Monday, July 22, 2013

Yes, Body Image Comes From Parents!

How does one introduce someone who's already so popular! I'll still give it a try for the sake of the selected few who have yet to read Rachna Says. If you like reading incisive commentary on social issues and are looking for parenting advice, I suggest you read Rachna Srivastava Parmar. A spirited woman with strong opinions and stronger principles, a young mother of two, she's also a professional content writer and a fantastic cook.  The last bit was specifically added to wrangle a dinner invite from her.

In this post, Rachna raises pertinent concerns about this generation's unhealthy obsession with physical beauty and letting it mess with their self-esteem.....

Little girls even before their teenage years are dieting these days. Ask any adolescent and chances are that she is unhappy with the way she looks. Food is a cuss word for her. It makes her fat! Fat is ugly; it is undesirable! She wants to look hot and hip just like those models that prance around on TV, adorn the cover of magazines, are arm candies of all the hot guys she loves and play out larger-than-life roles in her mind’s eyes. Young ladies are depressed, deflated fighting this battle to look a little more thin and a little more fair. The marketers whose sales are on the rise are laughing their way to banks. And no, they are not the only ones to blame. Yes, they promote an aspirational standard of beauty in society to peddle their wares – read beauty products, fairness creams, health foods etc. But, you my dear sweetie, yes YOU the parent are equally responsible. What you look at me incredulously? What did you do?

For starters, children derive their comfort, their self-esteem from their parents first and later from the society. And as a recently shared advertisement openly pointed out, children mirror their parents’ behavior as well as thinking and aspirations. In their formative years, you are the one they turn to when they are teased. You are the one they look to for affirmation for their own self-worth. And what do they get? Do they find a parent who actually teaches them to love their incredible bodies and self? Does the parent convey to them that they are accepted and loved just the way they are? Does the parent love her own self is a question worthy of asking?

Yes, we have moms who are obsessed with losing weight. They have deadlines --5 kgs. in one month for a wedding they have to attend. They are so unhappy that they are unable to appreciate the perfectly good looking bodies that they have. I have seen so many gorgeous women stressing out over that extra inch or couple of kilos that they still (imagine to) have extra. They don’t eat right, are obsessed with weight gain and get even more depressed when they don’t achieve their crazy targets. Binges and more guilt follows. All the while, your child is absorbing that only a particular size of body is good and desirable. That fat is bad, and thin is good – at any cost!


Do you make an apologetic face when someone points out your child’s dark complexion? Your child is observing your reaction feeling much more dejected at your reaction and internalizes it. When the child when pulled up by a mean friend for being fat or dark, she replays these episodes and reconfirms that indeed, all these are ugly because mommy and daddy also feel so. Have the parents taught her to love herself for being this brilliant, witty and sweet girl? No. They have taught her that she must punish her stupid body because it is fat or dark or short. And they have irrevocably taught her that looks are more important than her inner self without even saying so.


With this poor body esteem and low self-esteem, the child becomes an easy target for jokes and sets herself up for a lifetime of unhealthy eating and crazy routines. Now, tell me, who is more responsible -- the marketers or the parents at home-- for teenagers who start suffering from anorexia and bulimia and for girls who kill themselves to fit into a dress!

Can we not be kinder to ourselves first? Eating healthy and exercising is important for every single person! This is what must be practiced at home and inculcated in kids – not an obsession with weight and color. Weight is never a parameter of your health! Your fitness and stamina is. Sorry to burst your bubble but people of varying weights who are all at the same fitness level have almost similar health risks. So there goes your crap about fat being unhealthy. And don’t tell me you haven’t come across sickly slim people.

Yes, get over your obsession with your body. You will do your child a great service. Love yourself, your body for it does for you every single day despite all the terrible diets and punishments that you have put it through. Once you accept yourself a bit more, make sure you teach your child from early on to accept and love herself the way nature made her. You will see that she can brace any meanies out there armed with this confidence and self-esteem and perhaps she will break a few beauty stereotypes on her own!

