Let me begin by saying that: Arrey tu kitni patli hai! (omg you’re so thin!) is NOT a compliment. Just in case you said it to a skinny person and thought you were saying something nice. Me, I wanna cry when someone says that to me. In a world full of beauty standards, and matrimonial ads looking for a patli, lambi, gori ladki, it isn’t easy to accept and love your body the way it is. And why do they even say patli in the first place? Why not healthy/fit? The fact that society has set standards in our heads, it makes it generally acceptable to be skinny and not think twice before saying it to the person’s face. Try saying “You’re fat” to a fat person, and then you’ll know. Oh no, but you wouldn’t – because that’s not a nice thing to say? Well, then let me tell you the story of a skinny person’s life. Especially a girl!!!
- Whenever (okay mostly) someone meets you for the first time, this is the ice breaker:
Example 1 :
Random person: Wow yaar, tu itni patli kaisi hai?
Me (standard response): My mom was also very skinny when she was young. So maybe it’s hereditary. (My mom taught me that, btw)
Random person: Arrey but Punjabis toh hatte gate hote hain!
Me (in my head) : Fuck your clichéd ass off please?Example 2:
Random person : Arrey tu kitni patli hai! Ghar pe kuch khaane ko nai milta kya? (Then giggling to themselves)
Me : Pretending to giggle along ( To myself: If you asked that – you definitely wouldn’t understand anything. So I’ll save the little energy I have.)
Indian aunty : Beta itna patla hona theek nahi. Bacche kaise paida karegi?
Me : (Pretending to blush. Because aadarsh beti gotta do that when they talk about marriage or having kids (read sex)).
- Being skinny has a direct effect on how old you look. So if I’m 24, I still look like an 18 year old. And somehow (I’ve been feeling this way for a long time now) I feel like people don’t take you seriously if you’re skinny. (Fellow skinny people – please tell me if you feel the same). Like seriously. Does that have to do something with the minimal amount of space that we occupy in this world? And not to forget: people take it for granted that you don’t need much space to sit. I’ve literally been told – Arrey tu toh patli si hai, kahi bhi adjust ho jaegi and arrey tu toh aadhe bande ke barabar hi hai. Okay I know I don’t take much space, but don’t people think at all before they say something like that? And this is exactly what I mean when I say they don’t take us seriously.
- Finding the right size of clothes is the most difficult task of our lives. That is exactly why we hate shopping. Who would like looking at fancy clothes and feeling like a hanger in the try room? Or being called a hanger at that! Yeah that’s another one!
- Weakness is an everyday struggle. Fainting too. Monthly pains are x100 times worse than normal healthy women. If under medication, the appetite is even smaller.
- Going to a restaurant where you can’t share food – but have to buy your own portion – it’s a waste of money and food – because we can NEVER finish the portion, and it’s the most embarrassing thing on the planet.
- I think we do feel colder than normal people, but winter is also our favourite season because we can pretend that cozy sweaters are our layers of fat. And for those couple of months, we appear normal to the human society.
That said, I wonder why nobody ever asks us WHY we’re skinny. Every question is aimed at us in such a way as if we are giving the other person an inferiority complex by being skinny. But in reality it’s the other way round. It’s because it’s acceptable – like so many other things in society – that we just say it. Nobody bothers to ask WHY? If someone did, we would shed tears and tell them what a pain it is to live in a skinny body – in a world where everyone thinks it is amazing – but only we know how we struggle to eat, how our appetite dies every day (or for others who do eat good portions, the metabolism to gain weight sucks), how we want to, sooooo badly want to gain weight and eat more, but this teeny weeny appetite of ours fails us every time. But, well, maybe if people stop passing it as an acceptable thing and actually recognize that it’s something that needs to be worked on or treated – we might be better motivated. Negative comments don’t treat it; in fact they only make us feel worse about our existence.
Expecting society’s standards to change might be too hopeful.. But seriously – here’s a thought – how about we aim for healthy/fit and try not to say: Mujhe bhi patla hona hai!