I was watching the launch of Bigg Boss Tamil – Season 3 yesterday and there was this glamour actress Sherin who entered as a contestant. She is famous for her roles in Thulluvatho Ilamai, Whistle and few other movies.
In her introduction video, she has mentioned about why she moved out of cinema to pursue her love for music and DJ-ing. The reason she gave was not shocking to me because I have seen that even in normal household and that is kind off routine which pushed me to write this short blog. She said people judged her for her looks and she started getting roles based on her looks( she had gained weight and is on heavier side now than the way she looked in her earlier movies).
When she entered the house, one other contestant known for his role as ‘Sithappu’ in ‘Paruthiveeran’ movie, Mr.Saravanan asked her the same question which didn’t go well with her. He asked – “Guess you have gained weight now”.
When I was replaying this in my mind, I just understood that Indians especially I have seen Tamilians start their conversation casually about how we look. I can recollect how my relatives have greeted me or anyone in weddings or any get together. After they ask “How are you?” the next point would be “You seemed to have gained weight” or “You have lost lot of weight” or “You look pale” or “You have tanned a lot, are you roaming in the hot sun?” or “You look slim in this clothing” or “You are so fluffy like my cat and i love to hug you”. Have you been through this? After I moved to US, I have noticed that when people feel tough to find a topic to start conversation, they start discussing about weather. That is the ice breaker. Similarly desis seem to use looks or health as ice breaker because you know it has a long thread to continue the conversation.
Let me tell you what shall follow after the question or comment about the look:
” You seemed to have gained weight ” : This shall follow with instructions on various diet techniques that the uncles and aunties would have read in forward posts in Facebook or in a forward message in whatsapp. You will hear new recipes of taking cinnamon powder with honey, drinking a glass full of warm water, detox recipes, using organic products, why Yoga and not gym etc etc.
“You have lost lot of weight” : This shall follow with an interview of how you or anyone lost weight, what diet is good and if you tried any specific technique from any particular dietitian or if you did any plastic surgery or lipsuction (Whaaat ?). Yeah it could go to any extend because we desis are basically full of drama you see 🙂
“You look slim in this clothing” : It basically means that though you are fat, you still look slim just because of the attire. Sarcastic questions would be did you get a extra size to look thin and innocents would ask you the address of the tailor or shop where you purchased that attire 🙂
“You look pale” : Aaah you might have low hemoglobin or who knows it could be even cancer 😛 😛 😛 Do I sound like Google? LOL. Even the aunties would have same things to tell you when they say you look pale. They shall refer you to Ayurvedic doctors or medicines or at home medications. Don’t panic.
“You have tanned a lot, are you roaming in the hot sun?” : The point within is to know about the person whom you are roaming with. The uncles and aunties are curious to know if you have a girlfriend or a boyfriend and about your dating life. After all the interview they would give you tips to use sandal powder mask or cucmber for the dark circles or many other face masks to get back your skin color.
“You are so fluffy like my cat and i love to hug you” : You know what it is. They are calling you fatty in most polished and diplomatic way. They would tell you all diet plans and home remedies but at the end will also tell you that you look great being fluffy and you won’t look good if you lose weight. Are you confused what to do now? Just move away from such people and do what you like to do.
Aaah these are just few examples and to experience you should be there to handle all sorts of questions. Though this casual body shaming is done without the knowledge about it by most, few use this technique on people to shatter their confidence and bring them down. I am not sure if the people are aware that their casual body shaming shall make the victim undergo depression and mental trauma. I have known people who get nervous to attend family functions or get together because they don’t want to meet the people their asking same question again and again. I have known people who have stayed away from relatives just for the sake of avoiding this conversation.
We have so many things to discuss around us today which could help us be a better person or share our knowledge with each other and I think we should do that rather than discussing all the crap that is going to be mentally disturbing someone. The victims should also be bold to say that they don’t care how they look and try to be more confident because when you are bold and confident , no one will be able to break you into pieces.