The Battle of the Bulge
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The Battle of the Bulge

An Auntyji by definition and declaration is what is commonly known as a "happy bunny", writes Dr Saumya Balsari.

india Updated: Sep 03, 2005 19:00 IST
Dr Saumya Balsari
Dr Saumya Balsari

Have you heard of sports company Nike's "big butt" campaign? Well, quite simply, there is an advertisement that displays a woman's bottom clad in a pair of tight shorts. The accompanying text and message? "My butt is big", says the woman, but "that's just fine".

Their other advertisements include a woman celebrating her "thunder thighs", and another who says her legs would be hairy if she didn't shave them. Nike is not alone. Dove (owned by Unilever) ran a campaign using women of - how shall I put this delicately, discreetly and diplomatically - less than idealised body shape. "Fat cows" was one of the scathing observations that was scrawled instantaneously and anonymously (I suspect the graffiti artists were men) on dozens of posters.

Women should be allowed to be happy as they are and as themselves - just look at Auntyji! Have you ever heard of an Auntyji in skinny long leg Gap jeans? Or seen her queue for bikini wax at Sweetie's Salon next to Emdee Peekay Jaycee Sweet Mart? Buy a cellulite-vanishing cream or eat watercress salad every day? The sight would be an anachronism, an aberration.

An Auntyji by definition and declaration is what is commonly known as a "happy bunny". Fathomless about fat, she is a thin-skinned fatalist who does not slim the bin, or turn gym-trim. She has thunder thighs, and possibly (but there's no way of finding out in unless you are either exceptionally brave or foolish) scary hairy legs, and has no intention of changing anything about herself (although she may well believe it is her daughter-in-law who must change her ways).

When shall we ever see an advertisement featuring an Asian woman who says, "My skin is very dark, but that's fine"? Or, "I like a lot of ghee on my chapatti, and I feel free being me"? Or "If men hate my gait and weight, and if it's my fate that I shan't find a date or a mate, I won't wait at an empty plate"?

Auntyji really ought to lead the way.

(Saumya Balsari is the author of the comic novel 'The Cambridge Curry Club', and wrote a play for Kali Theatre Company's Futures last year. She has worked as a freelance journalist in London, and is currently writing a second novel.)

First Published: Sep 03, 2005 00:00 IST