Remember the saying “Never judge a book by its cover?” We heard it over and over again but how many of us really practice it in real life? How many of us just see how a person looks, what he wears, and make judgments based on that disregarding everything else.

How you look seems to be the most important factor to other people and what you do or how you are as a person comes at a very distant second.  In fact if you are overweight and are comfortable with how you look, even that won’t sit well with them. How can anyone be happy with being chubby, (or pleasantly plump) as I prefer to call it.

You could be on either side of the scale but everyone will always have an issue. Either you are so skinny, you look ill and your bones look like they are about to break or you are so fat, instead of bones, your chair will break (the latter might come with added sound effects). There is rarely ever anything in between.

I struggle with my weight in the sense, I know I should lose ‘dem pounds but I don’t really care enough to do something drastic about it. I remember to this slightly lax attitude of mine, a friend, yes a dear friend once said, “I am so happy for you. You are so content with your weight, I wish I was as confident a person like yourself.”

It was supposed to be a compliment! Supposed to be!

When you meet someone, let’s say from school after a few years, the first comment usually made is “Ooof Shaboooooooo, you have put on so much weight.” You might be wearing a badge that says “founder of the coolest company in the world” but what will get the mention is the weight.

You can be holding your “Created a spaceship to go to Mars,” placard but it will be ignored in light of your appearance. Maybe it could say “I solved world hunger” and what people will reply with is “Did you eat everything on the way?” followed by maniacal laughter! The victim (you) will then usually laugh sheepishly giving reasons to justify their judgment in a small voice: “woh gym ka time nahin hota na.

If you are one of the rare lucky ones on the flip side, it will be still be about the weight, “Salmoooo, bada wazan kam kerlia hai, smart hogaye ho.”

Salmooo, next time just have your placard say “I lost 20 lbs.”

If by any chance anyone is balding, that person should just hide under a rock for the rest of his life. The ganju jokes will go on for the next decade.

Even new moms are not spared regardless of who they are. Remember Aishwaria Rai? Her first appearance after she became a mother? The whole Internet reacted like her few pounds had caused an earthquake in their personal living rooms. Some even went on to call her buddhi. Many of which, may I mention, were actual aging men with curly scraggly hair sticking out of their nose and ears!

And then there are the Aunties and sometimes-creepy uncles who say “jism bhar gaya hai tumhara.” I don’t even know to explain how to reply to this one without hitting the said person with a chapal.  It’s better you just say, you are fat! Yes, just say fat!

Another scenario where women are usually targeted more then men – Pakistan has a women’s football team. Their pictures and names have been making the rounds everywhere on social media. Guess how many posts are about their talent?

None! Well, actually one now, and that too had a subliminal message that there is more to how they look.

Every single post, comment is all about how gorgeous they are, how pretty they look and how suddenly people will now start supporting the women’s football team – by ogling them.

There is literally nothing about their talent, their skills, what kind of backgrounds they come from, how hard or how easy it was. On the other hand, men in sports; interviews are conducted with their phuppo’s husband’s cousin’s spouse. We literally know everything and everyone.  We have even seen Shahid Afridi’s qurbani ka bakra!

For the women’s football team, we know they are good looking.

The whole world sadly practices this, even our neighbors. Time and time again comments have been made on our Pakistani female politicians and how they would like to exchange them with some of theirs. It doesn’t matter if the said politician’s talent was simply that she was a former politician’s niece, or the daughter of the Prime Minister. But since they had the looks, they were good enough to be talked about.