Sunday, October 4, 2015

Why it’s okay to ignore anyone who has a problem with the way you look

...and other reasons you should not give a damn when you get free advice about the way you should look. 

It’s time to address something that’s been on my mind for a really long time. The only reason I haven’t done this before is because I didn’t want to sound repetitive or annoying but it has been incessantly jumping in my head and I have to talk about it here. 

In August, Nirali’s post on Buzzfeed about 11 curvy Indian instagrammers took me by surprise and I was completely overwhelmed but I noticed all the comments about fatness and the irritation with Buzzfeed for featuring plus-size women. At the time I just let it be because I kept telling myself: trolls are always hanging around, we just ignore them. After a few weeks I began noticing a pattern - any project done on body image, plus-size women, bulling about fatness got hoards of comments like “You’re fat, nothing else. Just go hit the gym.” It hit a point of absolute frustration when I read a comment about how fat-shaming is the one form of bullying that can save lives on a couple of posts including the recent video of Genny Zuniga. I’m specifically addressing fat-shaming but I know that this is the general attitude towards many things uploaded on the internet and while criticism is okay, bullying is not. 

I’m sick and tired of people thinking this is a joke or irrelevant because it’s not. It’s comments like this that make people feel like shit and spiral into a cave of sadness. It’s comments like this that cause fad diets and body image dysmorphia. It’s comments like this that ruin someone’s day. It’s comments like this that cause a space polluted with negative energy when it is already enveloped with cruelty. It seems like everyone has constantly been speaking about peace but no one is listening. It kills me to see so many people out there hating the person they see in the mirror. It angers me when I’m walking past the hall and I overhear an advertisement or TV show clearly indicating that the only way to a man’s heart is a diet. It’s frustrating when people at stores won’t stop staring at fat people like they don’t deserve to dress up the way they want.

I will say this a thousand times over - we have different bodies and it’s not a crime.

[I’ll be addressing this over a series of posts, so hang on]


Outfit: Top: Westside ; Black vest, shoes, bag: street finds; Hairband: Masaba Lite 


  1. Dayyyyuuuum you be slaayin' , Sonakshaaa! your blog posts are always amazing :')

  2. Well written Sonshu! This is the thing even I hate, okay- hitting the gym, following a diet, blah blah blah.. is a different thing. But who gave one right to bring down the other person just because they are a particular size or color?
    It's our choice how to live our lives and decide what's best for us. Why all this negativity and pressure around?

  3. As always, love love love your outlook on things! I gained some weight over the last year or so, and sometimes the things I hear people around me say, even as a joke, is really not funny and it hurts. I can't wait for this series of posts! Your photos/ graphics are brilliant!

  4. I love your artwork here...your words and images always feels me with such positivity. Go #bodylove !

  5. To begin with, I really, really like the graphics! (Coming to the heart of the matter, yes, it's completely okay to ignore them - in fact, it's mandatory that you must. The problem with these so-called do-gooders is that they think it's necessary for them to dispel their free advice on a person's appearance because if they don't do it, nobody else will... Essentially the theme of these fat-shaming videos. I don't know, but it's a weird way for them to direct their energy towards. More than anything, it does cause pain. Appearance is closely related to self-esteem in some ways, and when people comment about the way someone looks just latches itself to any image we already have of ourselves. There are times that have had me believe that I am not ambitious enough because I am heavier - I am a slob, or make me irritated when I have to meet folks after a long time - even good friends - to hear that I have put on a lot of weight. Yes, I know, or maybe I don't but it is my body right? The trouble is these things also pose a contradiction and make us even more unhealthy. This reminds me of something LuAnne said on her blog, as well, like we're all for body positivity and while fighting for the cause - we somehow forget to take care of ourselves in the process. Anyway, it is difficult, and there's no clear way to shut such negative views down - but we should fight them certainly. Speaking up has caused folks to comment on how rebellious I have suddenly become or this and that but I could not care less. I will always have my ups and downs just as anyone else, but it is high time that a major part of my sadness should not come from not being a certain mass, or looking a certain way - like it's okay to be me, or whoever you are, while being HAPPY and HEALTHY. Like I might lose weight or put on even more, develop more acne, have greasy hair but these things are okay - voicing this more and more helps, but sometimes it doesn't. I really don't want anyone to be sad about this anymore. Especially when everyone's working so hard to just live, and work on being thankful to be a part of this world! I really like the world. And the universe. I don't want to hate living.)

  6. P.S. The WHO WILL MARRY YOU? is just the worst fucking thing ever. It makes no sense! Being married is not an achievement. To get married is not anything. It is just for those lovers or folks who want to celebrate or solidify their partnership, I suppose... But yeah! Why do people even say shit like that? Are they contributing to a secret fund for me to get married? Do they fancy themselves as motivators? Or maybe we should start asking them questions like, Why are they married? Why are they having baby after baby? For questions like these, I think it's best to counter-attack them and shut them down. I will ask questions back, I'll ask them if they're directly referring to how much I weigh or how I look, and why they think they need to so, or why they think it's okay to shame post-being-pregnant women the same way - she put on so much weight after her pregnancy, what a cow - or - she lost so much weight after the baby was born and went back to her fit, model-like shape, it is way too soon. WHAT?! Anyway, this all getting me riled up. I really won't stand for these things anymore! I can't wait to read more of your posts like these, and that rickshaw driver - what an ignorant, no-good dickhead.