Saturday, 20 March 2010

It ain't over 'til the fat lady...does it, somehow.

So, we had friends visiting for a couple of weeks. They live and work in the States at the moment, and claim that the carbs there just don’t taste the same.

“It is so nice to be able to taste M&S carbs again!”- They said, and bought half the store's supply of deserts. We spent a week happily eating through it all, but as soon as I thought we were almost there, they went back and brought some more. All I can say is they can come and stay again! But I do feel slightly-how shall I put it?- engorged at the moment.

So, naturally, we talked about getting fat quite a lot. As you do, when you have a huge dinner, say a plov (something I have only recently tried to cook, and,unfortunately, succeeded), followed by some chocolate ├ęclairs. You get the idea.

And whenever I think about very, very fat people, I always wonder about one thing. How do they, you know, do it? Alright, it might not be your typical discussion at the dinner table. But I cooked a nice plov. Me, who does not know how to cook. So, I deserve to choose a topic of conversation. So, I asked, how do you think they do it? Because, it must be physically impossible.

Oh, and have you noticed, my visitor suggested, that the very, very fat women often have very, very skinny husbands? No, I have not, I thought. But, even if statistically that is the case, it still does not make things any easier, in my opinion. I am not talking overweight, by the way. I am talking grotesquely obese.

"Don’t worry", husband said, "If we continue eating like this, we will soon be able to answer that question."

The guest also pointed out that some very, very fat people have to use a towel after using the toilet. I did not even get it at first. A towel? I asked. Why? Oh. Oh, I see! In order to reach.

But not all fat is unattractive, I tell myself, choosing a piece of chocolate to go with my afternoon cup of tea. In certain cultures, some fat on a woman is considered beautiful. Azeries even have a joke on the subject. Something about two men discussing their wives’ backsides. One of them is saying (proudly), that when he slaps his wife’s behind, it wobbles for a few minutes. His friend says: “That’s nothing! I slap my wife’s backside, go to work, come back home and it is still wobbling. “

You see, Azeri men never used to object to their women being slightly on the curvier side, so to speak.

But I don’t know if it is true anymore. I think-sadly?- that the modern standards of beauty, imposed by skinny western celebrities are spreading all over the globe.

The other night I happened to watch a scene from a new Bollywood movie. As a Soviet child, I was raised on Bollywood movies. My Asian friend was shocked I knew who "Seeta aur Geeta" were. ( Or, as we knew that movie: Zita i Gita)

So, I thought I knew what to expect. But things changed in Bollywood, too. Gone are soft curves and rounded shoulders. The new generation of Bollywood movie stars are skinny, with an impressive definition in their arms; their dance routines are more suggestive and their clothes are more extravagant. And I can only assume that wobbly bottoms are no longer considered attractive in Azerbaijan either.

Which is a shame, really, I thought, stuffing my face with a rhubarb crumble, kindly prepared by my mother in law. Honestly. How great would it be to enjoy this gorgeous food and not feel guilty. Oh, well. Back to the gym. Sometime after Easter.


  1. This is hilarious. I'm sure the question you ask has been on everyone's mind at one point. I'm also an avid Bollywood watcher and have noticed the same thing. Your drawings really add so much to your posts! Enjoyed reading :)

  2. Hey Scary,

    As a big fat fatty, I think the secret to getting large (for a human) is perseverance. It also helps if you drink gallons of stout.

    Uncle Bob

  3. @Liana: Thank you so much!

    @ Uncle Bob: OK but how do you do it? :)anyway, I was not talking about people like you. I have seen you. You are in a different category. I am talking "Superfat vs Superskinny" C4, tue night at 8pm. :)

  4. Really obese people are probably too sick to do it at all - they need to take care of their diabetes and heart disease.

    Regarding "Zita and Gita", I had exactly the same experience - a colleague from India was literally shocked to learn that I'm familiar with this movie. Hell, I even rented the DVD, but without Russian dubbing it doesn't look the same...

  5. Our constant joke(I meen well-fed people:-)is,that "horoshego cheloveka doljno bit6 mnogo".Scary,can u translate this for me,please?

  6. @ Anonymous: Hmm...How to translate that... "The more you get of a good person, the better"? Something like that.

    @ Riyad: well, the links I put here have a proper reference, as well as a trailer of our dubbed version...:)

    Happy Novruz everyone. Speaking of stuffing faces with carbs...

  7. Was sitting in Wales, with my in-laws yesterday celebrating Novruz, felt strange, You dissapointed me a bit, i was looking forward to some Novruz related posting as a bit of a heart warmer :-) but there - Novruz bayraminiz mubarek ! Lovely day in Wales by the way...

