Wednesday, July 6, 2022
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    Desi Girl StoriesDesi Girl Stories: Real Women Take On Indian Aunties And Unsolicited Advice

    Desi Girl Stories: Real Women Take On Indian Aunties And Unsolicited Advice

    Exploring life as a lady is confounded. We need to break unfair limitations, worm our way up patriarchal structures, while keeping up with our mental soundness and self-esteem.And while we are busy doing this, we have to deal with people offering us never-ending wisdom, whether we want it or not.

    It isn’t uncommon for ladies to get guidance without requesting it, and when they least expect it. Regardless of whether we are out in open spaces, or in the holiness of their own homes, guardians, family members, neighbors and outsiders assume that we frantically need their viewpoints and endorsement.  The advice and comments we receive can be obvious, unwanted, or downright offensive.

    Indian Women Share Their Thoughts On Receiving Unsolicited Advice 

    TC46 put out a post on Instagram here saying, “Have you ever had a relative tell you that you’ve gained weight when you’ve met them at a family function?” And we received a ton of responses where women shared their thoughts about aunties and family members coming up to them randomly to express their concerns with just about anything. 

    This got us thinking of the umpteen times we have had to endure random comments by those around us, and them not knowing where to dial it back in, here are 14 women sharing their opinions on these regressive thoughts.

    “I was walking to class one day, when I was stopped by a female professor. I had never been in her class, but had spoken to her a couple of times on campus. “You need to watch what you eat”, she told me, “You’ve gained some weight in the last month”. I was disturbed, not so much by the remark itself, but by the fact that she had been noticing my body, and by her need to express her ‘concern’ for me. Wanting to diffuse an awkward situation, I smiled and hurried off to class.” – Ishaani*

    My aunt came up to my mother to tell her that I need to stop swimming, as I was getting too muscular. She was “worried” for me as I may get teased for being too manly.” – Mona*

    My family and I had moved to a different society on the other end of town, and due to the lockdown we weren’t able to meet our old society friends. Once things eased out my mum decided to host a housewarming party, and that’s when a swarm of aunties came up to me and gave me the classic line “healthy lag rahi ho” – Mrinal*

    “I was told that I should smile more by an uncle. Needless to say I was creeped out.” – Nanma*

    I have always been on the skinnier side, and have a very fast metabolism, so that means I endure the “kuch kha le varna udd jayegi” comment on the daily, by EVERY PERSON EVER!” – Charvi*

    “Being a mid size girl, I’m constantly torn. When I lose weight I’m told that I look better when I had some chubbiness on me, and when I gain a little, people tell me to be careful lest I become too moti” – Reena*

    “I used to be a chubby kid, and hence since then my family literally calls me moti as a nickname till this date.” – Devika*

    “I remember attending a wedding, wherein we were meeting the whole family after quite a while. I could never speak my mother tongue but could still understand, so I witnessed an entire family discussion about my weight, and how everyone was laughing and giggling about it RIGHT IN FRONT OF ME.” – Rita*

    “I had just gotten my hysterectomy done, and had gained weight as a result of the operation. When I finally got back to work, I had my boss tell me that I needed to cut back on the “vacation days” because the “fun” was visible.” – Kavya*

    “My aunt told me that I shouldn’t stitch a sleeveless blouse for my sister’s wedding because my arms had gained weight.” – Sonia*

    “I was banned from playing basketball because the sun would make me darker and I wouldn’t find a boy”- Zeena*

    “An aunty came up to me once at a puja, to tell me how I was too tall… and how tough it would be for me to get a guy. She even went on to suggest a few “nuskas” on how to control my height gain. I was 13!” – Kanika*

    “During lockdown I got super into fitness and working out, I gained a ton of muscle and was actually super proud of myself, till I attended a relatives wedding this past week, and got stared at like crazy. One aunty called me Dara Singh.” – Gia* 

    “COVID was a horrible time for me personally. My personal tragedies had caused me to lose a lot of weight. After a long time of isolation I decided to show up at a family friends’ party. That’s when an aunty pulled me to the side and said something on the lines of “at least you lost all that weight” and suggested that I continue my current eating patterns.– Kaveri* 

    Being a woman does not automatically qualify you as a contender for adjustment. Why should we coyly ignore all that is said to us? Who is asking for this advice? This culture of women policing other women is a symptom of internalized misogyny, which turns them flag bearers of patriarchy.

    Disclaimer: Please note that the responses have been translated and edited for clarity. Names have been changed to respect privacy.

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