A Calmer You, by Sonal Kalra: Do I look fat? Oh yes!
It’s the ‘I-don’t-look-good-enough’ stress that I want to attack with full force this week.columns Updated: May 19, 2018 17:01 IST
There are so many weird people in this world. As you read on, you may feel that this sentence has no connection whatsoever with the topic of this week’s column, but patience rakh lo yaar. You’ll soon get to know why I am saying this.
Anyway, listen to my story. Went to a shopping mall. Mission: To buy a dress for a cousin’s wedding (yes, I did try to dissuade him. Like most suicidal people, he didn’t listen). There was this young girl in the store who had come with an aim to try every damn dress manufactured in the history of that brand. So, she kept zooming in and out of the fitting room, with two extremely distressed and hapless guys standing outside. Her boyfriend… and the salesman. What’s interesting was she would come out of the try-room every three minutes and ask the SAME question to both. Yes, to both. Even to the salesman. “Am I looking fat in this?” The boyfriend was, well, a boyfriend, and hence quite adept at shaking his head even before she could complete her question. The salesman was also clearly someone’s boyfriend, and hence an expert in handling the ‘Not at all, what are you saying?’ part with painful efficiency.
After observing this close to 17 times (haan mujhe koi aur kaam nahi tha, do you have a problem?) and being who I am (now read the first sentence of this write-up), I decided to play kill-joy. The next time she came out and asked her favourite question, I declared a loud and clear ‘yes, you are’, before rushing to hide in the next try-room. I think I spoiled the evening for the boyfriend but what the heck, he didn’t look happy anyway. I do feel guilty for the salesman.
Itni badi kahani suna di. Now do you know what I’m talking about? Yes… it’s the ‘I-don’t-look-good-enough’ stress that I want to attack with full force this week. Hope you are with me on this because this, trust me, is the single cause of distress for most people in the world, regardless of race, culture, gender, blah and blah. ALL of us are, in some way or the other, dissatisfied with the way we look. Yes, even Katrina Kaif or Brad Pitt or whoever is perfect in your eyes. This has to be God’s cruelest practical joke on us. He made all of us in different shapes and sizes… and then made all of us dissatisfied. Starting today, I’ve decided the joke’s not on me anymore. Here are my three resolutions. Yes, mid-year resolutions hi keh lo!
1. I will not ask anyone if I am looking fat: And if someone asks me if they are looking fat, I’ll say yes. Dekhiye ji, this is one question, for which there is just no happy answer. You ask someone if you are looking fat… if that person says no, you’ll invariably turn around and say — aise hi jhooth keh rahe ho to make me feel good. If God forbid, he/she says yes, it will reinforce your negative thoughts about your looks. Lose-lose situation, isn’t it? It’s better not to ask, you already know the answer.
2. I will not let my self-esteem depend on my looks: There’s no denying that we ought to be healthy in life. Oye, I’m referring to wellness. If any Punjabi takes it literally, like the way we use ‘healthy’ for ‘fat’ (… ladki thodi ‘healthy’ hai). We should practice everything it takes — a good diet, exercise etc. to ensure that we stay fit and avoid diseases. But beyond that, I refuse to see any connect between the flesh on my waist or tummy and my image in my own eyes. For the world to believe that you look good, you first have to believe it firmly in your own head.
And shall I tell you a secret? The world actually does not care. You may kill yourself fretting in front of the mirror, but I’m yet to come across a boy who loves his girlfriend less because her waist went up two sizes. Or a girl saying, ‘You know, my boyfriend is possessive and treats me bad, but thank God for those biceps, at least!’ Aisa nahi hota hai.
We like or dislike people for their overall disposition, for how they make us feel. If you want to lose weight, sure go ahead and do it, but do it for yourself and not for anyone else. It doesn’t bother or matter to them as much as you think. Sach mein.
3.I will make peace with my body, just the way it is: It’s good to aspire and keep trying to look better. But if you think all problems in your life will be solved and you’ll be perfectly happy after shedding those 5 kilograms, well, sorry.
Life does not begin after those lost 5kgs… life is what you have right now, and you are wasting it by worrying day and night about your looks. Aim to dress right according to your body type, have the right posture and confident body language, and most importantly, feel good about the way you are. There’s no size-zero girl or a six-pack guy who would be able to stand up to you if you love the way you are. Are you with me on this? Please say yes or I may just call you fat.
Sonal Kalra has decided to ditch the weighing scale, after she heard muffled screams coming out of the poor gadget. By the way, how’s her column picture? Does she look fat? Mail her at sonal.kalra@ hindustantimes.com or facebook.com/sonalkalraofficial. Follow on Twitter @sonalkalra
On readers’ demand, this is a re-run of a previously published column