discrimination, fat, insensitivity, obese, personal, society
Just 5 minutes back I was reading a post by Starry, the post stuck a chord. Now the readers here know I have been battling with weighty issues for a long time now. Due to health problems etc etc I am what they call in common language FAT or even obese…Well now I know it and u can see it too but does it help when u call me that in face? I have posted before on how I was bullied through the school on being fat. Let me tell you what happened with me sometime back actually quite sometime back about a year or so…
Me and N had both decided that we seriously wanted to give yoga a try and inquired around a bit and got to know of this yoga instructor who came to our society to teach some people. People said he is good and called him Guruji… so I took the number and fixed a time for about 6am in the morning for the first class where he will teach just N and me… now I am not a morning person but still got up at 5:30 in the morning, did the routine morning tasks and reported for the class at sharp 5:55 am in the club house.
A middle aged fit man walked in at around 6 and introduced him as Guruji…We all sat down and he started asking us why we want to do yoga… N went ahead and told him the usual – holistic exercise treatment, stress reliever etc. He turned to me and before I could say anything he said “I can see you are obese, what else is your problem” The statement irked my already irritated self in the morning. But I decided to ignore that statement thinking he just might be wanting to be technically correct and told him about my other health problems and that what I want to achieve from yoga is feel healthy and yes losing weight is one part of it, he gave me a look which was like what losing weight is just a part of it? anyways he started teaching me and what would happen would be as follows
Guruji : Take your hand like up…… …… …. (turns to me) its ok if you can’t do this. U are obese no…
Guruji : Bend down, lift ur leg up…. ….. …. …. (turns to me) its ok u dont do, U are obese no….
and this became his way of talking, with every time he used the word I was drawn away from any respect one can have for a GURUJI…
The second day of the practice he came up to me and said.
U must detox your body, be on a liquid diet for as long as possible. Atleast 1 week to 10 days. And take Isabgol and clean your system. You must have loose motions. You are obese no…
I was like what??????????? Anyways I still tried to listen to him thinking that he is the guru after all
and than after 2 days a lady came inquiring to him that can he teach her at the same time he is teaching us, though we had paid through our nose for a private class we didnt really have a problem because there is hardly any difference in 2 or 3 and plus the lady was our neighbour but man guruji had some other thoughts and thak before even checking with us he replied…
No I can’t teach you with them, u see if it was only this gentleman it would not have been a problem but here we have her also, as you can see she is obese and I need to deal with her differently. So please I can’t teach you with them.
And I was like WTF????And that was the last day I did any yoga with him… Now in all possibilities I don’t think he meant me any harm or wanted to really insult me. But he was really insensitive about the way he spoke and that hurt me infact hurt a lot and I was put off yoga for a very long time.
I really fail to understand that why a simplest thing like being sensitive to people’s physical or any other problems is so difficult for us
I have a very very close childhood friend who had a birthmark near her eye, the veins in one of her lower eyelid were swollen since birth and hence protruding out. This left a huge scar on her self esteem. As if battling with that was not often she would have to deal with all kind of things from people. I have myself shouted back at people who came up to her and asked her “so you are kani (can’t seen from one eye)” one person even told her to make use of handicapped qouta to get admission somewhere as she can understand aakhn ke wagah se padh nahin paate hoge (due to the eye u might not be able to sudy well)???? and this when she actually had a perfect sight….
I don’t understand why it’s so important for us to judge and slot people. fat or slim? fair or dark? adopted or not? tall or short? Why can’t we just let people be people? I loved what starry said (and dear I am quoting u here word to word)
I have friends who are overweight or even obese. I will not call them fat. Not because I feel pity for them, nor do I think it’s bad to have excess weight, nor do I have contempt for them. It’s because I know what they are put through for having a body shape that many people look down on, have a problem and judgments about, and how they have numerous traumatic and super-challenging experiences as a result of the discrimination. My friend is my friend, she’s not her weight…to me.
And it’s not just about the weight it’s about everything (read her post which talks about Adoption and many more things). I think we need to learn to be sensitive towards people, chose our words with care and sensitivity and say them with empathy…
In short Tol Mol Ke Bol
A wonderful post. It struck a chord with me too, as I have had to battle with the overweight demons too. or a long long time. And they are returning now.
thanks its hard to deal with them I understand
Totally understand where you are coming from. I was always called moti throughout my school days. I didnt mind it then but looking back, I should have been one twisted child, to have laughed it all off!
Also, I think the guruji or whoever he is, did not say it out of ignorance, he really meant to say what he said. Sometimes people think that when they say harsh words people will be motivated more to make a change in their lives. While that might work with people who are overweight due to over eating, what about people who have health issues? Good you dumped him. Take care.
kudos to u for not minding u probably were one of the sensible kids 🙂
seriously u think thats possible?
My funda is simple… it takes many “well-rounded” personalities’ presence in the world in order to call the ‘slim’ or ‘thin’ ones size zero or whatever. And I completely understand the barbs… I go through several of ’em from even family members. I just try to not get upset by it.
yeah I like ur funda meera really like it 😀
Absolutely! ‘I think we need to learn to be sensitive towards people, chose our words with care and sensitivity and say them with empathy…’ That is it.
