Insult or Over Sensitivity?

Recently my husband, daughter and I went to visit a friend and his aunt. For the sake of this article lets just call her Aunty Ji. I have known Aunty Ji for over 4 years now. Let me start by saying that she has a history of saying some hurtful things in the past to me and my husband. She told my husband that he “caused the CURSE of having girl babies” to his friends. My husband was the first of his friends to have a baby and after him the rest of his friends had girls as well. I personally think it’s a blessing, but to her it’s a curse! She had in vitro fertilization done at 48 after years of infertility, and paid the extra money to ensure she had a boy. She has said other rude things as well about my weight, my culture, my husbands family. I thought that her bitterness was caused by her frustration over not being able to conceive.

We actually avoided seeing her for some time because we were tired of the rude comments. So after about two years of not seeing her we decided to meet up with our friend who happened to be at his aunt’s house for the weekend. So we took a deep breath and agreed to come see him. We hoped that with her being able to have her son she would be secure and not need to make bitter comments.

We all greeted at the door and then went and sat down. Within ten minutes of being there Aunty Ji said that my daughter was far too thin. We explained that she was exactly average and was 50% height and weight at her last checkup. She then turned her attentions to me. She started relatively nice, saying that I should try nutra system to help lose weight. She explained how she had lost 25 pounds and simply ate the food in the program. I was not super offended. I am overweight so I get why the topic was brought up and she seemed like she was trying to be helpful.

We all went to Gurdwara and she was pleasant the entire time. We went back to her house and she then started commenting on how fat I was again.  She was not so kind or helpful this time around. She went on and on about how I really needed to diet. I tried to steer the conversation to another topic, but she kept going back to the same topic of my weight! She then said something that stopped me in my tracks! She said “Tina you know you should have one chin not two!” She said this in front of my husband and his friend. I felt humiliated! I could feel my face glow from embarrassment! My husband’s friend, her nephew, popped up and said Aunty Ji that is too much! She then got defensive and said “ I am just being a friend!”

I wonder if she was just “being a friend”? Did her lack of English skills cause her intention to come out wrong? Her track record of being rude makes me think, she wanted to embarrass me.  To put me down so she felt better. I hate the fact that out of everything that I am and do, fat is the one thing that is most talked about!

Talking behind someones back can be incredibly hurtful

Is communication really that different in our two cultures? I do know that in India people tend to be more straightforward and say what they mean! So if they feel you are fat then they may say you are fat. While in the United States people tend to talk about people to other people. So they tell their other friend that you are fat!  This does not imply that one culture is more rude than the other, just different styles of being rude. There are jerks everywhere, just some talk behind your back to hurt you while others do it to your face to make you feel inferior. Both of these styles are incredibly hurtful.

Untitled

The stress to be thin is very common!

I am not sure if I plan on going back to that Aunties House again, her comment left me with a terrible feeling inside. I want to say it did not affect me but it did! I am working on my weight through eating healthy and working out but those comments made all my efforts feel pointless. I am more than just my weight. There is so much more to talk about.

I just thought I would share it here because the topic is still bothering me. Has something like this ever happened to you? How did you react? Do you think that people need thicker skins or that others need to control their comments? I would love to hear your opinions.

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28 thoughts on “Insult or Over Sensitivity?

  1. Tina, don’t worry on what people say either in front or back of you. Because they are never gonna change. Yes that is true I had my worse time getting married saying you are fat. Mine is an arranged marriage and I had lots of rejections because of weight. By god’s grace I could get rid of huge pounds during my wedding. It is hurtful, I can get your feelings. Try not to get hurt because of these people. You know what you are doing. Few people do it to subside their fault. Never mind them and go on your track. Cheers dear friend 🙂

  2. That Aunty was being rude Tina, her intention was to pull you down and make you feel embarrassed. No, lack of English speaking skills was not her problem, her problem was she was feeling little in front of you and hence she tried to find faults in you to make her feel better.
    Please don’t visit her again & never let her visit your place too. She is no one to comment on your or Nasreen’s weight.
    Yes, I have faced this too. But unfortunately couldnt react at that time & I still regret that.
    I was only 17, attending a family wedding when I heard one aunty telling my Mum – “Ask your daughters to eat less, no one will marry them if they don’t loose weight”
    Recently when I went to India for my sister’s wedding, another aunty rudely asked me – “How you came to India again?? that too without baby?? I was so so upset, I replied to her – “It is not compulsory to give birth to a baby, to come & meet my parents in India!!” & I left.
    It’s really really saddening that Indian aunties think that they can comment on anyone’s personality or personal life in front of everyone. Really really sad 😦 😦

      • She is unhappy with her life, and she’s insecure. Indian or African being nasty transcends the colour line and nothing like culture or upbringing can justify that. These type of people deserve to be ignored, along with their narrow minded ways of thinking
        Plus size or minus you’re beautiful either way 🙂

