Fat is out, Thin is in. The blurb jumped out at me from an advertisement promoting a new health club in the city. The ad went on to heap humiliation on “fat” men and women and concluded with this dire warning: “if you are over weight, your days are numbered”. Aren’t all our days numbered? Seriously I am bored stiff with the current global obsession with thinness.
The Thin Brigade is uncharitably ignoring an entire middle kingdom as it recognizes only the far ends of the spectrum, the thin and the obese. What about rest of us who could fall anywhere between healthy, plump, slightly over or heavy-set?
Can a fat person be an object of desire? That weighty existential question has been haunting a majority of youth from upper and middle classes throughout the thin maniac years. The generator of this angst was non other than the model Twiggy, who, with her matchstick figure completely rewrote the desirable dimension requirements of models the world over. And by extension, that of half the world’s population.
In the advertising world, the unisex look- a byproduct of the thinness fad- spelt the end of characteristic good looks that were essentially projections of differences rather than uniformity. Today, the more androgynous and international the look, the greater the demand. Unsurprisingly, faces and physiques on movie screens, TV monitors and ramps have become only predictable and crushingly boring.
Thank god Twiggy came after Marilyn Monroe and Elizabeth Taylor. And all those Renaissance sculptors and painters. Imagine a Reubens or a Ravi Verma painting with thin subjects. See what I mean? Soft contours emanate a grace and sensousness that an angular figure can never match. If Botticelli had painted an anorexic Venus rising from the sea, would the work of art evoke the same kind of rapture that it does?
The entire South Indian film industry would have gone bust, so to speak, if it were not for its imperviousness to this thin-is-in syndrome. Jayalalitha today has moved from cut-out to all-out in improving her shape and sense of proportion. Here’s a challenge: try making a life-size cut-out of a Julia Roberts or Isha Koppikar and make it look appealing. A Simran or a Jyothika would win hands down, while a Mallika Sherawat might barely pass the grade.
By the way what happens if you fall out of a speeding car, as my grandma did and was saved by the layers of fat around the landing area? Besides if you have a developed background in your school years, the spanks don’t fall as hard as they might on a less endowed rear.
Fat tomatoes, fat patotoes, fat pay cheques, fat burgers, fat burghers have made the world go round all these years. Don’t straighten it please.