Happiness always comes from true self love. Unless we accept ourselves, no one else will either!




86 comments:

  1. A must read for all mothers. 'Children derive their comfort, their self-esteem from their parents first and later from the society,' is a gem.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you Alka! Parents need to be clued in about this, or it will be too late by the time they realize the damage they do to their child. Thanks for reading!

      Delete
  2. How true... ! When I was a kid I remember some aunts commenting on my sister's dark complexion...But my ma would always make sure to retort in a manner that told my sister that complexion doesn't decide a person's worth! I of-course would stare at them with anger and disgust, never really was the level-headed kind when it came to her.. But anyways, the points you made are absolutely valid... Hope in future whenever the time comes, I'll be such a parent!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I understand that, Naba! It used to make me very angry as a kid. But my parents were so collected and always were so proud of me that it did not matter what others said. I see the same repeating with my sons. I am hopefully instilling the same pride and dignity in them. Because no matter what we wish for, there will always be people who feel superior by pulling someone else down.

      Delete
  3. Perfect message, perfectly told Rachna! And thanks Purba for bringing this to us.

    What a coincidence, though! I recently put up a post "Weighty matters" and post on FB an old humor story "Romance on a Diet" - both of which are on the subject on weight and, now, this post! Which starts with a mention of weight :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you Suresh! And just like I said on your post. People have very little knowledge and understanding of weight and health. They just want to feel superior because of their own esteem issues. Besides you have the humor to counter all such pests :).

      Delete
    2. The pleasure is all mine, Suresh :-)

      Delete
  4. I love chocolate complexions. I think they are oh, so desirable. And yes you are right, parents pass on so much of their burdens on young shoulders. Self esteem is the best legacy you can leave them. And setting examples is our job description, but living it is more our job. Very well said, Rachna.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you Vinita :). I think with time, bad self-esteem passed on due to ignorant or detached parents could severely undermine a child now adult's self image and potential. You said it perfectly. It is our job to live it.

      Delete
  5. So true Rachna. Well written. Kids learn from examples and unless we love ourselves, they won't learn to accept their true self.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Sfurti! Being a parent is a tough job. And there are some mistakes that just cannot be rectified in the future!

      Delete
  6. Hope more people read this and realize their fetish for looking thin is an invitation for never ending unhappiness! A regimen for eating right and exercising enough is what is seldom propagated rather it is liposuction, botox, slimming belts which are more in the news:( Good one Purba from who else but Rachna, so one must hear what 'Rachna Says':)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I hope so too, Rahul! I am quite surprised with this crazy fetish with getting thin and fair as well. But then it is more a cry for acceptance, for love that they crave and perhaps never got from their own parents. Thank you for your encouragement as always :).

      Delete
    2. I just love her no-nonsense attitude and her posts on parenting make so much sense!

      Delete
  7. Purba, thank you so much both for having me on your blog and for your warm words. Of course, you have an open invite now that you have praised my cooking :). And, it was a real pleasure doing this one for you!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I will beat Purba to your cooking, Rachna, considering I am getting it home-delivered on 27th :)

      Delete
    2. Good for you, Suresh :).

      Delete
    3. Suresh - No wonder, people have been complimenting me for my all new green complexion:D

      Rachna - I am delighted that you shared one of your best posts on A-Musing. And who knows, I might just land up in Bangalore just for a taste of your cooking!

      Delete
  8. Another great article on parenting, Rachna. I fully agree. I can fully relate to the idea of parents having a role in children defining what helps derive self esteem and comfort.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks so much, TF! Glad you connected with the post. I am sure all of us can cull from our experiences how a parent's encouragement made a world of difference to our self esteems.

