Dear Parineeti, you broke my heart a little


I’ve been a chubby girl, bordering on fat and obese, most of my life. People call me plump, but I know they’re being politically correct. It’s never a good feeling, especially when you’re someone who enjoys being in the limelight. But I changed myself for my body. It turned me into someone I originally wasn’t. I went from carefree to self-conscious in my teens. I still struggle with that. ‘Shopping’ is never a happy experience. It takes a lot of introspection and self-love to break that barrier, till the next person calls out my weight in a casual conversation. Thanks for stating the obvious, friend, I want to say, but I still don’t have the perfect response for that.

Looking a certain way is a heavy burden to carry. I thought you knew that, Parineeti. And I have to say, I loved that about you. I loved that you dared to be you in an industry that’s constantly trying to top size zero. I thought you were all about the talent, Pari, the girl next door who got the guy, the girl with real issues but still got the fairytale ending. You didn’t conform. You stood out. You gave me hope.

And then the other day, I attended a press conference and you were there. You were charming, believable, the glam-girl-next-door. You seemed real. You spoke about girls having to work harder because no one expected them to rule the world. And when someone asked you about your weight you said this, “I have always been obese and I decided to take a year to work on my body. I am twenty-seven-years-old and I should be able to wear the things I want to.” You also said, “I’m still not my ideal body weight. Dilli abhi bhi duur hai.”

I gasped a little. You looked so thin and you weren’t satisfied? What is this Dilli you are aspiring for?
I am twenty-seven too and, yeah, it’s tough to find “glam” clothes that fit. I don’t feel comfortable wearing the crop tops all girls my age are wearing. I can’t really wear buttoned shirts without the one at the bust popping open. A lot of brands don’t make clothes for me. But you could have changed that, Pari. You have that influence. But you sold out. You caved. You let them define the right body weight for you.

I’m not against being the best version of yourself. I work hard on my body too. I try my best. I eat healthy, I keep fitness goals for myself. I wish you had used the word “fit” more often. You worked hard and I admire you for that. I have struggled too, and continue to do so. I struggle to be fit. I want my body to do things I want it to. But I want to love my body any way it is. I hope you can love your body too, Parineeti.