Anything above zero is plus – NSFW

A few days ago I read this piece where a German magazine took a stand and said it will not use unhealthily thin models any more. I was thrilled beyond words. This meant I no longer needed to suck in my stomach when talking to people and could go out in public without concealing my pimples (fast fading though!) with calamine. Glamour magazine carried this image of Lizzie Miller and got hundreds of real women writing in and thanking them.

It’s a rather pathetic state of affairs when we’re thankful to magazines for portraying us for what we really are. For showing us real women. Isn’t that the claim they make all the time? Don’t they keep interviewing women from among you? So why then do they not use pictures from among us?  Why do we expect to see airbrushed women who look like lollipops?

In fact I was recently shocked to realise that Katrina Kaif and I wear the same size in a certain brand (no, I can’t tell you how I found that out!). Heck, she looks about half my size yet looks doubly confident of herself. But then I realised my foolishness – I work in media and I should have remembered all the tricks that go into making them look the way they do. Jamie Lee Curtis once did the world a favour by doing a piece for More magazine, sans makeup, lights and airbrushing.

And oh look at the picture again  – you can see stretch marks!!  Remember the hullabaloo on this post? The discussion on celebrities and stretch marks? I am so thrilled to see her put her self on display, marks and all – along with her brilliant bone structure, pretty face and lovely skin.

What I found strange was the idea of calling her ‘plus’ size. Really? PLUS size? Who decides what the normal size is before we go up to the level of ‘plus’ size? Even all the skinny young girls you see around you these days are not naturally skinny. Most of them are dieting or exercising frantically to stay that size. So really, this woman below should be the normal size if anything. Certainly not a plus!

What really got my goat though, was this blot on womankind who says that this stand won’t last because women need to see ‘clothes on beautiful, aesthetically pleasing persons’. I see.  So anyone who doesn’t look like they’ve been brought in on the last ship from a starving country is not aesthetically pleasing? It seems more like resentment, coming from someone who owns  a modelling agency who is scared that she’ll be left with a bunch of starved rats with straggly hair and protruding ribs on her hands and a failed business!

Contrast that with this – a contest for Miss Plastic. Yes, Hungary held a contest only open to women who have had plastic surgery. I’m sorry, in that case, shouldn’t the award go to the surgeon and not the women? I fail to see the purpose of such a contest. Why not just sell the crown to the highest bidder? You know, because they can afford the fillers, the botox , the liposuction, the tummy tucks, the breast implants, the butt contouring, the rhinoplasty, the hair transplant… I could go on.

I put aside my annoyance and checked out the pictures. Funnily, the only thing I felt, was pity for the women who had to deal with the fact that the only way they could be considered beautiful was after getting some work done. That and the fear that if we all got Pamela Anderson’s boobs and Angelina Jolie’s lips, what point would there be in holding a competition for hordes of identical looking women?

That said, I don’t think we’re going to see real models in India anytime soon. We’re way down on that curve and have a long way to go.

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111 thoughts on “Anything above zero is plus – NSFW

  1. The size zero phenomenon and all the press it gets is simply a horrible reflection on our society and the message we send out. When Kareeen got her size zero avataar everybody and their second cousin wanted to fit into a size zero outfit, what else would explain her personal trainer writing a bestseller? No one seems to care how unhealthy it is to go against your body type in pursuit of what some people might think is the very definition of beauty!

  2. I agree with your last sentence, in fact we’re worsening. Have you seen Kajol in that new Olay ad? My eyeballs pop out in disbelief everytime it comes on TV. It’s as if they used an entire can of whitewash on her. Her duskiness, trademark monobow all gone! 😦

    But what shocked me more than that ad was the fact that Kajol agreed to do it. A star of her stature. Imagine the insecurity

    • oh, i don’t think it’s insecurity. in her case it’s more abt the money, and how much she’s getting to endorse the product. everyone has a price and all that jazz.

    • Really? let me kill myself now. particularly shocking because she made it in the industry without doing all this. its probably a last ditch effort at a comeback, but I guess she lost the respect I had for her for exactly those reasons. for making it on her own terms and in her own skin.

      • i doubt kajol should be blamed – its more likely the company – it feels like oil of olay is telling us that dark is bad and fair is good. no way will i buy their cream.

        • its not allocation of blame at all. but Kajol has herself in endless interviews proclaimed that she will not change her skin colour or thread her eyebrows because she is proud of the way she looks. i’d expect very little else from a Shilpa Shetty who has more silicon in her system than a… never mind. But with Kajol – this was a woman who went out and got what she wanted without compromising and gave hope to other women who were heavier built, darker or even hairy. after having her on their team for years, its a bit of a let down. because she stood for something and that is lost

          as for the company – well, i think most of us here know that a company will only sell products if it knows it has a market. close the market for fairness products, refuse to buy them, and we’re all set!

