Monday, June 11, 2012

Why They Love to Hate a 'Fat' Aishwarya

The latest target of body fascists is Aishwarya Rai Bachchan— Former Miss World and an actor in the Indian Film Industry.


A video of postnatal Aishwarya on Youtube has gone viral. The unique selling point of the video is pictures of a ‘fat’ Aishwarya with elephant sounds in the background. The narrator in the video says: “Instead of losing some flabs after the baby’s delievery, she put on some weight.”

Because Aishwarya is being talked about a lot everywhere, let us talk about body fascists here.

Who are body fascists?

Body fascists are people who treat, speak, and think of others with condescension. They have an eye for every flaw, every blemish, every pound you gain, every tone you move up or down the shade scale, and every stretch mark. They look at you as if you were a taboo. They are the biggest cheerleaders of your low self-esteem and your insecurities about your body.

What do body fascists do?

Body fascists make their arguments and comments in such a way to make you end up believing those to be as natural and as real as sunrise. After all, why did Aishwarya put on weight instead of losing some flabs? With every remark, they expect a response, a reaction, or a fan following. They are the mirror you would not like to look into. Because no matter what you do, you will always be a little fat, a little anorexic, a little short, a little tall every time you look in that mirror.

Where do you find them?

My first encounter with body fascists was while I was in my sixth grade. I was a dark-skinned kid, shorter than most kids in my class. I vividly remember how the kids in class made fun of me because I was not fair enough like they were. Some nights I would howl myself to sleep because hurtful remarks by kids can be among the meanest things in the world. I could never figure out why they would be so mean to me. They were the people I would help with their class work and home assignments. Then why would they be so mean to a friendly, ever-helpful classmate like me?

My encounter with such people grew all through middle school and high school years. I had a “frenemy” who did not miss any chance to make me feel that I was ugly and that I could never have a boyfriend.

Body fascists are ubiquitous. You will find them in the guise of classmates you have known since your primary school; or the high school frenemies you have lost touch with or are still in touch with; random people on streets with just the perfect amount of body fascism in them; ex-boyfriends who kept you in the hiding because they were too embarrrassed to introduce you to their friends and family or to be seen with you in public. You will find them as part of the social messages you are receiving everyday through advertisements.

You will find them out in the open because body fascists are not ashamed of themselves.

Why body fascists hate you?

A few years ago that “frenemy” from high school saw a few of my pictures on a social networking site and said –‘You have grown so thin.’ Her tone was clear. She did not mean slim-thin. She meant sick-thin. I never understood why she thought I was sick-thin until I saw her pictures. She had gained a few more kilos since school ended. That was when I understood why she ‘hated’ me. She ‘hated’ my body to cover up her flabby arms and thighs and her double chin.

People make fun of others so that they could take their mind off their own bodies, their flaws, their messed up lives, their mean bosses, their uncaring lovers, their unambitous career choices, their lack of true friends and their loneliness.

People make fun of others so that they could feel good about themselves. Moreover, the easiest way to make fun of other people is to make fun of how they look.

What you can do?

You can make a decision. You either go with the wind or swim against the tide.

Going with the wind means being another mean person. If somebody makes you feel bad about yourself, you will immediately want to feel good about yourself. The easiest way to do that is to put somebody else down. She hates my dark skin; I will hate your long nose. It is a vicious cycle.

Swimming against the tide means:

“This is reality, this is who I am, I am a mother, this can happen, and it happened with me and it is fine. That’s life you know, I have never been the one who endorsed size zero anyways.” – Aishwarya Rai Bachchan.

“Oh! It wasn’t that they simply retouched my image — they completely stretched it so I looked like I was 6 feet tall and a size 2. I’m a size 6 or 8 these days.” – Kate Winslet.

“The assault on our body image, the hypersexualization of girls and women and subsequent degradation of our sexuality as we walk through the decades, and the general incessant objectification is what this conversation allegedly about my face is really about.” – Ashley Judd.

In other words, swimming against the tide means standing up for your bones and your skin, for your hair and your eyes, for the extra flabs under your arms and for the freckles on your face.

Swimming against the tide means sending out a message to all the haters out there -- This is MY body. If you hate something that is not yours, it only means that you are not spending enough time loving what is yours.


  1. She may have gained weight but no one can deny the fact that she is very beautiful and oozing with happiness.

    One my teachers told me that people mock, bully and watch for other people's flaws because that is their way of hiding their own flaws.

  2. i would willingly love o swim against the tide..i know it can be difficult but not impossible because i want to be hapy and satisfied end of the day not just good lookng in other;s eyes.....dere is nothing wrong to be fat... nor to be a size zero...u shuld be confident to carry it off and be the one u want to be ;)