  8. good one! love the humor:) i guess they have special positions for them, kama sutra for voluptuous people.

  9. When you find out how they do it, Scary, I hope you'll let us know. As for the coat hanger models you mention, I still fail to understand why such skinniness is seen as attractive. They even have a gap between their thighs at the top - it's creepy.

  10. You make your point wittingly, as always.
    The sad thing about all this skinny trend are little girls feeling themselves as fat. I don't know how does it work abroad, but here, size S clothes are just so little I think they use 8-years-olds as standards. I used to be very fat. Now I'm just a little over my ideal weight... but kind of still feeling fat. Those children standard clothes don't help at all!

  11. @Anonymous: Oh, I know. I am sorry. I wrote this piece and only afterwards realized it was Novruz already! But I can assure you every other Azeri blogger has probably covered the subject in great detail. :)
    Also, dont you think there is a direct correlation between Novruz and getting fat? :) It totally is a Novruz topic! Oh, I want to be back home right now.

    @Lara: I am sure there must be some special positions, but...I just clearly dont have enough imagination. That might be a good

    @Bill: You can never be too rich or too thin! :)))

  12. Hmmmm! Loved the plov! Thank u so much, and we will try to do the carb thing again!

  13. I always have ???:How very very fat people can see their intimate places? only in the mirror?

  14. @Gabriela I wonder if we can ever relax and feel satisfied with our looks. The problem is also, as you get older, getting slimmer does not help the wrinkles!

  15. Yes, the interesting topic !

    Our girls here do not like be the toothpik or the whale, they try obtain the in between, it more attractive to the eye and better for the health.

    But I enjoyed reading this, so, thank you for it.




  16. Found you through your guest post for Expat Harem-and I completely agree! I think that in general Eastern European culture puts some premium on being er-more rotund than Western culture, mainly because fatties are seen as healthier whereas in the west, they are not. Things I think about as I am on the treadmill, wishing I were born in the Rubens era :)

  17. @Marina: Hey, thanks for visiting. I agree that a healthy balance is the best! :)

    @Vicki: Thank you for stopping by. I must check out your blog, love meeting new people. Yes, fat is a sign of prosperity in certain cultures, whereas I find that it is the poor people that are fat in the UK. McDonalds is a lot cheaper than Atkins diet, if you ask me! Carbs are so tasty and so cheap here.

  18. There was the third guy in that joke!!! He said 'My wife has blue eyes. The other two said 'so what? we are talking backsides here.' 'yes, I know. Except for the eyes, all the rest is backside.'

  19. Yvetta: YES!!!! How could I forget? This is superb. Haha

  20. Actually I've been interested in this question for a long time. It seems that people in poorer nations, where food is more scarce, value fat. But then, upon migrating to wealthy nations like the UK gradually tend to prefer thin women. It reminds me of the way princesses were adored for their milky complexions, but when everybody started working in the office it became sexy to have a tan; apparently fat loses its charm when everyone around you is obese.

    But while I think this is a pretty good explanation, it's still very strange to me. I grew up American, but I was never attracted to the rail-thin celebrities I always saw at the movies. It isn't so much that I like women to be fat as that I like well developed curves. I can't help thinking of skinny women like little girls and old ladies - they just don't look fertile!


  21. @Mark,
    I like the milky complexion theory. Interesting.

    Maybe we just tend to want what we can't have. So, in countries like Azerbaijan, where we are all a bit tanned because of the sunny climate, women often try various solutions on their skin to look "milkier"... But then my theory does not work when I think of curves back home. we definitely are not lacking those and yet, they are still popular. That means...I dont know what that means. :))) too tired tonight.

  22. I think it is because of differences in national wealth. Judging by what I've read of your writings, the Azeris have trouble getting enough to eat. In the UK, food is cheap, plentiful, and advertised all over the place. One thing to remember is that in the UK, it is actually the poorer people who tend to be obese as they consume more fast food and cannot afford health club memberships. Are poor Azeris as fat as poor Brits? In the UK, thinness is a symbol of status and desirability.

    1. Poor Azeris don't have many cheap convenience foods to eat, so being fat was a sign of wealth. It seems to be about half and half these days. The very poor eat bread, vegetables and cheeses when available and cheap enough

  23. Stop writing...

  24. I do have to laugh about your post. Also, I know exactly what is meant about the fact that the carbs just don't taste the same. I all but avoid bread in Baku, especially the lavash that tastes like notebook paper. We relish our visits to Europe and back to the states that enjoy some proper carbs. On the up side, there is now a German bakery near my house so I can chub up with those tasty and well prepared carbs. : ) keep,entertaining us with your stories!