  3. On a related note, i am not sure where to draw the line beyond which we should start to frown. Hair-styling? Threading? Teeth cleaning? Makeup? Waxing? Breast enhancements? Nose jobs? Liposuction? Lip plumping?

    I mean, all of the above enhance/curtail some natural growths/processes… and hardly any of the above serves a higher purpose than making us seem more “beautiful”.

    Maybe teeth cleaning is exempt – it’s healthy as well, i guess. And underarm waxing prevents uncomfortable sweating. But the rest?

    Where is that line, and SHOULD we even try and paint that line against which others are measured? Whose truth is true? if i thread my brows and u enhance your breasts, how can i argue i am better than you? (“you” here used only for example purpose!)

    i have struggled at this question and failed. would be good to know your views..

    • i guess I’d draw my line at surgery unless it is for discomfort. so if you have a deviated septum and cant breathe, get it corrected by all means. if you have mammoth breasts that ensure you cant walk without them whacking you in the face, or weighing your shoulders down, i see your problem.

      on a personal note, i dont wax, thread or colour my hair. my 35 year old husband is greyer than both my parents and i still think he’s the most beautiful thing i ever laid eyes on. *shrug*

      i think the issue here is, i’m not drawing the line for others. i’m just drawing the line at standards being constantly raised. and the pressure to look good. its a vicious cycle na? the women who colour their greys or get boob jobs are just increasing the pressure. studies show that women lose confidence within some 3 minutes of looking at women’s magazines and the skinny women. do i want my daughter to go through that? i think not. particularly because in this case, the winner (!) is the one who can afford the best. to say nothing of all the toxins being injected into your body. and do we all want to look like clones? with plump lips, straight noses and straight hair, all of us the same shade of cream, with 36C chests?

      • this is a good question,where do we draw the line? maybe you can say boob-jobs are a no-no. but what abt people who go in for hair extensions cos they don’t have hair? what if the girl or guy in question wants a good head of hair and just doesn’t have one? if that’s ok, then how is having a boob-job not okay? maybe the girls just want bigger boobs to feel more confident. they’re ok with the risks involved maybe. not that i would ever go under the knife, but what if the ones who do ask this?

        • i’m getting there sonia. i have PCOS and am balding really fast. *shrug* thats life. I deal with it without hair extensions or transplants. I have the funniest nose on earth – it would benefit by a nose job. I’m not saying its not okay for them to do it – hey, if you think you’re less of a person because you have small boobs, i have nothing to say to you… really. but what I am saying I hate how its changing the way we look, the way we feel about ourselves and the way our kids are going to look at beauty.

          • I have hair loss too…and when I’m conscious or worried about it, people notice it. When I hold my head up high and forget about it, others also don’t even notice it. I like the way I look and it’s only hair, not a kidney or a heart. I hate all these ads abt clinics promising miracle cures for hair loss esp when people start off with their unsolicited “Why dont you go to this homepathic chain and that hair loss specialist” advice. Esp in beauty parlours. Ugh.

            • the similarities between our lives is spooky 🙂 and thats just my point. its only looks. its not like you’re dying of something that you need to undergo surgery

      • Hmm… yeah i guess i agree.

        esp the streaked, straight hair part. everyday in the office elevator i come across replicas – poker straight hair, cut in layers, highlighted in blond/burgundy.

        it leaves me dying to see plaits! there’s this kid in my office who sports a french plait, i adore her just for that!

        men are simpler and nicer. god save us from metrosexuals though.

        • Wow so true. Everyone I see at work has straight hair with highlights and are similarly made up….according to what the colors of the season are! Where is the individuality?

        • i have a friend who you might have met at that party you attended at my place. she’s my age – 31 and has a full head of grey. she’s single and refuses to colour it for the marriage market. you have no idea how awesome i think she is. recently someone thought she was ten years older than she is and she handled it with such aplomb. as for the kids – i blame them for my hair falling out!

      • hey

        u said u never wax..
        then how do u look so sexy in spaghetti tops and swimsuits …
        are u naturally hairless or do u have any secret tips..
        ( i didnt want to deviate from the topic ..but wanted to know if there r other altrenatves to waxing)

        • LOL! how do you know I look sexy in spaghetti straps?! you havent seen me :p

          jokes aside. i rarely wear them outside. and in the house I am not hairy enough to gross people out. in the swimming pool i am convinced that people are more concerned with their laps than my legs. and my arms havent seen any hair removal in centuries.