      Delete
  9. I am totally with you on this, Rachna (and a lot of other things, you knwo :D). It drives me nuts to see little girls worrying to death over high heels and skinny bodies. Whatever happened to spending after school hours playing and enjoying hobbies! Bad enough that there's peer pressure and like it or not, the unsolicited opinion of those who (don't) matter! It is truly the duty of parents to ensure that their kids are self-confident enough to ignore all the negative excreta thrown at them.

    In Tamil, we have a saying that goes: "Kaakkaikku than kunju pon kunju" - which, loosely translated, means - even for the crow, which is black, its offspring is golden...perfect" Rather than teach values and focus on things that matter, people do tend to get carried away with the surface layer and "what four people will say"

    Great post! :D

    Purba, always a pleasure visiting. And I confess, lurking. Because, you see, your posts conveniently arrive in my mailbox. Hugs!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you Vidya! And how I wish that we parents could accept our kids wholeheartedly and selflessly just like little babies accept their parents. But then in this country, people go to the extent of finding white donors so that they can have fair-skinned offspring. It is disgusting this obsession with physical beauty that is creating an insecure generation of teens. Wish the parents could be more mature.

      Delete
    2. Your confession has filled my heart with joy :p
      Thank you so much, Vidya!

      Delete
  10. I loved it. It is very true, the root cause to this new syndrome in young kids is the attitude of the parents. Sharing it with all the mothers, I know.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks so much Rekha for reading and connecting with the post!

      Delete
  11. My heart felt respects to you Rachna for writing this. This subject is very near to my heart.
    I remember those days when family members used to say directly or indiretly that I am dark and how my mother used to ignore my eyes. She used to say to ignore but she used to avoid looking at me and hence the accumulation of my low self esteem started and then continued and only ended last year. Thanks to my husband, he says what all you have mentioned here and only after 8 years of living together, I gained self confidence (my husband is very glad now). I can proudly say he is my mentor.
    I am glad that I am at the moment out of that misery (atleast nearly 95%) and in the transition of gaining complete self esteem. If you dont love yourself, nobody will love you. This is very true. Loving yourself is not being selfish, this is something some people has to learn.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you Bhavana! Thank you for sharing your experience and feelings. I can understand quite well. I remember these horrible folks who commented on how thin or dark I was. There was one aunty who accused my mom of not feeding her kids properly. What dumb idiots! Luckily, I did not see my own mother look ashamed or embarrassed. And dad had a sharp tongue; people rarely had the guts to open their mouths in front of them :). Glad that your husband gave you the acceptance and love that you always deserved. It is beautiful to see you thrive and grow and come into your own. Loving ourselves for what we are is beautiful and liberating. It is how nature meant it to be.

      Delete
  12. I am afraid that the potency of "perfection" as portrayed by the media is only going to get stronger. The modern parents have their work cut out for them. Sadly, from the looks of it, not many are rising to the challenge.
    Great post, Rachna. And so nice to see her on your blog, Purba.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Very true, Rickie! The pressures from the media and society will keep getting stronger and the aspirational stereotypes of beauty will get stricter. Thus, modern parents have to be even more aware of how important their role is in the lives of their children. I hope that they actively engage with kids and enjoy parenting and molding a young life instead of carrying it out as a burdensome chore. Thanks for reading!

      Delete
  13. Rachna you have taken up a very delicate issue, which troubles teenagers. Children and also their mothers are so much obsessed with 'weight' 'height' and 'figure' that they have lost enjoying food. This craze is doing more harm than good. When will they come out of this slumber? Very inspiring post.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Looks like this disease shows no signs of abating, Ushaji! As sad as that is. When everyone judges you based on how you look including those at home, it is a crazy world out there. Thanks so much for reading!

      Delete
  14. Bang on! An insightful post. Add a good dose of peer pressure and we have skewed up kids.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. True Janaki! Thank you for reading.

      Delete
  15. its a bare truth for the society. Children do suffer from these mistakes that parents make because of damn not so caring people out there. They fail to understand that what effect will this have at their own child. Apt and a must read. Good work!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks a lot Saurabh! You summed it aptly.

