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Thursday, Oct 17, 2019

Do I look fat? Yes, you do

Ask a silly question and you’ll get a silly answer. Always.

health-and-fitness Updated: Sep 11, 2011 00:50 IST
Sonal Kalra
Sonal Kalra
Hindustan Times

Here are so many weird people in this world. As you will realise soon, this sentence has no connection whatsoever with the topic of this week’s column, but I still felt like starting out by saying this. Maybe I’m one of them.

Anyway, here’s what inspired me to write this one. Went to a shopping mall. Mission: to buy a dress for a cousin’s wedding (yes, I did try to dissuade him, he doesn’t listen). There was this young girl there, who had come with an aim to try every damn T-shirt manufactured in the history of that store. 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.

Sonal Kalra
Sonal Kalra
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 ‘no, no, what are you saying’ part with painful efficiency.

After observing this close to seventeen times (yes I was relatively free that day, 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. And the next time she came out and asked her pet question, I announced a loud and clear ‘yes, absolutely’, before rushing to hide in the next try-room. I think I spoiled the evening for that guy but what the heck, he didn’t look happy anyway. I do feel guilty for the salesman.

Anyway… haylo people, 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 most distressing factor in the world, regardless of race, culture, gender, blah and blah. ALL of us are somewhere 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 cruel-est 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…

1 I will not ask anyone if I’m looking fat. If someone will ask me, 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 keh rahe ho, to make me feel good. If God forbid, he/she says yes, it’ll 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 (I’m referring to wellness, not the Punjabi way of calling someone fat… ladki zara ‘healthy’ hai). And that we should do everything — good diet, exercise etc to ensure that we stay fitter 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 yourself. 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, he’s 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.

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 5kgs, well, sorry. Life does not begin after 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 could stand up to you. Are you with me?

Sonal Kalra has decided to ditch the weighing scale, after she heard muffled screams coming out of the poor gadget. Oh, by the way, how’s the new column-picture? Do I look fat? Mail your feedback at or join on Facebook at Follow on Twitter at

The ‘tension-not’ calmness trophy this week goes to Rexie - for a splendid combination of charming wisdom and superb wit
Usama Sulaiman - for being the most shy and yet the nicest reader of this column; and the simply lovable Rachit Gupta - for giving me faith that our young generation is not lost on intelligence…and sensibility. Tonnes of calmness coming your way...

First Published: Sep 10, 2011 16:52 IST

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