But you know, it has a lot to do with the way our society works. People think it is funny to make fun of people’s height, weight, accent. Sometimes, when I watch ‘humour’ on TV, it makes me cringe, how can something like that be funny? Don’t they realise that people will mimic it in school grounds, offices unknowingly, and end up hurting people?
People say that we are getting to be too ‘politically correct’, but I rather be sensitive and politically correct, rather than insensitive and hurt someone. Beautiful post, Monika.
u are bang on when u say
“People say that we are getting to be too ‘politically correct’, but I rather be sensitive and politically correct, rather than insensitive and hurt someone. ”
Awesome post… havent been to Starry’s yet, but couldnt leave without commenting.
I too have battled with weight issues all my life. I have for long suffered from low self esteem because of my weight and my acne issues. As if thats not enough, people choose to comment liberally about my weight as if it is an acute problem that they need to address for themselves failing which something terrible will happen in their lives. Dont I know that I have a weight problem and do they think I am doing nothing about it?
This time also, when I went for my brother’s wedding, I was shocked that the people who were most rude and insensitive about my weight were folks from my close family. The aunt I thought was very close to me even called me “fatty” on the phone – this without even having seen me or the amount of weight I have lost since she last saw me… no wonder I dont feel like talking to her anymore…
No wonder your post struck a cord and made me vent… sorry about that… I wanted to say that I so agree with the point about sensitivity towards others people’s conditions- whether physical or emotional or mental for that matter….
Completely understand where ur coming from.. I face the same crap everyday! In fact *well meaning* relatives think its their god damn duty to inform me of the horrors of obese ppl being pregnant & losing weight; about dying during labor; about having kids early (I am 26 yrs!!) etc.
While I do understand their concern, no one knows what I do. We do have a weight problem on my mom’s side. My sister, my mother and me all are overweight. While we maintain a healthy diet and make sure to go for the walks etc, it isn’t doing much help. My sister’s health issues don make it easier since her tabs make me face swell up during her menstrual cycle. My point is, its easier to judge. People automatically assume fat people have no feelings, they make fun or tell u crassly “ur fat”.
When someone isn’t fat or obese or even skinny; you have no right to have an opinion. They do not know what the person in the situation goes through, what they think, what they feel etc.
Sorry for the rant. I just had to say it! Its the elephant in the room everywhere I go. For some reason people think because I am fat, I am dumb too?!?
Oh yuck, yuck, yuck at that Guruji, you know I have been humiliated like that countless times in gyms and salons for my thin hair…and I know how it hurts. I’ve made really mad fusses with managements at these places, and some accepted the need to train their staff for sensitivity, and others thought I was asking for something unheard of. And you know how much insensitivity we also got when Dhruv was undergoing his patching therapy, strangers stopping us in public places and exclaiming over his eye. It was hurtful, but we toughened ourselves to it and learned to laugh on their faces…but it was a temporary condition…what if there had really been something seriously wrong with his eye?
I think, yeah, considering before speaking is always better…even if you don’t get the words correct, your attitude comes shining through.
Very well written… People need to learn to respect each individual for their deeds rather then insignificant things like height, weight or whatever…
Monu, this is a very sad thing…people need to be sensitive towards others and think like 100 times before saying something mean. its much better here in west, but sometimes you get those looks, you know what i mean right…funny part is people dont leave small babies also right. so i know this woman she is lean and her daughter is also pretty lean and small. my little munchkin is a chunky baby, so she asks me, is your baby reaching her milestones properly, leans babies are way ahead. i was like wtf..my baby is hardly 3mths, give her a break. its going to be a challenge for me to instill good bady image in my daugters mind
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Dont talk of bullying i have lived through it and that has changed me so much , i was scary cat and now well i dont know at least i am not a scary cat 🙂
forget about relatives i got a good post lined up to put for them … and the so called friends tooo.. there are a lot who betray you and do what is not expected
i am a very emotional person so it hurts me a bit more when such things happen.. but i am gettign there hard faced, stone hearted 🙂
such people need t obe slapped 🙂
dont let this put you down….
Proud to know u Mon!! I have been through all of this, several times over, and I still have to face this ever so often. But you know what? The older I grow, I just realise more and more that I am actually beautiful, no matter how obese or dark or pimply or bald I am!!!! So SCREW those who just don’t realise true beauty 🙂
what an insensitive guy!! I had faced a lot of teasing due to my specs in school. 😦 Are u still continuing with that Guruji?
p.s. don’t see u around my blog anymore. hope everything’s cool.
Ahhh still no reply to comments. 😦
oops reema no please no issues at all, I have just been busy and lazy in commenting
I am reading everything in the reader though… please and sorry for missing his comment I think when U posted I wasnt well and By the time I came online I forgot abt it 😦
That’s downright insensitive.
I must say here that I talk of my weight often, because I like to look a certain way. More importantly, I would like to feel fit. But that does not mean I must judge people who don’t care about their weight. I have friends who are overweight and the only reason I ask them to lose weight is for the sake of their health, because people you loke look nice to you anyway.
