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What is okay for you may not be okay for everyone!

12:00 AM Jun 01, 2024 IST | Guest Contributor
what is okay for you may not be okay for everyone

You are coming home for a holiday break after getting done with quite a stressful semester back at your university and you are already excited to be with your family and have a relaxing time but least are you aware about the fact that you are going to get even more stressed because of the way people who know you, greet you after getting to see you after a long time.


I pursued my higher education outside valley and there was the time when I would come back home for holidays and the moment my known ones would see me (most of them), there was only one line that I would hear and that was “you have become so thin, do they not provide you enough food”? And it was then, when I realized how uncomfortable that one statement made me feel.


That was undoubtedly not the first time I was hearing such statements but that was definitely the first time for sure when it made me realize that those lines were just not lines but a direct invasion on my sanity. Until my college education began, I had never really paid any heed to statements like these, although I had heard them coming my way a lot.


The people speaking such statements don’t even realize that what damage they are causing to that person’s self esteem, self worth etc. The reason being they don’t even know that such concepts do even exist in the first place. I am sorry but I am forced to say that many of them do it purposely too. Honestly speaking, it took me a long time too to experience, realize, understand and talk about such notions.


Meeting people after a while or so makes certain section of people begin their conversation with just one line “ you’ve turned so fat or you’ve turned so thin”. Statements like “you have put on weight or you’ve lost quite a few pounds” draw an impact on the person’s personality whom you are addressing. There are concepts like self esteem, self worth, self value and when you say such things, you attack directly on them knowingly or unknowingly.


People who fall into such category have normalized these statements so much so that the people who get to hear those have begun taking it lightly too. Personally, I have had experienced it from the people around me and trust me it is not only one particular gender that can be blamed for it, not one particular age group of people, not only those who are devoid of basic education but you will see many people who are well educated too speaking such statements out.


These people won’t ask you ‘how are you’, rather they will tell you how you are looking physically and this brings utmost disappointment. And even if they ask ‘how are you’ , they will immediately let you know how you are looking like to the outside world, “fat/ thin, dark/fair” and what not even before you start responding to their question asked. This concept of commenting on people’s body type has put so many fears inside the hearts and heads of so many people out there.


People like you and me. These people fear facing the real world. They fear stepping outside because they are afraid they would be judged based on their body type. They fear they might lose their confidence once they hear people telling them “oh, you look so fat” or “oh, you look so thin”. They experience constant worry because of the way they look.

Everyone wants to get better. Every single person among all of us, including me, wants to be a better version of ourselves. We want to be better than we were yesterday. And this is so good. Each one of us is struggling in one way or the other. Instead of being the well wishers, we are in the race of putting the other person down who is just standing next to us, trying, just like you and me. Everyone is just trying to work on themselves in every aspect. Instead of lifting others up while we try lifting ourselves too is considered to be such a difficult task. Why?

I agree that there are many, many people out there who don’t bother even if you tell them that they look so skinny or so fat. There are probable chances that they might laugh over it and make it fun. But there are many people, could be middle- aged, young adults, adolescents, teenagers who get affected when you comment on their body. Their confidence is at stake. They may be living their best life but that one comment changes their perspective towards their own self. They start looking at themselves like they are no better.

That one comment keeps reminding them that they are not good enough. There are people who might disagree and argue that such statements can be taken positively as a motivation to work on oneself. That is true but at the same time we cannot encourage them either.

It is important for such people to know that it is not only the physical injury that makes a person fall sick but your one comment about one’s body is enough to throw him/her into depression, other mental health issues and what not! Be mindful with what you speak to the other person because you never know what they are struggling with in their lives already!

It is high time we bring realness in our conversation which is to say that when we ask a person “how are you”/ “how are you doing”, we must intend to ask it very genuinely and honestly. Let’s not just do it for the sake of just asking. It is important to understand that there is a lot to talk about instead of just sticking around the topic of other person’s body type or how they look.

Being open or honest with whatever you say does not mean that you speak without considering the other person’s sentiments. That is true kindness, I believe. I don’t intend to mean that you start lying to people on their faces regarding anything or just flatter them, no! I just want each one of us to realize that thin line which lies between being honest and being kind.

There is absolutely nothing wrong with the people who get affected by such comments. It is normal to feel so. I have gone through it, in fact, I still go through it but it is the improved self awareness that changes your perception towards such comments next time whenever you hear them. I know many of you reading this can relate a lot.

I feel each one of you must have gone through this at some point in your lives as well. There is a need to cultivate self love as much as we can where we can actually start practicing gratitude and start treating ourselves with kindness as we would do to our best friend in their difficult times.

We can start replacing negative self talk with positive affirmations and thoughts. Shifting focus to the things or the attributes we like about ourselves can help a lot. We must always remember that our value as a human being is worth much more than our physical body.

By Sana Khurshid