      Delete
  16. Very valid points there Rachna. As you rightly pointed out healthy food and habits should be inculcated, not running after the figures on the weighing scale. Anorexia is a major problem in many places today.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes, Jaish! The trouble is there is a media overload so the only place we can do it in is the home. That is the safe haven for kids and that is where they seek their affirmations first. Hopefully our generation of parents will be more aware and able.

      Delete
  17. You are right about parents being the first source of inspiration or discontent for the children. But it is equally imperative that parents teach their children to eat healthy and on time. I don't feel hungry most of the time now, I eat out of routine rather than a calling from my stomach and I know where I went wrong, somewhere my parents could only ask me to do the right thing and to listen or not was my discretion. It's not the gym but our lifestyle that determines if we put on those extra kilos that we cannot lose.

    Regards,
    Blasphemous Aesthete

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Absolutely! I have mentioned that in the post that eating right and exercising must be emphasized by the parents from day one. And by that I mean, that the parent must live it as well. My husband and I are brisk walkers. We love to play TT and badminton with the kids. And both my kids enjoy outdoor activities. And I like to plan and cook the meals for my family. Setting a routine is very important for a parent. And I am already penning a post on that :). The emphasis has to shift from being "thin" to being fit and healthy! If you follow a healthy lifestyle, the good part is that you just cannot become obese. It is bad eating and poor lifestyle habits that set us up for obesity in the first place. Thank you for your inputs, Blasphemous Aesthete.

      Delete
  18. Well written.. It's really disheartening to know that ppl are so obsessed with the way they look.. So much so that they have unhealthy diet and sometimes even skip a meal to look slim.. Children always look towards their parents when the outside world tease them but parents should always remind them that they are worthy of doing anything and that short fat and dark do not matter.. And I read somewhere that obesity doesn't mean that you have a disease.. A thin person can have diabetes too.. And an obese person might not have diabetes.. Obesity just may be a sign or precursor to tell you that you might be at risk of a disease.. But not the disease itself..

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Well summarized, Priya! Personally I have come across some overweight people who are quite healthy. Some have a broad build. So an overweight person does not imply unhealthy and neither does a slim person imply fit! That is the problem with using weight as a yardstick. The yardsticks must be health parameters, bad lifestyle, lack of exercise, consumption of junk and overall lack of fitness, energy and stamina -- not weight!

      Delete
  19. very well said!!! I absolutely hate mothers who obsess about their kids' skin tone, applying all kinds of pastes and creams to make it fairer!! And, there's this Complan ad which shows a dad giving his son Complan to 'grow taller' rather than just helping him accept this height! Both environments, inside and out of the house, are setting such bad examples to our kids!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Absolutely Roshni! And telling their daughters that no one would marry them because they are dark or fat. Imagine how humiliated the child feels. The one person who should love them conditionally also bows down to society stereotypes. How sad! Outside influences are very cruel -- peers, neighbors and media. At least the home must be a safe haven. But for that we need mature parents, na! Thank you for liking the post.

      Delete
  20. Everything you mentioned here is so very true , Rachna .. I feel,mocking on the basis of obesity and complexion is quite normal in our society . It is surely the responsibility of parents to take health seriously and inculcate the same habits in children ..
    Self Respect needs to be taught and practically but respecting one self in front of kids.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Oh yes, MySay! It is everyone's goddamn birthright here to tell you and your kids how deficient they are. And then if parents get all apologetic, it is really deflating to the child. Yes, respect yourself first and then do the same to your kids. Thank you for reading.

      Delete
  21. Guess we are all victims of the media whose behavior we are successfully but sadly internalizing. I find it incredibly sad who get obssessed with the fair and lovely mantra and weight issues that religious passed to the innocently children. Love Thyself for what you are is long gone, it seems:)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. True Vishal! It is society's stereotypes that are driving us now. Looks like parents are just not doing enough in terms of inculcating right values and behavior. We see only unhappy people around. And love ourselves seems so herculean. Thanks for reading!

