Tuesday, February 5, 2008


There are four types of big women: there are those who thrust their bigness in your face (read, if you are walking down a corridor and they are walking towards you, you can be sure that if you don’t retreat, they will run you over).

And there are big women who don’t give a damn, and would never try a slimming product or aspire for a certain size or fit… they wear their bigness with style and in fact you actually like them because they are big, and couldn’t bear to imagine them any other way. In fact, you hardly notice they are big , as you are so in sync.

Then there are those who hate you for being small and secretly wish they could fit into your clothes. Such women go on crash GM diets, dancersize and zoomba classes, or pretty much anything that promises to make them svelte. It does, relatively speaking—it helps them lose 3 kg of their total 70 kg body mass, but that hardly shows. So they are usually sore and grimacing most of the time.

And finally, there those who are almost apologetic about being big— they try to physically shrink when they are near you. They have a genial attitude, softer voices, gentler footsteps, and you feel safe and protected around them—almost like mamma.

For most of my life, I have been surrounded by women bigger than me, which is not a difficult thing to achieve, as I am 5 feet nothing and I pretty much stopped growing at age 15, horizontally and vertically. Fortunately or unfortunately, I have never aspired to appear taller or larger by wearing heels or padded bras—I really didn’t see any point in creating an illusion.

Except my mother and two of my aunts, I don’t know many women who are smaller than me (except a niece or two, but they don’t count). This becomes difficult when you want to give away clothes that you love, but have managed to outgrow. My sister was a prime candidate, until recently. But sometimes, when you have to kick ass, it helps to be bigger than your opponent, so you at least know that they can’t punch harder than you.

I read a book a long time ago called A prayer for Owen Meany in which there is a boy who stops growing at the age of 12. And you make his presence felt, he speaks in a volume four times the required one, and all his words are in ALL CAPS. So you know what it means when he says REALLY, HOW ON EARTH DO THEY MANAGE THAT? He’s just making a point.

A friend of mine told me how she finds it tough being taken seriously by her juniors at work, as they were all bigger than her. “It’s about filling a chair”… she told me. “You have to have to appear big to look intimidating.” I tried wearing layers and appearing large, inhaling deeply and filling myself out, outstretched arms and all in an ample chair, but felt like a bit of an idiot. I finally reassured myself that sometimes, great things do come in small packages.

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