A digital magazine on sexuality, based in the Global South: We are working towards cultivating safe, inclusive, and self-affirming spaces in which all individuals can express themselves without fear, judgement or shame
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Body ImageCategoriesThe I Column

Too Big

What is it about our bodies that cause us so much angst? Is it because the set of rules that we have to abide by are set for us and we feel that we have to play along or else we lose out? Surely that cannot be the reason. There are so many ways in which we challenge many set ideologies because we do not ascribe to them and yet anything to do with the body causes us sleepless nights and we try to make some things more and other things less. Do we ever connect this with violence? Can we see the links between what we do to ourselves and our supposed aversion to violence? Why do we always assume that violence is done to us by someone else and not that we do it to ourselves quite easily and then have a million explanations to justify why we do not eat, why we use Fair and Lovely face cream, why we spend hours in the gym under duress, and why we focus incessantly on how much one has gained or lost in kilos and not in a metaphysical sense?

What is the point of saying my body is mine when actually we mean that my body is partially owned by me and the rest is a joint ownership between my parents; the gym; the people whom I desire and who do not desire me; the media, society and the countless faceless people who feel that they can advise me and tell me what I should look like.

I look the same every day. Tall, big, dark woman. For others, what I am varies. Some days it’s a beautiful woman, at other times it is a fat woman. For some I am a man, for others my gender confuses them.  Some people see me and think I am hot while others feel that I should immediately go in for a 90 kg weight loss program.

I am all of this and I am not.

Image source: SLR Jester

Article written by:

Pramada Menon, a queer feminist, has worked on multiple issues of social justice including gender, sexuality, and mental health for many years. Wearing multiple hats, Pramada is creator and performer of Fat, Feminist and Free, has made a documentary film, and is also co-founder of CREA, a women's human rights organisation. Her work as an independent consultant for the last decade or so allows her complete freedom to say what she wants, and more importantly, the time to do all the fun things she promised herself she would do. She regularly devotes ten minutes everyday to thinking deeply about exercise!