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The Evolution Of Indian Hips

The Evolution Of Indian Hips

December 21, 2010
Maria Francis

Examining the topic of child bearing hips from a wider perspective.

"Hips are scientifically referred to as the joint between the femur and acetabulum of the pelvis and its primary function is to support the weight of the body in both static postures"

Yes. That's the scientific jargon that Wikipedia gives you but we girls know better than that don't we?

‘Hip’ is a word powerful enough to evoke fear and anguish in the bravest of women. Yes, even Xena the Fearless has body issues behind that unforgiving armour of hers.

Which brings us to the topic of Indian hips. We Indian women have been hiding behind our sarees and salwars for far too long. Sure we tried consoling ourselves in the belief that our men liked healthy, child bearing hips. That the saree demanded a well-padded body to adorn it with. But when our own men turned traitors and started drooling over the D.Padukones and the P.Chopras, it was time for the Bharathiya Nari to sit up straight and blink.

But luckily for the Bharathiya Nari, she decided to do more than blink. First, she got her facts straight and the facts didn’t look good. Her grandmother, mother and she had all thrived on a diet of rice/chapathis for generations and the carbs had settled well on the hips. Hmmm...So much for falling back on good genetics.

Secondly, sarees weren’t being draped exactly the way they used to be. The materials were getting very transparent, blouses non-existent and pleats were being tucked dangerously below the navel.

Thirdly, the Bharathiya Nari lived in a society where the physical activity for the average housewife was more or less reaching for the tissue-box during a Karan Johar flick or helping the maid sort out the 'machine-wash' and 'hand-wash' loads of clothes. Any prolonged, vigorous exercise was considered as distasteful as forsaking ghee on your aloo-parathas. Shudder!

And this is where the evolution tree branched out into the three types of Indian women. Based on their levels of laziness and the extent of damage from their worthy lineages.

The ‘Wateva-sapiens’

The 'Wateva-sapiens' tried. Actually, they tried to try. And it didn't work out. So they just gave up at the start line, mumbled something about accepting our bodies and being proud of our Indian heritage and yeah, their evolution kind of stopped there.

The 'Middle-O-Sapiens'

A few others found themselves a middle path. They replaced the rice with chapathis, the escalators with the stairs and the loose salwars with the cleverly cut, slimming effect Kurtis. Again they were not quite attaining a size zero that they dreamt of, but they found solace in the V.Balans and R.Mukherjees of Bollywood.

Curves are IN, IN, IN. We don't want to look like 13-year old boys, they told themselves. “Or do we?”, they asked themselves again holding a pair of 26 waist skinny fit Levis beside a smirking shop assistant.

The 'Size-Zero'-sapiens

The third and final group of women represents those who went all the way and stuck to it. They made friends with the cruel treadmills and the salads sans dressing. And a flurry of tools and centres came along to guide them. Gyms and weight loss clinics sprouted up in the metros. Yoga was re-defined, glamourised, Westernised, re-Indianised and even patented. Atkins and South Beach diets crept into every-day conversations. ‘Calories’ and ‘inches’ became the feared words along with ‘hips’.

Gradually the Golden Era of the Indian Hips came to an end.

And as Indian women sail through one stage to another, some rejoicing, others fretting, the Indian man watches all of this from a distance. With a mixture of amusement and bemusement on his face. And an oily pakoda in his hand. He is far from any kind of evolution. Not till Cholesterol and Blood Pressure pay him a visit along with Mid-life Crisis.


25 Comments

  • Atheist Indian
    By
    Atheist Indian
    16.10.12 12:46 PM
    @ HARRY
    Vanity is a social response to the inherent apperance bias in human nature. And that bias is not just limited to mates, but immaterial objects or pets as well. We want good looking. Contrary to desi folk wisdom, both men and women are attracted to good looks, even when they are reluctant to admit it because of being labelled shallow (or other epithets).
     
    The quicker people accept this reality and try to improve on their how they appear to other people, the better their social life is going to be. We are not social island and no matter how much we 'value' ourselves beyond our appearances - people WILL judge your personality and your morals based on your physical appearance. At least for the first 30 seconds, which for the lot of people, is their only 'window' of creating an impression.
     
    I have done a lot of social experiments on this and no matter how educated, cultured and 'deep' people are; appearance bias forms a large part of how they percieve other people (unless the other person is famous or famously rich). People who are more intelligent or educated are able to come up with better and more justifiable social platitudes for their biases towards other people.
     
    Now coming to the question of hips, no, I don't go around telling women they are fat. I am not a socially inept desi, with the traditional desi desire to put people down to their place just to make myself feel better. But I confess that I have, on occasions, used women's weight as a retort when they tried to put-down me (or others) with their own disparaging remarks.
     
    And given that I believe in equality, I am not going to play up to women with platitudes just because they are insecure about their appearance. Everyone has tons of insecurities to deal with, even men and even the best looking amongst us.
  • HARRY
    By
    HARRY
    15.10.12 09:01 PM
    @ Ai

    The things that you are talking about is called vanity, and you know what? the world is full of it. No matter what you look like it is not slim enough or good enough. So the question is where do you draw the line in terms of beauty or should I say healthy.

    And when I said that I like mine fullbodied that does not mean chubsters.

