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Am a contradiction of sorts. i love going out and having a good time with friends, and i can also stay home chill out over a book or a movie.. Am very passionate about writing, so give me a topic and watch me float away into wonderland... I Am crazy about music,books,friends and my doggie... :)

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Perceptions or Mindsets

There is this show on National Geographic called Taboo and every week they cover a unique issue/characteristic/habit/etc. I have seen episodes that discussed
  • Sexual preferences
  • Dealing with death
  • Fat - and how some prefer a big built partner
  • Addictions - not just substance abuse
  • Marriage of different kinds- being married to a person who's serving time
  • Gender Benders 
  • Misfits - where a 6 ft tall guy is married/love with a 2 ft short woman [dwarf] and so much more... 

I dont really remember the Show schedule and so dont watch it every week. But what i've seen has fascinated me, and had me thinking about a lot of things that we pass by in life. There are so many pre-conceived notions and mindsets about professions, how we should live our life that the minute someone breaks away and does something out of the ordinary, they are called WEIRD or labelled x, y or z. 

Why are people unable to accept something that is different?
Why are people so scared to step outside the comfort zone or be different? 
What is it that keeps people locked inside the little boxes, with their thoughts, beliefs giving them the RIGHT to preach, and frown on others.... 

I mean i've had friends tell me "you are nothing like an iyer ponnu [iyer girl]- You are loud, brash, wear Tshirts capris, go out late in the night, go out to pubs, travel alone........... list is endless... So, who created this iyer ponnu box? it is the same people we call family and friends right? 

Well, truth is I never intended to break away or be different, but as i gew up, i just evolved into the woman i am today.... 

Anyways, i am digressing... Couple of days back, was watching Taboo, and the topic was Fat, overweight people. They showed a couple where the woman was HUGE, i mean beyond imaginable big and the husband was totally enamored by her. He dint want her to change, or get any surgery done to become thin.. She too was happy being the way she was even though people and doctors had warned her of health hazards.... 

In between their interview, there were 2 Doctors, researchers talking about people, body weight and perceptions. One lady in particular who is a Professor in Psychology spoke about an experiment she ran in her college in Australia... 

They invited a group of random people, and showed them images of Men & Women who were big made, overweight... 

The findings- 

On seeing the images of MEN, people commented-
He looks healthy
There is a certain glow on his skin
He must be taking care of his body 
Those clothes fit him well 

However, on seeing images of WOMEN, the very same people commented-
She is huge
She looks ugly
What is wrong with her, she is so flabby
Gross, how can someone love her
How can she step out of the house
She is ugly [well, it was said repeatedly]

So, what makes people react differently to same physique but across genders?? Are we all programmed to assume "women need to be slim, trim and petit" while men can be of any shape or size and it doesnt matter too much??  Where does this thought stem from? 

Any thoughts?

17 comments:

gils said...

the same thought stream that waves in the idea of white color people are gud looking than darks. Again..there are exceptions to this rule..halle berry..nandita das..paula patton (yummy she is :))
but..exceptions dont get to veto.
ithuku mela postina comment posta vida perusaaidum..wl deal with this as a topic on blog :) nanri for the idea

Ashwini C N said...

It's just the preconceived notions which you were talking about. Infact, for the same experiment, if they had given pictures of thin, but healthy guys and girls, I am sure people would have targeted the guys, saying they were/looked weak.
It's all got to do with the mind and the thought process!

Anuradha Shankar said...

oh this happens to me too!!! but in another way... when i speak in fluent tamil, people are so surprised.... u live in bbay and can speak so good tamil??? and then i look like a typical 'iyer ponnu' as you say. and that leads to even more surprise when i go out by myself alone and do things that dont fit into their idea of a typical iyer ponnu!
as to the weight perception, have gone through that all my life! guess most of it is becuase of the idea propagated by all sorts of media.that a perfect girl has to be fair and thin!
and it starts so early!! much as i try to get samhith not to have any such preconceived notions, you cant imagine the kind of ideas he comes up with, mostly from school! the best was one that girls dont like to play or get dirty. that idea stayed for about 2 years in spite of my trying to tell him that girls did love to play, even if i didnt... and then finally he found a girl who played just like he did and got just as dirty, so i have stopped hearing that line noe :D

ganeshputtu said...

As a (both) fat and dark person...whatever i say may seem biased but heres my two cents...the idea of discrimination against others are sown in childhood itself and children are much more cruel when voicing their disapproval compared to adults who are afraid of the consequences atleast before saying it in public...only solution is genetic engineering i guess...then all of us can be cloned with the same genes and look alike...what cant be changed should be endured- survivors mantra

Lakshmi said...

You know..sometimes we are the pigeon, sometimes the statue..all of us live in boxes and in a world dominated by prejudices, judgements, opinions and we use them to the degree of what suits us ..its eventually a perception and everything boils down to being relative

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Narayani Karthik said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Narayani Karthik said...

It is quite true that most people although enjoy watching/gossiping about the unconventional side of society (which they don't voice opinions about, openly), will always dwell in hypocrisy explaining to the world about how the world should be run by the rules that have been followed over the years. And that is the world we live in. As far as your question is concerned, where does this thought stem from, I guess, our thoughts and actions are influenced by what we observe and learn for the most part of our lives, following the rules of the society and accepting them even when our rational side totally defies them. Human nature is programmed that way, I guess :)

BTW, a nice blog.....Keep blogging :) Cheers & God bless...!!

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