      Delete
  22. The general obsession with externals to the exclusion of inner self and caliber rubs on the parents & they want to be the parents of designer babies/dolls.This too has turned into a rat race.Naturally it reflects in the poor kids' ideology.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Unfortunately all that you say is true, Indu! Hope at least the parents do the right thing.

      Delete
  23. Brilliant post Rachna. Loved the concept and the way you have brought out the entire idea. Parents are much more responsible for the persona of the children than they actually believe.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you so much, Jas! Glad that the post resonated with you.

      Delete
  24. A person with dark skin wants to be fair and a white person wants tanned skin. Seriously, humans can never learn to be satisfied.
    Unfortunately, media fuels this outlook massively and it is getting worse day by day. Parents do not have the acumen to understand that they are being used for profit making organizations.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Parents battle their own insecurities first and are hardly confident enough to provide confidence to their own kids. If we are unhappy in our skin, how can we transmit positive energy to our kids?

      Delete
  25. Spot on, Rachna. A parent's opinion is the one that the child looks for and finds comfort in and when that damages the self-esteem, the rest of the life is screwed.

    Joy always,
    Susan

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you, Susan! We can grow out of what a cruel friend said but often what our own parents said or felt is very difficult to shirk off.

      Delete
  26. Two of my favourite bloggers come together! what more can I ask for? :)

    I love the way you deliver your punches -- wham, bam and whack! I have personally seen mothers pull long faces over their dusky complexioned girls, worrying about their marriage prospects, all within the earshot of the pre-teen, for godsake! And yes, they begin watching what they eat when they are even younger, taking tiny portions instead of wolfing down everything in sight. And i do hope the use of the feminine gender in the post was for convenience and not meant only for girls. Boys are equally obsessed these days.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you Zephyr! And any post of mine is missing something if your comment is not there. Not only moms but have you seen aunts, uncles, neighbors pointedly speaking about your child in their presence in a derogatory manner as if the child does not understand. We as a society are so very callous in the way we voice opinions. Calling a child dark, ugly, stupid, malnourished, fat to their and their parents' faces is so common. And much to the chagrin of my family, I feel a special delight in my retorts to these aunties. Oh yes, boys are equally affected. The complexion weapon has been tossed many times at S as well. Kids are cruel too. He and I make fun of fairness cream ads, and we discuss the topic at length. And, I must tell you that he gave me some nice comments after he read this post :). No, use of the feminine gender was only a convenience.

      Delete
    2. Your boys are special Rachna..because you have taken time to talk and be with them...they are lucky. I am in any case in awe of S. Yes, as Purba said earlier, one of your best posts..it flows like Mandakini!

      Delete
    3. Thank you Bhavana! I try to be more open with them something that I did not have when I was growing up. My parents were supportive but much more detached. It was after we were teenagers that we started having more spirited conversations yet several topics were out of bounds. With my own children I was more conscious of that; I want them to feel comfortable to discuss anything and not feel judged. And I can so understand S because he and I are so alike. Things he has gone through, I went through as well. I guess it helps if we have the awareness and the thought process to change. Thanks you again for your warm words!

      Delete
  27. "people of varying weights who are all at the same fitness level have almost similar health risks." Very well said, Rachna! Just watching an Indian soap where the would-be MIL is blasting the would-be DIL for being dark and the girl's parents are standing by with an apologetic face. This is the kind of teaching these shows do. Hell, our culture has a long way to go. Accepting oneself for what we are is the only way to go!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Soaps and movies are the worst, Deepa. They perpetuate horrible stereotypes, some of them I believe that seem to be dead now. Very sad. But this crap has such a massive audience.