  4. i dunno…. somehow i think things are not as bad in india as they are in other countries. Not everyone is going in for botox or lipo just yet. they don’t have their plastic surgeons on speed dial do they?

    I’m not saying that people in the film or fashion industry in india are not getting boob jobs and botox. but that’s not filtered down to the Mango People yet, unlike in the US and places where a lot of regular people go in for plastic surgery.

    or do you think it’s cos it’s not affordable to them?

  5. nice post

    i liked jamie lee curtis and after reading this love her… btw did u catch the Anything but love serial of hers?

    and have to agree kajol looks yuccky pale in the olay ad

  6. Loved the post. I read your earlier post and the link and really, if people think Malaika is a plus size, I cant even begin to think which category I fit in!and um, I don’t know if anyone has seen some ‘Super Vasmol’ ad with Kajol in it. Seeing Kajol endorsing this product leaves me flabbergasted every single time, so I’m not too clear about whether it is a hair dye/colour/anti-grey oil(?)

  7. When M and I started going around, i was a 60 kgs to my 5′ 7″ frame. 4 kgs below the ‘ideal’ (i hate to use the word, but i think it is the scientifically corresponding weight to height) weight for my height.
    3 yrs later, my work load, stress (of the relationship i was in) and an unnamed condition (i am yet to figure it out – major water retention and swelling of joints and PCOD) led me to pile on 20 kgs.
    Among the more important reasons we broke up, was my weight. In his words, I was not the slim and sexy girl he fell in love with anymore. And his actions spoke far louder than his words.
    I am the most self confident person i know, and yet, there have been days when i struggle with what those comments have done to my sense of self esteem.

    Thank you for this post.

    • well i happen to think he’s an ass ( apologies for the french!) for losing out on a lovely girl like you. make sure you tell him i said so. and i think this is going to be my response to Sonia. See, our standards of beauty are changing and those who dont fit them are being dropped. thats so darn unfair. you can buy yourself a new nose and make it difiicult for another person to be accepted the way they are.

      • hey, i’m with you! i’m not for plastic surgery or lipo or botox, faaar from it. but it’s not so black and white as it seems is all i’m saying. i thread, wax, wear coloured lenes on occasion etc etc. that doesn’t put me in the same category as people who get botox done, but they’ll argue that if i can wax, they can do botox na!

          • Does laser hair removal fall into the surgery category? I would like to think I came to terms with my looks a long time back. Like A, my first boyfriend of four years dumped me (It’s only my suspicion and I might be wrong)bcos I went from sexy college heart throb in the first year to a fat girl struggling with PCOS in the final year. I’ve been lucky in love twice after that :). A more irritating side effect of this PCOS is the chin full of hair I’m sporting. I don’t bleach it bcos I’m lazy and it makes my skin itchy. Threading makes the problem worse and roughens the skin. To add to my woes, I’ve become almost 4 shades lighter ever since I moved to my current place! (looking back the darker complexion suited me better)Now the thick black hairs look even more pronounced :(. To top it, I’ve developed this irritating habit of unconciously plucking the hairs (I can’t believe I confessed to that). So finally I’ve decided to give the laser hair removal a shot. Does that make me vain? Not sure I want to hear the answer to that!

            • not at all babe. I think you answered your own question na? you have PCOS – ergo – something went wrong. like me. I am going bald! I’d say in this case its a medical issue you totally must address. All the best with it.

    • I am sorry for not minding my own business… I don’t know anything about your relationship or this ex-boyfriend of yours, but that or my non-existent manners don’t stop me from saying what a sore loser this douche bag ex of yours is! If i were you I would throw a party to celebrate the departure of this piece of scum from my much much valuable life! Dude, not just those 20 kgs, but even an additional 80 kgs is worth it, if it has in anyway showed the way out to that goof-ass prick! BTW, I wonder what a body he must have had to be doing such nonsensical trash-talk with you!

      Anyway, good riddance to bad rubbish! Something I learnt when I was 5, it still comes so handy to me even now!

      • I second her completely…its better to have such a shallow person out of your life only.His loss enitrely.You’l do gerat on your own, and if and when someone does come along who appreciates you for what you are, thern go for it 😉

  8. The thing that gets me the most in India is the fascination with fairness. At my wedding, someone actually commented to my mil(and my spouse told me later) choti wala bahen zyada gori/achi/sundar hai.

    I have ranted about this before to you I think, so I am going to cut it short!

    Coming back to size, I have been 245 lbs(110kgs) and its not a pretty sight. I hated myself, I hated the thighs rubbing together, the breathlessness just walking up a flight of stairs. I then started my battle with the weightloss(sensible, walking/diet) and it took me about 2.5-3 yrs to lose 34kg.