  3. I have to agree with TPL here..Auntyji was definitely being rude and trying to belittle you.Keep your chin up girl..I sometimes feel it must be harder for you girls,to get used to the Indian culture..There are good people,who would make you feel so welcome and loved and then there are heaps like Auntyji..
    I’d stay away from her,if I were you.I have come across many such and tbh,as my time away from India gets longer an longer,my patience gets lesser and lesser..dreading my next India trip and all the ‘weighty’ comments.
    xx
    Trish

    • I agree most are good but the mean ones are just so much more involved, I think its rooted in elder respect. Elder respect is awesome but when these aunties say horrible stuff culterally they get away with it and no one can say a thing

      • See that’s my pet peeve..the elder members of the family/society think they can get away with saying anything.Grrr makes me sooo mad!
        Hope you are in a happy place now.

  4. Oh my gosh!!! She paid extra money for a boy, is that possible? That is surely illegal arghh!! The fact she did that means her opinion is tainted with prejudice and bile from the offset!

    I think the third thing my MIL ever said to me was ‘you need to lose 10kgs’ and she was completely horrified when her sarees blouses could fit me… I don’t think she ate for a week after that hahaha!

    You are gorgeous Tina, we all love you!!!!!! xxxx

      • Is that so? That’s awful.
        The most recent birth in my family has been a baby daughter to my niece in Delhi, and the first check-up & gyno gave out a huge contract to sign on how there was no way they could ask or be told about the sex of the baby under the threat of dire legal consequences.

        We are 4 sisters and our parents never let us feel it one inch, I have some vague recollections of some relative trying to say something but they would be squashed so thoroughly by my mum or dad that they wouldn’t dare mention it again. And we have also twin little girls in our current joint family, most welcome from the first second of their lives 🙂

  5. Saying it once is one thing. Fixating on it is a completely different matter altogether. She has a lot of ideas in her mind and she will always be jealous of you for conceiving right after your marriage whereas she had to try for many years and spent a lot of money. She was intentionally trying to belittle you.

    And it’s tough, you can’t really ‘answer back’ to aunty ji but there are ways to register your disappointment. You kind of have to work the passive-aggressive spectrum, sadly… slipping out of the party without saying goodbye, inviting everyone in the community to things except her, coming up with excuses for why you can’t attend her functions, etc. If she’s doing this to you, she’s doing it to others as well, and as you very well know, when people say things like this, particularly in jackhammer mode, it says more about them than it does about you. She probably has a lot of ‘respect’ but not RESPECT from people and no one else is going to blame you.

    • I agree with you completely! I especially love when you said “it says more about them than it does about you.” That is soooo true! So much of what people say is them projecting on other people. If you love your self no need to tear others down.

  6. I was in India recently for my sil’s wedding. Due to his work schedule, my husband had to stay at home while his parents and I went from house to house inviting everyone (and their mother). No lie, every.single.house we went to had very nice observations of me. “I think you have gained a LOT of weight. I think you were not this big last time. I think you used to be smaller. You have probably been eating too much food.” All I could do was laugh and congratulate my aunties and uncles for their superior eyesight for seeing something that, quite frankly, my husband and I don’t. I guess I’ve always been fat ; )
    Is there a point to this story? Hmm, maybe not, except to agree with you that rudeness comes in different ways and levels from culture to culture. What I took as insulting, they took as helpful. But I can guarantee you this: if anyone had said something so rude to me like this auntie said to you…I don’t think I would have been invited to the wedding anymore!

  7. It is really sad that you have to face all of this. Try to avoid meeting her or totally ignore her presence if you have to meet. It can serve as a silent retaliation. There’s no point in arguing with such ppl.
    Yes, i have faced and have been facing the same problem. I am actually used to this ‘You are fat and you would never get married with that body of yours talk.’ It is really depressing to face those words and mostly that feeling, that makes you think that you are nothing but some lumps of fat and all other attributes that you worked so hard to achieve are nothing. I hate that feeling.
    It was very recent when i had to face my mum’s friend in a wedding. I was alone and had to attend bcoz i was the only one in the city and one of us had to be there. This Aunty was just there sitting with me and i just shared my view on the bride that she looked stunning and really beautiful. The next thing she has to say was, ‘Yeah, she is so slim unlike you. Even you should try to be like that or else it will be really hard for your mother to marry you off.’
    I had no words after that. I am just stunned. I just cannot understand her lack of sensitivity. More than stunned, i was crushed. We were not even close. I had met her after years and she has to say those words to me. What can i do but just ignore?
    I just think that there is no reason or intention to behave that way. Some people are just rude and insensitive towards others. They are wired wrong and do not even understand that they are hurting others. That’s the only thing that i could think of in their/my defense.

