All brown people, doesn’t matter if they are Pakistani or Indian, crave for gossip and pointless conversations. Also, these are the two communities where you would notice how women going to the gym and caring for their fitness is something that is trending and it isn’t something that we have entirely gotten used to. So whenever we come across aunty Shahida’s daughter Komal’s gym selfie on Instagram in a tank top, for a moment we’re taken aback, then we continue scrolling. So basically, we are still in the process of accepting the fact that women too need to take care of their bodies and that it’s completely alright and healthy for them to work out, rather than consider it a taboo.
Whether exercise is done by a lady for losing those pounds before shadi season or it is about gaining some muscle, this is another topic that is pretty hot for desi aunties to discuss in family gatherings.
The ‘Too Modern’ Factor
So Rashida’s newly wed bahu is fond of hitting the gym? The aunties would gossip about how this is the modern trend and that women who exercise are too broadminded to fit within a seedha saada khandaan that just demands a seedhi saadi bahu that cooks and looks after the family. Anything that requires self-care, including trips to the salon or the gym, is for modern women. Even if Rashida aunty hasn’t thought of it that way till now, after the gossip session she would for sure consider forcing her bahu to quit the gym and stay home.
The Expense Factor
So you want to gain some weight and the gym is like a five minute drive away, you talk to your mom about it and she says what 90% of the parental figures say in response: Acha dekhenge ge. What basically might happen then is that the idea would get around in a kitty party, and all those aunties would bring up their own experiences saying stuff like ‘gyms are only money making machines and you don’t want your daughter to waste your khaawand ki kamayi just to get in shape’ and in the end your mom just goes like, ‘Beta exercise ghar pe bhi ho sakti hai’
The ‘Amreeki Brainwashing’ Factor
A lot of us would actually hear stuff like working out and exercising is yet another one of angrezon ke chonchlay that we don’t need as a part of our society because we aren’t supposed to copy them. Aunties would go like, ‘Beta ye amreekion ne dimagh kharaab kiye hain, unke taurr tareeqay hum kyu apnaen’ Because apparently for them, keeping yourself fit and healthy is nothing universal.
The Clothing Factor
Oho, so one of your cousins decide to hit the gym because she cannot get rid of post pregnancy fat but the major concern for her mother in law would be: Beta, chote chote kapre pehen ker exercise karogi? Because shalwar kameez is apparently not the suitable gear for the gym (at least that’s what our firm belief is) And you would find aunties discussing how falani aunty ki beti posts gym selfies in a banyaan, followed by the very typical: ye generation tou beghairat hoti jarahi hai.
Want to hear more on the quirky brown desi side of weight loss and fitness? Stay tuned to the Nutright blog.