“Billo, do you see what she is wearing?”

“I wonder how many miles of fabric it took to make her shirt” followed by snickering.

“So much weight and she is wearing jeans?”

“She really needs to wear a dupatta around herself and hide her fat.”

“She needs to be aware of her body before wearing such clothes.”

“She is too chubby and her kurta too short.”

“She should be dieting not eating.”

These are just a few of the passing comments a person even the slightest bit overweight hears on a daily basis from people she does not even know. Some say it out loud, others in hush tones, but it is always quite clear what they are saying.

Not that it gets any better from people they do know. The first comment anyone usually says when meeting after a long time is about the weight.

“Wow, you have really let yourself go haven’t you?” Or maybe the slightly more polite, “You have put on a lot of weight since I last saw you.” And let’s not even get into the “Are you pregnant?” jokes especially aimed at men.

Yes, the person knows she has put on weight, she knows it better than anyone else but there are a lot of other things she did too which might be a tad bit more important to talk about.

Then there are those who who pat your shoulder and shout out “GOOD FOR YOU for being so comfortable in your own skin.” Uhm. No. Not helping.

“You would have such a pretty face if you lost a few pounds.” Nope, still not helping.

“Is this your first time at the gym?”

*uses light saber*

I am not going to get into how people think they are trying to help by commenting, or how it actually impacts the overweight person and makes them feel worse. I am not going to talk about how being overweight could be due to a number of reasons and not just overeating and ‘laziness’ as it usually perceived. I will not talk about how it is nothing less than bullying and how it crushes one’s confidence and isolates the person.

I am not going to get into any of that.

What I will get into is: how is it anyone else’s business what another person, another entity, another human who breathes through his own personal nose; weighs and wears.

It’s like every Tom Dick and Harry out there becomes a fashion expert when looking at an overweight person. As if they are on display walking on a runway wearing clothes just for them to look at and judge.

This might be a bitter pill for many to swallow, but they wore clothes that they wanted to wear for themselves. *gasp* They wore what made THEM feel good.  It was their choice. And they really were not thinking what Billo would think when they wore the pink pants.

Take the recent example of Bakhtawar Bhutto Zardari who wore a camouflage printed dress last week.

She was constantly ridiculed; her picture posted everywhere next to the photograph of a model wearing the exact same dress. A very photo-shopped, professionally done makeup, beautifully lit and photographed by a very talented photographer - model.

Again, Bakhtawar wore the dress for herself and not for the people. Her happy smile is enough to ensure that she felt good. As for the people demanding her change of wardrobe because she was not thin like the model – she wore a long flowy dress. What would they have preferred, an actual tent?

The best part is half the people criticizing her wear shalwars with no idea that their colorful naara actually belongs inside the shalwar and not outside. Many others who went on about her dress were too scared to use their real picture/face when criticizing her in case what went around came around and bit them them on their not-so-fashionable behind.  (See how this can work the other way around too?)

Granted, some people admitted that they were having a go at her because of their dislike for her father, but then criticize him. His actions. Heck, even her political stance if you don’t agree with it. Bring the whole family in. One has full right to disagree and criticize. But why fat-shame her? Why her personal appearance? Why her clothes? Why not stick to the actual solid events that have provoked the anger?

And what is it with people always wanting to tell others what to wear, especially women. It really is not that hard to let a person wear what they want to. It is their choice, not yours. If you have super sensitive eyes and the sight of an overweight person wearing clothes you don’t like will burn your retinas – look away. It really is easier than it sounds.

Don’t tell people what to wear.

Turn head left, let body follow and walk.

Author's Note: This blog has been written from a woman's perspective but it also applies to men