    I wonder sometimes, by my refusing the 2nd helping of chocolate cheesecake or looking at the mirror and pinching my tummy, what and how does it affect my girls. Am I causing them to have weight issues.
    Its tough the images that hound the girls today, the size 0, the stars battling bulimia and anorexia.sigh..

    • I think you’re giving your girls an awesome lesson. in being healthy and fit, the right way. through sensible eating and exercise. and i’ve been following your weight loss and admire it. i know i cant turn down that second serving of cake. on the other hand, stop pinching your tummy in front of them. let them only see the exercise and healthy eating and i think you’d be on to a good thing!

      • I agree with the post MM, but for S’s question – I’m not sure…are our girls really picking up on the eat right/be fit message or only on the “I need to lose weight” message? K (age 7) horrified me by claiming she looked fat in her winter coat, and asking if she could cut out rice – I barely eat rice, it works well for my pre-diabetic dietary needs, but she seems to have picked up only on weight-loss message – now what?

        M

        • i dont think you can take the entire blame for that, M. maybe you have your pre-diabetic needs, but she’s also exposed to classmates, media and a society that is obsessed with weight. which is why I wrote this post. we need to change our standards as a society, because simply reinforcing healthy images at home isnt enough.

  9. So many young girls are influenced by crap on television and thinking being reed thin is the only way to be! When will we stop putting girls’ lives in danger? There are whole websites encouraging girls to puke their guts out so they stay thin…….it is a shame.

  10. Ralph Lauren recently made a fool of themselves by putting out an ad where a model’s head was bigger than her pelvis.

    When blogger caught it and blogged, they issued a notice to have it taken down – and he refused – challenging them to do their worst.

    I think it’s really sad that they have to make models look so thin. Whenever I see an old classical painting, I’m struck by how they were nicely plump. I don’t think the Mona Lisa is a great painting, but she clearly wasn’t considered ugly when Da Vinci chose her as a model – showing us that this obsession with extreme thinness is a modern phenomenon.

    • its good to have a man speak up on this. most women are starving themselves to look hot for men. its funny you should bring up Mona Lisa. I think the problem is this – women want Mona Lisa’s breasts with Kate Moss’ waist. Its not possible. its laughable. which is why they starve themselves and get plastic surgery. of course this obsession with doing unnatural things isnt new. be it chinese footbinding or corsets, women have foolishly tried everything.

      and today when we have the freedom to say – hey, take me the way i am, – we also, sadly, have the money to change ourselves into what we were not.

  11. Don’t have a TV, so don’t see all the crappy fairness ads. But I felt that sinking feeling when I read about the Kajol ad. My bubble burst along with yours 😦

    You know, most women don’t ‘beautify’ or slim themselves down themselves coz they can’t afford or don’t have the time, but what I HATE are all the complexes they’re carrying around abt their weight, skin colour, hair and looks. There’s like at least 4 suitcases of self-criticism dropping their shoulders down. It’s sick and it’s sad. Indian women, heck all women are so so beautiful, why are we made to feel this way?

  12. People are NEVER happy about SIZE. I was this very skinny, almost under weight person till few years back. I didn’t do anything to be like that, I ate well and was physically very active, but I didn’t gain weight. People around were always complaining that I’m too thin. Now I’m normal weight,looks plumpier, now people give me tips about how to lose weight. NO, there is definitely no standard to all this.

    You should look at your body as any other equipment, basic purpose is its functionality, as long as all the organs are working fine, you should leave it alone.

  13. Oh there was a cover of Demi Moore on W magazine, I think, and a large chunk of her hip was missing…
    Mags are creating an impossible standards for beauty but unfortunately we are consuming them…

    Thanks for writing this post.

  14. MM – I had read about the Lizzie Miller when it first came out and also watched her on T.V do a couple of interviews. What baffled me was the same thing that baffled you – the word plus size being used in conjunction with her name. In what world is she a plus size? And don’t even get me started on the “fairness” adds in India!

    I am not sure if you saw this, but following video from Dove addresses how airbrushing and other tricks can change people’s looks…

  15. You know, on one Oprah show, there was this (previously gorgeous looking) woman who had gotten something like 20 surgeries and wasn’t done yet. She seemed to have literally breathed life into Barbie. You couldn’t but pity her for putting herself through all that to look like PamAnJen.

  16. It does bother me the kind of standards ads and industries set on looks. You are right. it would be a disaster if everyone looked the same! Not good for women’s confidence.

    My yardstick is if one is healthy one is beautiful.