Absolutely. Dealing with these things with sensitivity and maturity is something most ppl do not know 😐 unfortunately the ones at the receiving end dont have a choice…
Its so infuriating most of the time…
R's Mom said:
hey I can so relate to this post…I have gone through this phase where even my relatives used to call me FAT..and it used to hurt I have even cried because of that…but as I grow older I realise…what the hell! so I am FAT…at least I can manage a job, a baby, and a house!!! thats what I need 🙂 and like I said at Starry’s I had one of my hubby’s relative call me ‘healthy’ 😉
is guruji ki toh main band baja doon..
and a big middle finger to all such morons out there. and there are way too many!
i have my own take on the issue and will do a post on it rather than eat ur comment space..
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Guruji, my ass! Hope you dumped the class.
That “Guruji” was being downright rude and insensitive!!
I loved what you’ve written.. I’ve been surrounded by insensitive and arrogant folks and have been called “Fat/dark” so many times!!!
Trying to get out of the complex and seeing how OKAY I am, was a tough ride!
People are so insensitive that they forget that they are dealing with weight issues and have called me fat!
I’ve learnt to retaliate and I’ve toughened up as well.. but this journey has been an eye-opener!
OMG what a rude rude man.. good you junked him.. hope you gave him a piece of your mind before you let him go. Gosh I can sooo empathise.. I’ve lived with fat for forever. What’s worse people don’t even spare kids. Once we were out shopping and the salesgirl told my 10-year-old niece.. that wont fit you, you are fat no. I could have really whacked her. Wonder why people do not realise what such comments can do to a preteen’s self esteem.
Wonderful post Monu! U know hw much I hate ppl whose first impression abt ppl is based on their colour/height/weight rt? We hv talked abt this before too!
I give it on their face be it a Yoga guru or whoever for that matter!
My niece was born with a problem in her eyes. She can’t open them fully and with every surgery, it just improves a bit. And u know, there r ppl who don’t leave this li’l kid too! They tease her so much, even some elders. It might be a joke for such ppl, but they shud understand it might leave a really bad mark on the other person! I wud do anything to set such ppl straight!
Hi Monika…really wish people knew to respect and be sensitive to others..sadly most around are so egoistic that they can’t see beyond themselves..Actually the best way to deal with such people is to a. ignore them b. sympathize with them, simply because they are so insecure about themselves that the only way they feel over the top is by putting others down:)
The absolute insolence of that man?!!!
One tight slap is what he deserved!
BTW, came here through Ritu’s blog. Loved this post. I can so relate to it!
*hopping off to read the rest of your posts*
OOOHHHHH !!! That Guruji really sucks….good u discontinued the class with him. One has to feel very comfortable with the teacher. 🙂
Very nice post….after reading Starry’s, this is another kind of insensitiveness we are subjected to here. Ppl just dont think before talking or commenting on physical appearance. Its high time they change their perceptions. When they are put through the same problem, then they realise….but its too late for ppl they have hurt during the process.
Hi, I have read somewhere that the cuter kids get away with more.. they get better grades, more opportunities, more friends … When society is predisposed to juding by appeaances, it is very hard to get past that. Of course anyone temed as ‘guruji’ a title which means a lot, can judge by looks, it is scary. Being overweight is very hard on ones self esteem, just as hard as being dark skinned. Society endorses this discrimination by okaying ads for products like fairness creams and instant weight loss tabs. our cinema also takes potshots at the less than perfect looks… we need to sensitise people on such issues.
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Roop Rai said:
awesome post, and i am glad you ditched him …. you should’ve told him too. did you?
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mystic margarita said:
That moron is not worthy enough to be addressed as guruji. Glad you dumped his classes. Hugs.
Collection Of Stars said:
Have been there with the weight issues. Know how it feels when strangers, friends and even family (some insensitive people on the hubby’s side) comment.
I have now learnt to not get affected and expect people to accept me the way I am. If they don’t, well, it’s their problem.
On the other hand, I also consciously never judge people based on their looks.
It’s a learning both ways.
Krishna Leela said:
I hate people who discriminate others on physical appearance . I simply hate them . And Monika, its not only the fat people ( now don’t think I am calling something ) I was very lean before my marriage and God ! I had so many problems because of that . My classmates dealt with me like the Guruji becoz I was shorter , smaller and lean . Even now it hurts .
ANd not to say about the in-laws :0
But things change . Night is always followed by bright sunshine .
Good that you posted it . 🙂
Know what mon, you should have given that ‘guruji’ a piece of your mind. Just because a person hold a high position or a ‘respectable’ position doesn’t mean he can be looked upto. He has to earn that respect by his deeds and attitude to command it. Simple. And the guruji and people like him clearly don’t command that value with such nonchalant attitude.
Excellent post! you last line conveys it all. It’s high time people learned to be more sensitive towards others, and were more caring and empathizing.
Love Isn’t True said:
All I can say is this guy might be a guru…but he is not a gentleman.
And I wonder what yoga he would be teaching if he has no control on thoughts or tongue!