, so much the better. Solitude is preferable in these disease-ridden times anyway.
By the way, if you learn how to make healthy pizzas and sundaes at home, you needn’t waste money on those fattening and unhealthy home-delivered ones. The homemade ones taste so much better, cost much less and are much healthier.
If your friends do not accept you as you are, then screw them. Just get yourself new friends. That’s exactly what I did.
So. Are you beautiful? You decide.
When you realise the difference between the container and the content, you will have knowledge. Idries Shah, in his Book of the Book.
Cheers … Srini.