Recently one of the most prolific film stars of Bollywood, Sridevi, died and the hysteria surrounding her tragic death was colossal. Everywhere you went all everyone wanted to talk about was the circumstances that she died under and the intense media coverage didn’t leave any aspect of her life unreported( Indian media came under fire for their ‘ghoulish’ reporting of the incident). What stood out for me, was the focus on her weight loss being one of the conspiracy theories being floated around as the reason for her death.
Why is it if you are fat that you are always under the scanner and everyone thinks that they have a free jail pass to comment on your appearance. Worse still, people offer unsolicited advice regarding weight loss. Every breakthrough in your life, be it personal or professional, is linked to your weight. It’s like all your achievements are invisible because you are fat. I use the term fat, because even if you are slightly overweight and because you don’t have washboard abs or look like a flattened railway platform you would be classified as fat. It’s literally a branding and am sure if the fat shamers had their way they would whip out their tongs heated in coal and go ahead and do the (dis)honors.
The intense speculation surrounding someone’s weight be it Kim Kardashian, Oprah Winfrey, Jennifer Lawrence or you and me has reached an unprecedented crescendo. The voices refuse to die down so it’s time we drown them out. The most effective way to mute them would be by loving yourself. This is the simplest way to cock a snook at the naysayers. If you find that difficult to do then try spending some time with yourself and sit in a meditative state and think only positive thoughts about yourself. Rule out any negative thoughts that you may have, even if they are true. Just the fact that you have difficulty in embracing yourself, as you are, is enough reason to start out on a completely positive platform. After you do this for a long time or till you feel comfortable and confident is when you can at least think of entertaining a negative thought about yourself. That’s because you are getting enough negativity from outside because you dare to be fat and not conform to some unrealistic standards of being thin and consequently happy.
The media always projects people who are thin as being happy but the fat ones are projected as being depressed and suicidal. In fact, research is divided on this and various studies have proven that being thin or anorexic may lead to myriad health problems and one of them may be depression leading to suicide. The deaths of several underweight models be it Ana Carolina Reston,the Brazilian model who starved herself to death in 2006 or Isabella Caro who famously posed naked in a series of billboards to highlight the dangers of anorexia and other eating disorders is well documented. So being thin, at any cost, may not be the path forward rather being healthy and happy is the way our goal should be set.
Once we set these goals no one can bombard us with information that destroys our sense of well-being. Being fat is not the reason to self-loathe, rather it is time to take up the cudgels and whack those who tell you otherwise. But loving oneself is the first and the most definitive step in a journey to a sense of well-being and success.
So go out there and embrace yourself and give yourself a big bear hug-kiss those fatty cells and then embark on a journey of your choice be it weight loss or simply accepting the way you are. But the choice should be yours and not the voices of the ‘unsolicited advice givers’.
Perhaps, if Sridevi had embraced herself…….Ah! Well, we would have got to see her light up our lives with her brilliant nuanced acting…a little longer.