I'm A Plus-Size Pakistani Woman And I'm Sick Of Being Body-Shamed Constantly

By Maliha Khan | 16 Feb, 2019

Weight is one of those topics that’s difficult to bring up without offending people. I think it has become a touchy subject, because, in one way or another, people are looked down upon.

Comments like, “Does the weight machine scream when you step on it?”, “Why don’t you have any meat on you?”, “Your legs are too skinny for the rest of your body,” and “If your face was a little slimmer you would have the perfect body,” are rattled off like there are no repercussions. And, as a plus-size woman, I’m sick of it.

Being the way I am, I get to hear a lot of rather offensive things. I’m compiling and addressing a few here.

Source: Elizabeth Meriwether Pictures

“Beta weight kab lose karnay ka program hai?”

Being on the chubbier side, I wish I was known for more than that. I want a single conversation with someone new or someone I am familiar with to be beyond my weight. I want to be asked about my passions, my interests, what I do for a living, how writing for MangoBaaz is like – not when I plan on losing weight.

“Smart larkion ki sirf shaadi hoti hai”

First off when did the term “smart” begin to describe people’s weight and physical appearance? Second, jokes on you, auntie. I am already married, chubby and all.

“Bacho ke baad ziada moti ho jaon gi”

My goal in life is not to look like a supermodel, although in a different universe it would be interesting to be one. I am okay with how I look now, and I will be okay with how I look after I have kids. My weight and the way I look have never represented who I am as a person, so why should they do so after I have kids? Being able to have kids would be a blessing for me and that is enough.

Source: huffingtonpost.com

Shakal achi hai, bas body patli hoti.”

I cannot tell you how many times I have been told I have a pretty face, but then got comments like, “If only you were skinnier, you could get any guy,” “Tumhara moun tumhara best feature hai, weight bhe ab theek karlo,” etc. etc. Everyone is beautiful just the way they are, and I wish more people knew that.

“Weight kya hai?”

There is this pre-conceived notion that women do not like to talk about their weight. While this is true, I believe it goes deeper than that. I am comfortable in my skin, but I do not like sharing my weight because that opens the door for comparison to skinnier people, ridicule by someone and anyone, shaadi walay comments again, or pressure to step on the weight machine to display your weight for everyone. The sad thing is this comes from people that should love and understand you the most – your family. So what if my bhabi is skinny even after having a kid? Not everyone’s body is the same.

“Madam, iss size main kaprey available nahi hain.”

Small, medium and large are not the only sizes for people in Pakistan. It is rare to see an XL, let alone anything bigger than that. To be so narrow-minded as to only carry sizes that fit the average person is a step in the wrong direction.

Via Giphy

“Khaana peena thora kam karlo.”

I will never understand why my weight becomes the most important topic in a conversation, no matter the company I am with. The other day I had to sit through a conversation with an acquaintance that was centered on my weight, because I was enjoying my carbonated drink (soda) too much.

She started off by observing the way I was drinking my soda, when in reality I was just chewing on ice. Then, she told us a story about how her saheli was fat like me before she got married, then around the time of her wedding she got skinny like my sister-in-law. I just stared at her in disbelief.

At the end of it all, I just have one question: why is my weight a problem for those around me?

Mera weight, meri health, meri problem. Baaki sab ko kya masla hai?

This article was not written to call out people in my life, but it was to shine a light on an issue that is not openly talked about.

What I mean is, people’s weight and physical appearances are openly discussed and opinions are shared. The thoughts that reside in that plus-size individual’s mind are not brought up or even cared for. Since mental health is so easily overlooked, the effects we leave on people by making comments like the ones above can eat people up. Comments like these can leave long-lasting scars.

Via cloudfront.net

There is no winner or loser when it comes to this.

Making someone feel bad about themselves or criticizing the way someone looks does not make you a winner. Whether you are calling them too big or too small, too straight or too curvy, too wide or too narrow – it can all contribute to things like poor self-image, low self-esteem, lack of confidence, and hopelessness. If you’re concerned, there’s a way to voice yourself without being offensive.

Let us all aim to build each other up, rather than tearing each other apart.


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Cover image via The Rack Couture

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