    But what also bothers me is a persistent case of acne plaguing me for years (You know). I have been a lazy bum and haven’t gotten myself properly treated, and I have been thinking that I would like to do that. When that happens I’d also like to get treated for scars, which are sometimes more prominent than the acne itself. If the dermatologist gives me creams to get rid of the scars, I will try them. (I am often a difficult patient as i ask things like what they are prescribing doesn’t have steroids etc). If the scars still remain, I don’t know what i would do. Ideally i would not like to go for anything invasive as that will always have side effects, sometimes worse than the original problem. So personally, I am having to negotiate different standards to see what is acceptable for me and what is not.

    • see, heres the thing. acne is always a sign of something wrong. its not a cosmetic issue. it means your skin and your internal organs are not doing their job properly and they need medical intervention. so i disagree with you here. getting the acne looked into, is something you owe your body to ensure that it stays healthy. i have always had clear skin – you know that!) and when i got this sudden batch of pimples i got it checked up and found i had PCOS. so i’d not lump it in the same category as surgery.

      you know the OA has such terrible pit marks, but I think he just carries it off with such aplomb, that inspite of them and his grey hair (which he had back in the good old days when we were all freshers!) he looks good. he’s had grey since his early twenties and he’s never coloured it and he runs the risk of being thought of as old. but he stays fit and healthy and I respect that a lot.

  17. Alas. Even I am paranoid about my weight. The sad part is that my spouse thinks that I look good when I put on weight. But even that can’t bring me out of the paranoia. I was overweight during my school days and was always teased to death by everybody. So, I guess that has stuck. You know how “moti” becomes your nickname and you are the butt of all the jokes. The only thing I do right is lose weight only through treadmill/ exercise. I never starve myself (I guess you cannot do that when you have a foodie husband 🙂 )

    • 🙂 but thats awesome. why would you want to starve? life is about eating and living healthy. not about looking thin. isnt it funny how priorities in life have changed? even if you are perfectly fit and healthy, you want to be as thin as someone else who might be really sickly and unhealthy.

  18. I have friends who just diet and reduce weight big time. Just eat proper food at proper times and bingo. I myself have been asked a question on why I had not started working out in spite of putting on quite a bit of weight. To me working out etc etc is more of a “MY TIME” as I like to put it. That one hour is when I go completely blank and I just enjoy whatever I am doing. In the process if it helps me reduce my weight fine if not ok too. Thats the way I believe this entire weight loss/size zero syndrome needs to be considered to. There is no point being paranoid or obsessing over weight. As absurd as it might sound even if one is overweight I think he should be happy and proud of what he is instead of obsessing over size zero and stuff.

    • actually if one is overweight, it needs to be checked up incase its a thyroid issue. to say nothing of other health problems like BP, diabetes, cholesterol etc. i think the idea should be to be fit and to make the most of what you have – not to make entirely new body parts!

      • The last line I guess came out wrong. One should be proud of what he/she has and is instead of obsessing over size zero and new body parts!

  19. What about some of us men/women, who work for these corporations and lend their expertise to selling these products but don’t believe in them?

    It isn’t very easy to make sure every single thing we do is in line with what we preach/believe. Remember when Phoebe stopped Rachel from using her free voucher at a corporate massage place, when Phoebe herself was working there?

    Yes, I still can’t get myself to stop adoring Kajol. 😀

  20. you know for all this to change needs such massive change in social conditioning. its not just media, though these days with the reach it has, it does have maximum impact.

    i mean we are so obsessed with this whole fairness business! its scary! i had a cousin (a guy) tell me i should give Cub honey to make him fairer since it works on these borderline “could be fair” people! and i was aghast!

    its one thing for people of our parents generation to say something like that and quite another for folks our age with similar exposure saying that!

    i have always been a careless about how i look person. no, not shoddy, but not bothered enough to learn make up and try and look hot!

    there are times when i wish i could, but those times mostly fly by pretty quickly and thank god for that!

    yet at the same time, i have seen better looking people getting away with lot of stuff. i remember Kiran mentioning in a post about how fat people dont get any bhaav even from sales people. and when things like that DO happen, you wonder if its wrong for people to want to be picture perfect?! why do we have to give in to this pressure to just get some respect? 😦

    • there are reports that say that better looking people get better career opportunities. banks get hotter women for their wealth management segment, hospitals get better looking women for their receptions, the list is endless… and no, this doesnt mean they’re not suited for the job – but yes, if two people with similar qualifications applied, or even with a slight difference, the better looking one will get it.

      • thats what I mean MM. then a smart person who isnt as attractive and might / might not be better qualified is at loss. the pressure to fit in is just so high!

        my colleague (a guy) isnt able to make a break into TV sales because they all want hot chicks. and if that works, then it makes business sense innit? fairness be damned! gah!

