And while we're on the subject, what is it that constitutes being too fat?
It seems ironic that while it is such a part of Chinese custom and old tradition that fat equates to wealth, prosperity and beauty, some of KL's skinniest people around are Chinese! And darling, I'm quite sure not all of these skinny Winnies are "born like that." I've heard enough stories about girls surviving on latters and see enough obsessive thin-thin girls exercising themselves to death at the gym to pooh-pooh away that theory.
But anyway, this isn't just another bashing session of thin people. It's a bashing of people who love to monitor your weight and can't wait to point out how very fat you are.
We were properly, hugely clubbed down a few months ago when Trisha wrote this column and I posted this follow up blog entry was published. Remember?
Of course, in typical *ahem* plebian Malaysian style, the only way to get back at us was to hurl insults about just how fat we must be, how we will never be like the gym bunnies etc etc To the ignoramuses, calling someone fat is apparently just the most awful thing you could say to someone.
*Oh, we were so distraught we cried blood*
Let's set things straight. I'm a US size6/Australian size 8/UK size 10 and in most local stores, I fit into a medium.
But in the eyes of most M'sians I'm grossly overweight.
Now logically, if I'm a "medium," this means I'm neither "large," nor "small" - it means I'm in the middle somewhere, average. But the logic doesn't work. I'm still fat and sales assistants tell me I should try a medium as if it were prescribing something very wrong.
Funny, because when I was in England, people would be genuinely amazed when I told them I felt fat and needed to lose some weight. Their big eyes (because you know how big Westener's eyes can get) widen big big in surprise and they go, "But why? You're already so small!"
I guffawed into their faces because at first I thought they were being sarcastic, but no, they really meant it. Took me bloody ages to figure that out, what with being brainwashed in this part of the world that I'm such a fatty.
Back for holidays one year, I sat bemoaning to my cousin and her husband about how it was shitty being considered fat back in here in Asia.
I wailed, “I’m so huge here. You know, in countries like Australia and the UK, when I go shopping, I fit into a small.”
There was a spasm of bewilderment from my cousin’s husband as he laughed so hard he choked into his pasta. He was appalled and totally disbelieving.
And then, WHY the incessant need of people here to point out that you've put on weight? Surely, any girl knows when she's put on weight - the fact that your clothes feel tight is indication enough. But just to make sure you really know, the kaypohchees must inform you, in different variations:
"Wah! You're fat already lah."
"Eh, you put on weight issit?" (they ask gravely, like discussing death)
"Waaah... you must be eating very well, huh?"
I even had a shop assistant from a store I visit quite often tell me that: "Eh... sudah gemuk ah?"
In any case, there are "bigger girls" who are absolutely stunning - like fabulous Sophie Dahl and gorgeous Kate Winslet:
Imagine if these girls came to M'sia - would everyone laugh them down for being " too fat?!"
All a matter of perception, of course, but the point is, why can't people just get over the whole damn hang up in the first place.
Who cares if you're too fat/too thin - what does matter is whether you're healthy. You could look gorgeous but be a wreck on the inside and feel like shit - and what's the point in that?
Recently, I got to thinking about which period in my life I was the happiest and most blissed out. I surprised myself by realising that it was during high school, when I was 20 kilos heavier than I am now, and couldn't fit into anything. But life was hearty, I'd eat a pizza whenever I wanted to eat a pizza and I was having the time of my life.
Fast forward 5 years when I was at my thinniest at university, had great hair, had my pick of the lot with the boys....and it actually all felt a bit ordinary.
So heck, down with the kaypohs, the boring (thin) stuff shirts who naysay cheesecake. I'm a size 10 and I'm going to learn to love it.