      Delete
  28. I totally agree with you on the color part. Rushi seeing these ads on Indian channels says, amma I want that cream. Next time tell granny to get it from India. I tried to explain to him and said, see if that cream could make you white, even Obama could use it and all the people in Africa would be fair skinned. His logic goes like this, "that is available only in India. Not in Africa..that's why people are dark"...I explained..that's a different story. But tell me one thing. Why is fat not unhealthy? A person is fat means he is over the weight he normally should be right? And again, fat depends on how you define it. I have two kids...one becomes fat if eats (and not exercise :P) and one doesn't gain a gram of weight how much you feed her...she is 4 and is already obsessed with fair skin..looks into the mirror and says, we both are same same rt? I say, yes same same...two eyes, one nose, one mouth..OMG...such a long comment..

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Latha, thank you for your detailed comment. Okay, as I see it, Rushi as a kid will be quite enamored by fairness cream ads. After all the person using it suddenly becomes super hot with girls and successful. So he would relate fair skin to success and desirability as they are trying to convey through the ad. What you must do is to instill pride in what he is born with. Tell him how he is such a bright and lovable boy. That he is so goodlooking the way he is. And Obama is President of US because he is incredibly capable and yes one of the handsomest men on the planet. Why would he even wish to be fairer. Personally I dig Denzel Washington and Will Smith as much as I like Brad Pitt and Tom Cruise. You understand how Indians are just not able to look beyond fair skin as a parameter of beauty. And about fat, research has shown that overweight people who exercise and have no health issues are as healthy as some of the thinner folks who exercise. Please understand that slim is not always healthy! To get slim, some people do drastic things to their bodies jeopardizing their health. And we need to shift the paradigm to health and fitness instead of the current obsession to be slim at any cost. Coming to your kids, they are both young. And kids this age can burn off almost anything they eat. Make sure you initiate healthy eating habits in them and keep junk food and sodas as rare treats. Indian food is very healthy and balanced if not weighed down with fried stuff and pickles!

      Delete
  29. Get hold of the lady who started the concept of size ZERO

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. She herself might not have known what she began.

      Delete
  30. 3 cheers for this post Rachna !
    One shud be cautious but not too obsessed by their complexion , weight , figure or whats so over and like u said parents are responsible- the way they accept society's taunts and bring down a kid's morale is outrageous !
    Good one and much needed post. Kudos

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you Afshan! Happy you connected with this.

      Delete
  31. This is so true, and self worth is linked to emotional and physical health. Sadly, all that is needed is unconditional love and acceptance from parents and family. Wonder why most people fail to give that to their kids

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Sometimes they grapple with deep issues of their own including nonacceptance and lack of love. Sometimes, it could stem from cowering down to societal pressures.

      Delete
  32. eye opening for me!!!..since am not a parent..i cant say much how i influence my kid..but yes, looking at my Fb profile pics, my niece emotionally bullies her mum to get her fashionable clothes n stuff....that says a lot on how as adults, we influence the impressionable young minds!!!


    http://www.myunfinishedlife.com

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Oh yes, kids look up to adults and their first role models are always in the family. I am happy that my post added to your awareness. Thanks for reading.

      Delete
  33. Very nice post.. I was sort of obsessed with fair-skin. Am wheatish. Just started loving myself for what I am. And will make sure that my kids follow it too in the fuuuuture!! (OMG, Am talking too much at 21:P )

    http://livelaughlovewithsharu.wordpress.com/

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you sharu4ever. I am glad you discovered your true worth! Thank you for reading.

      Delete
  34. I totally agree. In fact my own parents were of the opinion that I was the darkest and most ugly child ever. My inferiority complex grew on me and has found a place under my skin.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anita I feel so angered by such parents. Don't they think for a moment what impact their own opinions will have on their child? I hope you find people, nice people, who can love you for who you are and help you to love yourself again.

