The recent furore over the Guardian article on the plus-size Lizzie Miller has already led to a series of opinionated blog posts. In a space of three days the article has invited so many comments that they have barred any more comments.
Most of the comments are from indignant people who insist that the pretty Miller is ‘NORMAL’ in Bold, Caps and often in bright colours. Especially since she is a size 12 and the average American is a size 16.
My first reaction was on similar lines. Forget her weight and dress size, just look at the pic.The 20-year-old is gorgeous, has creamy, unblemished skin with no visible cellulite on her thighs and just a small roll of fat which looks like something Indian women are adept at hiding under Kurtis and Saris. And she can’t even be a plus size model? Come on!
So I scrolled down to comment. Someone had written something on the lines of ‘She is real, curvy and beautiful, not an aritificial neurotic implant.’ I nodded vigourously and scrolled down further to agree. Then I came across a reply to this comment (Which I can’t find on the site now). A girl had said, ‘Do you mean to say that just because I am thin and do not have curves like her, I am artificial and not beautiful?’
Women love to pass snap judgements on each other. Not saying men are any better, but as a 30 plus, married mom, you kinda stop caring about them.
But for women, weight is like a perpetual championship event. We try impossible diets and feel that we are a success- lousy job and salary notwithstanding. Then we balloon and feel like a total failure. We puff in the gym, or avoid it with downcast eyes. We feel guilty about every morsel we put in, but still indulge in ice cream. (Is it indulging if we dont even enjoy it?)
We know how bad it is.
And yet we sit and judge. We don’t even need to say ‘You have really put on weight,’ or ”you need to diet’. Just one appraising top-to-toe judgemental eye-roll and swift dismissal is enough to discharge the opponent. And leave her wondering (with a chicken tikka in hand) ‘I knew I should have worked out today/not worn sleeveless/ suck stomach/ not eat/ pretend to faint’. We are too fat.
Or else it’s constant berating. After all, it’s not politically incorrect to tell people to put on weight. ‘Oh your charm has gone!’ , ‘what are you competing for- can you be Miss India?’ ‘You’re looking sick nowadays.’ We are too thin.
Reminds me of the old Amul chocolates ad. (Yes I am that old). Too old for dolls, too young for the disco.
Forget the media, we are our own worst enemies.
Its a bitch-eat-bitch world out there. Since everything else has too many calories.
In the words of Shania Twain, ‘Be a winner, Be a star, or BE HAPPY TO BE WHO YOU ARE!’ in bold, caps and bright colours.