Let’s just be honest. Unnecessary comments about one’s appearance are a totally normal part of Indian culture. I don’t know why. And before someone gets defensive… yeah yeah Americans have their flaws too which I call out all the time… but that’s not the topic of discussion at the moment. The following is a scenario near and dear to my heart.
“You got more food?! My gosh you eat so much!”Some time later… “Are you done yet?? You ate so much food! You’re so fat! You need to eat less!You’re eating too much, there’s too much on your plate”
**Let me remove some of the food even though you probably want to eat it**
Said the mom, aunty, elder family member, elder sibling, or generally any Indian person who is not a child.
Sound familiar? No it doesn’t?! It’s rude…and you’re horrified?! I mean it should sound familiar because it’s what people do to “skinny” people who don’t “eat much”.
“That’s it? You barely ate anything! How are you done already?! You’re so skinny! You’re just skin and bones! You need to eat more!”
**Let me just put more food on your plate even though you said you were full and didn’t want anymore!**
Why do these statements towards a “skinny” person seem normal but the further above don’t? What makes it okay to say these things but not the other? It’s embarrassing and unnecessary. Especially when speaking to an adult. Not to mention, forceful and uncomfortable.
Also, notice that above I put “skinny” in quotes. Because the people who are “skinny” actually are usually at a healthy weight. Most of the people making those comments, are not. So all I can say is the following:
“Yes, I do eat less (than YOU!)… but I eat the right amount to maintain a healthy lifestyle. Or at the very least to maintain my own happiness. So maybe we should reassess who is saying what to whom!
Bottom line, it is uncomfortable and rude. If it’s not your business, just stay out of it. Especially when talking to an adult… whatever end of whatever spectrum…. just let people do their thing.
You do yours.