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…
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?