      Delete
  35. Spot on, Rachna. Instead of trying to meet society’s impossible standards of beauty, skin type, height-weight for ourselves and for our kids, as parents we need to help our kids focus on the real beauty that is what’s inside, the zest for life, the fun-loving spirit, self esteem... But sadly, the reverse happens and it scars the child deeply.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Very aptly summarized, Shilpa! Thank you for liking the post.

      Delete
  36. This is the best and most important line - Your fitness and stamina is.

    I feel most of the people are crazy these days. I know girls who starve before a trip so that they can post good photos on Facebook. They look sick but as long as they are looking thin, it's ok. As you said we have to accept and love the way we are and try to be healthy, without worrying about the size.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Absolutely Saru! Thank you for liking the post. The craze with being thin has crossed all barriers of insanity. We need some sanity back!

      Delete
  37. you know just last week one of my friend called up and narrated this incident...Her neighbour's daughter was sitting on the building steps and sobbing..she asked her why and that girl had a heart to heart with my friend..told her that her mother had just beaten her up because she had huge breasts and that made her body look disproportionate...and all the money that was being spent in the gym was not working...this was all being done because her parents are not able to find her a suitable boy and every one is rejecting her it seems.... This girl even confided in her that she feels like killing herself... so now my friend is secretly helping her gain back her confidence and teaching her to fight back....

    And you know what is the best part... my friend say that this girl's mother is also like that..with huge breasts.. so i think that is just heridatry... and this poor girl is being punished for no fault of hers....

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Oh that is so sad, Suku! I wish that her mother had the guts to show the middle finger to a society like that. Let her not marry such shallow folks and have a rewarding life otherwise. Easier said than done but better than getting badgered about marriage market. Parents seriously frustrate me often!

      Delete
  38. Very well written Rachna - however, let me give you a counter point.

    Imagine a leaf of a plant. Can it grow just because it has roots? It needs sunlight, air and water. In other words the environment supports and shapes its development and growth. Likewise, if genes were the only determiner of a childs' growth, and well being,then Sachin Tendulkar would be teaching in a school just like his parents did for so many years.

    So just blaming the parents for developing a particular perception is perhaps debatable.Society plays a huge role in reaffirming this belief system. So if we as a collective unit mature and become more sensible,then no child will be discriminated for either being dark or tall or short or whatever. WE are the environment and we need to be better human beings before we bring a child into this world.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I love your view and agree with it on some level, Gyanban! Yes, we may provide all the encouragement at home but sometimes the peers and society are so cruel that they will puncture the child's self confidence. So yes, as a society we need to mature as well. But, using your own corollary, imagine a plant without roots. It will not thrive in the best of environments. I wasn't talking of genes at all. I was talking about the encouragement, the confidence and the pride a parent takes in her child irrespective of her looks. That is what made Sachin go out and explore sports. That is what perhaps pulled him up when his detractors bayed for his blood. Because society is fickle; it may change with changing trends. But home is your safe haven! They should be by your side through your ups and downs not because of your success and fame and money but because of who you are and what you mean to them. A child not cherished at home will always face self-esteem issues!

      Delete
  39. You have raised such strong points here. Children merely reflect what their parents do. They might "grow" out of it but the damage might be done by then. People should understand that fat and dark are adjectives just like fair and slim are. It doesn't make anyone superior or inferior. And it's not just about being fat. Stick thin kids who are perfectly healthy also have to go through it: Why are you so thin? No one feeds you? Which is equally bad.

    I loved this article, Rachna. I really hope it is read by people who suffer from low self esteem because of their weight or colour.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you DC! Exactly right what you said about adjectives. They are words that speak more about us. Why should they be equated to being something shameful or bad? And yes, there are people who will have admirers but will feel inadequate inside due to the unacceptability of a parent. Somehow, we all crave our parents' love and acceptance so much more. Oh yes, I heard those thin barbs in my own life. My mom used to hear things like, "Why don't you feed your kids well?" Thank you so much for reading and connecting with it!

      Delete

Psst... let me know what you are thinking.

LinkWithin

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...