          • At a recent party, I said, I am dark/brown skinned and am glad my daughter is fair skinned unlike my father and I. I did not mean the way it came out and some people around took major offence to it. Sometimes with best intentions, it comes out the wrong way. I regretted why I said the way did, but may be I am just equally/shamefully biased/blind.

  21. i checked the link on plastic beauty contest – with all that aid of surgery n botox n what not, more than half of them dont even look beautiful!!it must be some trajedy tht u spend loads of moolah endure unbearable pain n still no passerby looks at u n go wow!!

    even i do hate tht straightened hair which is so common these days! most of the indian faces dont even go with that kind of stick like hair. it looks totally plastic!

    am fine with coloring acne treatment pedicure manicure threading etc. in my opinion a certain amount of fine tuning is required esp if you are in a corporate set up – it’s kind of gross up if u spot a moustache on a woman sitting on a high level meeting. just like u would invest in a good suit, u need to keep a minimum standard in upkeeping the looks – whether it’s weight or ur make up or ur clothes.

    But yes your confidence always need to come from within n it’s inherently so. otherwise all the beautiful people will be the most self confident ones we see around but for many, more beautiful u r, u go more insecure!

  22. One more ad gets my bile rising: A mom says that she lost xyz (big number) kilos in abc (small number) weeks by just eating Kellogs cornflakes because [and this is the best part]… her 6-YEAR OLD daughter wanted her to look good! See the not-so-subtle losing weight –> looking good causation? Barf!

    @Sonia (reply to #3) I’m sure Kajol was paid an obscene amount to do the ad, but one really has to be insecure to fall for money & endorse the EXACT opposite of what gained her her staggering fan-following & star status. I, for one, am a huge fan of hers mostly because she’s so different from other assembly-line Katrina Kaifs & watching that ad is like someone punching me in the tummy

  23. OMG if she is considered plus size…what about me! And that ad with Kajol is so strange. She looks a different person altogether. I prefer her dusky looks to the whitewash she is made out to be.

    I have a friend who had beautiful curls and I envied her hair because she looked unique and gorgeous! I was shocked to see her straight hair when I saw her recent pics. It seems she has to shell out 600 dollars every 6 mths to maintain the straight look….all because straight hair is the new fashion and everbody in her office was doing it! She told me that she doesnt love it totally but will keep staightening it for atleast sometime. I dont have anything against cosmetic changes but I dont understand why keep doing something if you dont like the result just for peer pressure

  24. I don’t know about real models but I firmly believe in displaying the real Sue (in technicolour, when I’ve got my turquoise tights on).

    In other words, it’s easier to walk around grumbling about my bigger body and eating what I want than sucking in my tummy and painting my face and spending all my time in public places wondering what people are thinking of my messy hair. Hey, I still get lots of compliments, so the view can’t be all that bad.

  25. A very nice post, and a much needed one indeed!! Even I am SICK of having people force me into believing that I don’t have a good body… sometimes they even succeed in fooling me into thinking that I have a HORRIBLE body! ‘You would look so pretty if you would work on your weight a little bit!’ WTF! And THAT, they say was a compliment! And guy friends, OMG don’t even get me started on guy friends! Big, small, fat, thin, short, tall, round, square, triangular… it doesn’t fuckin matter in what shape or size THEY come in, but they ALL think it’s so okay or even cool to poke fun at the imperfections in my body, even specific body parts, much to my exasperation!

    Do you people think I am exaggerating? No. I am not. I do get these and much much more nasty comments on my weight all the time! You know why? Because I am too THIN! I really don’t mean to compare, but I sure am subjected to much more on the face ridicule (and even insult many times) than most over-weight women! Yes! People definitely are much more conscious in passing comments on over-weight women, because it’s almost considered ‘politically incorrect’ to do so… yes, many of them do atleast have the sensitivity to think that it would be rude to even speak about the ‘heaviness’ in over-weight women, leave alone embarrassing them with rude, nasty, loud comments on how bad their bodies are. But when it comes to skinny women… OMG, where should we even start! Skinny women don’t even deserve any bit of sensitivity or consideration, right! Have you EVER heard anybody saying to a person they have just been introduced to, that they are too fat? But, people seem to think that it’s absolutely appropriate to put me in the most awkward yet my most experienced position, even in a formal social gathering, when the topic of discussion just swiftly yet easily transcends from international affairs into the subject of my body being imperfect. You know what, these people, many times women, are in fact even proud to do this to another woman like me, because they think that they are actually doing the wonderful noble deed of fighting the pressure subjected to over-weight women! At the cost of doing the same to the under-weight women? Hello, we are human too! And skinny women are also victims of the same stereotype of the commercialized ‘perfect-body’ image!