  8. Tina I went through a similar situation so I’m feeling you my dear. I won’t go into too much details but chubbiness is in my genes from my familys side so it was difficult for my “Desi” family to accept me fat n all. When I got fed up of being humiliated I used just tell them I come from a “khaate peete khandaan” you know affluent family so i ate well or I would say “I eat what n how I please off my earnings not ur dads” (in Hindi sounds more effective hehe) lol I know its harsh but it used to P me off so bad..tell that aunty to go $&@£¥¥#%£ aarghhhh! 😡ill fix her up. Tina big gals like us are like gorgeous fully blossomed flowers..ur hot n saksyyy k so u go girl flaunt that figure!!! 😘

  9. First let me tell you that I love your blog. I follow a couple of Interracial Indian blogs as I am Latina married to an Indian and I love to read about the joys and tribulations of other mixed couples and your blog is one of my favorites..
    I don’t think you were over sensitive at all. I don’t believe that respect should be given to an elder just for that reason alone; respect is also earned.
    I can tell you that on those types of situations I just give it back as bad as they dished it out. I do it in a whisper like voice not cause a scene. I really don’t care if I come across as disrespectful or rude if they disrespect me or my husband. He is the same way especially with people that we really can care less about.
    The weight happened to me only once many years ago. One of those pesky, intrusive aunties that just meet me said that I could stand to loose 10 pounds. I said to her that I did not know her and that she did not know me and that my weight was none of her business and that I could care less what her opinion was about it. She had this mortified look on her face and she just went on talking to other people, most likely about me but I really did not care. I guess she told my mother in law because she came to me and said not to worry about what that cow said (her own words) and gave me a wink. I love my MIL!!!
    Anyway, you are beautiful and have a beautiful family. While I am pretty sure you felt extremely hurt and devastated, don’t spend another minute thinking about this; not worth it. Stay away from her and people like her. Keep smiling,
    Millie B

    • Thank you so much for your sincere and thoughtful response! I need to grow some thorns and also give it right back where it came from. You MIL sounds awesome! That aunty sounded so rude! I also love my supportive MIL. I want to wear a shirt that say ” you can give me your opinion when I ask for it, so keep it to yourself.” . I feel like just because I am overweight many people of all cultures now feel they have the right to comment, as if I no longer deserve normal people considerations. I get the stupid phrase, we are just concerned. Yeah I am concerned too! I am not blind or dumb I know I need to loose weight. Thats no ones business but my own!

  10. I’m sorry you had to endure that kind of treatment, Tina. No, you are not over sensitive. I’ve struggled with my weight for years, and I know what a sensitive topic it is. Auntie or not, it’s really none of her business and you were much kinder than I would have been. We can always lose weight, but a mean personality isn’t fixed as easily. 🙂 ((hugs)) Susan

    • I like that one, its totally true, weight can be lost but a mean person is hard to fix! I just feel somtimes like by only focusing on my weight i become reduced to just that number and loose all my other attributes! Its frustrating!

  11. That Aunty is the most bitter Betty! She truly sounds like a miserable person and I’m sorry that she upset you…I would be livid. At the end of the day, we must remember that what people say and do is a reflection of their own reality. And I think you look wonderful!!!!! xo

  12. A lot of Indians seem to be quite blunt (by American standards) when it comes to issues of age and weight. It is very difficult to stomach when you’re used to people not bringing it up unless they mean to be rude jerks. She shouldn’t have talked to you like that though. Like you, I would have thought she would have been more focused on the joy of having her family around.

  13. aunty is evil. she is pointing out things just to make u feel bad. thats how Desis are “friendly”?
    so what we are MOTI women. our men like full bodies. thats why they are with us and not someone else.
    dont let her comments move you. you have a great heart, you adore your family. thats the most important.

    • Thank you for your kind words gigi, I have really realized that it is her problem that she cant see past my weight, I will only do what is in my heart not hers. Thanks for that comment. Girls have to love their curves. 🙂

  14. Hi there I am kiwi pakeha european from nz I’ve been in with partner three years I love Kulwinder so much have learnt a lot with different cultures yes I’ve have learnt not to care what others think I am between 12-14 nz size and that’s not big but been white and partner wishing was smaller they are bought how they want there women to be I am honest caring kiwi and very affectionate with Punjabi partner u do all the affection my body’s not perfect have had children from my ex partner I’ve notice some similar stuff like private stuff not saying much etc in nz Punjab are a lot harder on white Ppl and no my partner loves me wished I was dark tho cause how Ppl act his parents a lovely honestly I’ve taught my partner to love unconditionally even tho what he grew up with I stopeed eating at one stage lost a lot weight to make everyone happy and now my partner don’t care what friends think been with white girl I say its not colour or weight u fall in love with partner unconditionally I lovre partner that way I think u look beautiful way u are Ppl are shallow and small mined its wat u think that matters:) and yr web sight helps alot

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