Love letter to my boutique aunty: SIZE DOES MATTER!
Read on to find the love(!) that Saraswati has for the people who judge her clothes sizes
Dear Boutique Aunty,
I hope this letter finds you in good health amidst tattered clothes and shattered self-esteems. This pandemic has stopped me from seeing you. I can almost feel my self-esteem growing back a little bit! Sigh!
Remember the last time we met? It was for getting my wedding blouse stitched. I loved how you could size up a person just by looks and tell your Masterji, “Mote hain thoda, dheela banake seelna”—I miss that strong sense of judgement.
You just measured my shoulder length, then went on to assume the size of the rest of my body and stitched up the blouse and dresses. One week before the wedding, when I came to collect them, you reassured me, “It doesn’t fit because you have become fat. How will you get good photos in the wedding? Lose some weight, it will fit just right.”
You and my mother went on to discuss how to make it fit better without making me look fat. I was right there—you could have measured my exact size! But you didn’t need to. Because you truly do NOT see me unlike others. You see me the way you want to see me, and not the way I am, which is so much better.
The neighbourhood malls and the ZARAs of the world that lure me into their fancy showrooms with fancy coffees, show me XL sizes which are of XS measurements, and tell me, “We don’t have your size especially with that belly”—unlike them, you at least never leave me empty-handed even though you treat me like nobody.
Thank you for upholding the mantle of the “the one size everyone should be.”
P.S. I did work every day to watch my weight. Next time, may be just for once, measure me as I am and stitch to my size? It won’t look perfect and it would look like me. Because MY SIZE DOES MATTER.
Your Neighbourhood Bride
Women are body-shamed in all the ways, all the time! Period.
Just search for “What I Eat in a Day” on YouTube—you will find celebrities from Priyanka Chopra to Kareena to Sejal Kumar, sharing diet secrets for their look and millions of girls and women watching them, aspiring to be thin.
What’s your favourite place to get body-shamed? You have such a range of available choices—weddings, malls, relatives’ homes, strangers’ homes, doctors’ chambers, intimate bedrooms, vulnerable moments—the list goes on.
I have two favourite picks, the boutique aunty and the neighbourhood mall—both assume my size. My shoulder doesn’t define my bust, my waist and my hips! It’s time the clothing industry figured out better measuring standards because my size does matter!