    I have so much more to say… probably will continue in another comment 🙂

  26. Sorry, to be flooding your comments section with such lengthy rants… but the topic… it just gets me started!

    Anyway, back to the topic…
    I absolutely, totally, honestly acknowledge the the pressure on ‘over-weight'(actually MOST of the times they are not even over-weight, but are just made to think that they are… but nevertheless I use this term simply because of the lack of alternative)! But frankly, I don’t know what this whole size 0 hue n cry is about! That’s just among the so called celebs n wannabe celebs, I suppose. Because personally I have not come across ANY ‘normal’ woman who wants (leave alone tries to) to be soooo skinny (I am size zero, and remember? they hate my size)! And I don’t even see them anywhere… not on the streets, in public transports, in work place, in parties, not even in the bars! Normal real women WANT to and try to have flat tummies with sexy curves… thats not size Zero. The Size Zero ‘craze’ is not only a non-issue but also non-existent among women in the real-world! Infact, the few unfortunate size Zero women are insulted and made fun of!

    This is actually the problem I see when people address the weight/body issue! Especially the media! Media is so totally black and white on this issue. And totally bi-polar (literally psychotic)! When media is not busy making women’s lives miserable by luring the public with the so called ‘purrrrfect bodies’ and pressurizing most women to lose weight, the same media is trying to probably wash off it’s sins by addressing weight/body image issues (in the most erroneous way IMO) trying to make ‘over-weight’ women (who were the originally victimized by the media, remember) feel better by saying that skinny women look oh so ugly and so ‘un-sexy'(whateva they call it) for sure!

    MM, I so loved your post and found it most agreeable, except that some of the adjectives you used for skinny women, were the same used to insult me on many occasions! “look like they’ve been brought in on the last ship from a starving country”; “starvy rats”; “with protruding ribs”… are just some among many other insults so casually and socially thrown at me, like it’s so ok to do so… like “how anorexic I look”; “the scarecrow look is so out”; “how I fail to appeal to men because I lack junk”; etc, etc.

    Now, I completely understand that these were the adjuctives used by you in a totally different context; brands commercially selling the size Zero look as a normal one by literally starving the models. But you see, the media in general fails to make this distinction… and people often think its ok to dis thin women who are themselves victims of the ‘perfect body image crisis’!

    After the vast rant, the point I am trying to make is, when people address the weight/women’s body image issue, they should see that there are victims on both the sides! Maybe there are fewer women who are naturally thin, but even they want to be accommodated in this fight against body image stereotyping!

    After all, it’s virtually impossible for me to buy the clothes I like, because they don’t come in my size too! 🙂

    Aaaaarrggghhh I am done!

  27. I went through each of the comments..and I have to share this 🙂

    I have been dark when I was a kid and dusky as I grew up..I love my complexion and never yearned for ‘fairness’.

    But on my wedding day..’bridal makeup’ thingy meant adding obscene amount of ‘fairness’ to me !! Hubby later said he just did not recognize me at the first glance (he exaggerates), and to add to it the lady who did my makeup dampened my spirit by commenting how my skin is dry blah blah and I should have taken a long beauty whatever with her before my wedding…insanity I tell you. Had it not been the importance of the day and timings I would have surely walked out.

    But what I loved in all this is how everyone rubbished my ‘fair’ look and kept referring to my dusky simple makeup and cheerful smile pics…The photographer asked me never to get such ‘bad’ makeup again ever!

    I really admire women who are happy and comfortable in every way..dark/fair, zero/plus..everything is secondary to healthy and happy..

  28. As a Male, I can say most men definitely do not prefer ‘size zero’ kind of skeleton bodies, they actually prefer ladies with some flesh in them. 😉

  29. On a serious note, IT SHOULD be left to the person how she wants to maintain her body.
    My doubt has always been who are those guys who define a ‘perfect body’ ?
    If you think Kareena’s body is a perfcect body and you have the audacity to market that, then Thanks.
    With an absolute confirmation, I can say guys do not prefer ‘size zero’ bodies. Then what for all this non sense, I don’t know.

    • See…. that’s my point!!! We poor size zero girls are the ones who are not wanted by ANYBODY! 😦
      Hey Bhagwan… lagta hai mein kunwari hi rah jaongi! boohooo
      On the plus side… I don’t have to deal with a man ever! What a treat! 😉

      • LOL! listen i am short on time so the short reply to all your comments is that i was very thin – 43 kilos. and i have nothing against a thin person. i do however have a problem with that being made the benchmark. so much so that people starve themselves to that size. that is just wrong!

        • of course I know that you have nothing against thin people MM! I never contested that.

          And, I also agree that there’s something terribly wrong when people are starving to have a body to match that of a certain ‘benchmark’.

          But, my point was a totally different one… anyway, forget it… so much has already been said that the scroll bar on the side of the screen has become so tiny! 🙂

  30. I agree. I think as long as I wax/thread/straighten my hair just because I want to and when I want to, it is fine. But the moment I start a group and look down upon people who don’t, or I’m coaxed into waxing just because my husband needs to feel smooth silky skin, it becomes plain pathetic! I would tell my husband to wax HIS legs to feel smooth silky skin, if he said that!

  31. Bottom line – who are we to judge anyone else on their actions, which do not involve any injury or action to a third party.

    Say X got a boob job – maybe X felt very inadequate without ‘big boobs’ and that it bugged her a lot. Say Y got surgery because he had male breast issues. Did any of these actions harm you – no! So no right to comment allowed.

    Judge people by their actions at their job, in issues concerning you and their activities which harm or benefit a third party.

    For those who say these issues are not prevalent in India – I say I wish they were. I wish everyone was in a position to get themselves resized, increased, decreased, enhanced etc. It is called prosperity. Why should it be limited to a select few here on this forum? I wish everyone had the resources to get the nose of their choice or whatever.

    Yes the front office position may go to the more beautiful one as may the beauty queen title. But then no one cribs if athletes have better bodies – by natural design and their own care of it.

    Life gives every one a different hand. Use what you have. Obtain by fair means what you do not have. Harm no one and do not hog space in the comments section.

    • how do you define harm and benefit? does harm have to involve a gun? i’ve seen young girls starving themselves to try and get the bodies that others get through surgery. to me its a great harm if you create unnatural images and impressionable young people starve themselves to get there without realising that you’ve got it via surgery….

      • The key word is impressionable. If one is impressionable and naive then who is to be held responsible – maybe ones parents. If party x is creating an impression which is not to your liking you have the freedom and responsibility to provide a counter impression. If someone supplies half the picture (extreme slim bodies through apparent diet)then one has the responsibility to provide the full picture (it was surgery)

        Regarding harm – yes as long as it is not forced on you then it is okay. So if you are not being forced to do something at the point of a gun or knife, then it is okay. The battle of ideas has to be countered by ideas.

        An interesting articel on human freedom

        http://www.economist.com/world/unitedstates/displayStory.cfm?story_id=15108634&source=most_read

        For some reason everyone is impressionable – students in AP who riot, teens who get wrong notions on health and people who eat too much fast food. In all this where are the not so easily impressionable ‘adults’.

        • all young people are impressionable no? its like telling someone that i will hit, punch and abuse in front of your children and its their problem if theyre impressionable. in this case i’m not saying they dont have a right to it. they do. i merely feel pity for those who do it and a lot of fear for young people who are picking up the wrong message. surely you see why parents dont like to expose their children to anything objectionable. and in this case, i find it objectionable. i do think teens in AP who riot are impressionable…

  32. UFFFFFFF!!! That pic blew my mind!!! We recently had to give away a Kurta that Deepika Padukone wore for some movie, I got a look at it and realized a person would have to be like REALLY thin to fit into it. I dunno how having bones sticking out all over the place can be fun. I mean if you’re naturally that way, then fine, but otherwise why would someone TRY to look like they just escaped from Sudan?

  33. thanks for putting this up!
    all i would want to say is that if i were a man i would never ever ever go for a size zero woman! its like dating a skeleton or something!

    great blog!

    • OMG! For the love of Christ, is there ANYONE here who realizes that thin women have feelings too???? Hello??

      Now I have just given up… I would rather simply say that women who dis thin women, are all fat and jealous! And men (like you, oRange) who insult thin women, do that because they know that they are too ugly and uncharismatic to ever get a thin woman!

      Pffffft! That’s so untrue, and was yet SO much easier to say than typing a sensitive two page long reasonable dialog, which no one gives a shit about! 😮

      BTW, it is true that thin, fat, fair or dark, no matter what I am… I would never go for a stupid dork who defines his interest in women based on their body types! What about guys? What, each one of you is a Milind Soman or an Arjun Rampal? Anyway, it’s been determined that condoms made according to international sizes are too large for a majority of Indian men! Just sayin! (http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/6161691.stm)

  34. I guess whether or not she is a role model depends on age?? The model is I believe around 20/21 without kids…

    Anyway, in these days when obesity is such a big problem worldwide, we should also be careful not to swing to the other extreme and endorse flab.

    I do agree realistic images are good, but I think that would be achieved if PhotoShop was banned. The models and actresses would look more like themselves.

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