    I bet you are one of those guys who says to the woman that you are too fat even tho they are only size 5-6 don't you. No wonder women feel insecure no matter what they look like. There is no need for these BS , don't you agree? AI.
  • Atheist Indian
    By
    Atheist Indian
    15.10.12 02:52 PM
    "To ordinary person it doesn’t matter weather somebody likes the way you look or they don’t."
    It does. Hence the existence of the multi-billion dollar fitness/look good industry. You are what you are, not in isolation, but BOTH as a person AND in terms of how you are percieved by the people around you. Ideologies that tell people to embrace themselves to the exclusion of their social development are idealistic to the point of naivette and foolishness.
     
    I am glad you like chubsters. To everyone their own, without desi style judgementalism getting in the way.
  • HARRY
    By
    HARRY
    14.10.12 10:36 PM
    @ AI

    Why should you give a damn what rest of the world thinks about you and what difference does it make to your life if you are fat or slim. To ordinary person it doesn't matter weather somebody likes the way you look or they don't.

    I also like my wide hipped and fullbodied women. To me size zero is same as cuddling a bag of bones.
  • Atheist Indian
    By
    Atheist Indian
    14.10.12 05:05 PM
    The post talks as if the choice is between a size zero and being a 'whateva' at auntie. There is a middle ground which is not Vidya Balanesque. Having curves, shapely and yet sporting a flat tummy. Unfortunately, most Indian women and men do not really care about their bodies and staying fit, untill their lifelong aversion to physical exertion starts pulling them into antiedom and uncledom past their mid twenties (or early thirties).
     
    I mean, accepting 'your' unshapely body is all fine and dandy, but that doesn't mean the rest of the world has to appreciate what you have accepted.
  • Ryan
    By
    Ryan
    14.10.12 12:13 PM
    Love women with wide hips, specialy those who are voluptuous. There is something very attractive about a wide hipped fullbodies woman. check out any ancient indian temple with erotic carving all of them have wide hips!! hate size zero
  • Mitul Consul
    By
    Mitul Consul
    13.07.12 05:26 PM
    Respected Maria Francis,
    This is a good article personally I feel that the women catogerised "Middle-O-Sapiens" really represent the real feeling of majority of Indian women. Perhaps men don't really like pencil thin women anywhere.
  • pritam
    By
    pritam
    24.10.11 05:34 PM
    The wider the hips>>the hooter the women looks...Obviously the stomach should ne smaal or narrow so that it makes it look proportionate...Hips are one on the epitome of women's beauty
  • Canoro
    By
    Canoro
    15.08.11 10:02 AM
    I don't really know where women get the idea that men don't like wide hips.

    the only ones who think that small hips are better are women, and that makes men sad.
  • Pas
    By
    Pas
    13.07.11 06:35 PM
    It seems this size-zero mania is only but a cover up for those women who don't have enough curves to sport on them & propagated by bollywood etc,etc.
    Besides it only what women THINK men like.We men ,atleast me and my friends,will pass up slimy-thiny skelton bags for busty hippy healthy women any day.We want to GRAB teh fruits with our hand whole heartedly not first probe with our fingers to find them ,no pun intended.
  • Maria
    By
    Maria
    31.12.10 08:24 AM
    Sure thing Noel. You keep visiting the NRI and reading our stuff and we keep writing ;) Happy new year readers!
  • Noel
    By
    Noel
    30.12.10 08:04 AM
    you know.....come to think of it 'size-0 sapiens' are actually doing the country a favor. They cut down their eating so that food can be saved and given to poor hungry people who need it more :) .

    But seriously they look awful, the 'size-0 sapiens' its good that they are helping the country with the food crisis and all but they have to put on a few curves (It wouldn't be very comfy snuggling up to one of these bone bags on a cold day).

    Oh btw.... loved this line 'Yoga was re-defined, glamourised, Westernised, re-Indianised ' :) .

    oh and, chechi...try to do more interesting/funny articles like this one in the future :)
  • Alfred Jones
    By
    Alfred Jones
    28.12.10 05:24 AM
    Glad you got a chuckle Maria.

    I got a big kick reading your piece esp considering there is no Indian guy who could've written about this subject without having gotten his pakoda-fattened butt kicked for being a chavunistic pig ;-) But seriously, there isn't some secret epidemic of Indian women jumping on treadmills and going for brisk neighbourhood walks just so they can trim their you-know-whats is there?

    ~alfred
  • Maria
    By
    Maria
    24.12.10 04:49 AM
    ROFL Alfred! Your comment was more entertaining than my entire article!
  • Alfred Jones
    By
    Alfred Jones
    24.12.10 03:52 AM
    There was a young lady from Kodambaakum,
    Who fretted too much re her ample bottom.
    Then she met a Bond in school,
    Who couldn't contain his drool,
    And kept saying, "Baby, you've got 'em!"

    In terms of eye candy quotient, I'll take a well proportioned Hema Malini or Sridevi type deal over the no-butt, sunken-cheeked, size-zero catwalk models any day of the week and twice on Sunday.

    Now pass me a napkin and the rest of the oily pakodas please, thank you!

    ~alfred
  • Guru
    By
    Guru
    23.12.10 06:11 PM
    To all my lovely / curvaceous / voluptuous / heavy (just a bit :P ) women out there, don't fret and worry too much about your wholesome figures as there are many, many, many men out there like me who totally love women like yourselves :)
    Just make sure you don't turn fatly beautiful from fatally beautiful :P
    And just let the size-zero sapiens or whatever just relive India's past days of hunger and famine!
  • Maria
    By
    Maria
    23.12.10 11:04 AM
    @Soumya : Whole-heartedly hating that one group and wishing them lots of cellulite for Christmas! :P
    @Jerome : Wow! If you made that up yourself, then it was outstanding. If not, it's still outstanding :)
    @Hayaah : I know a whole load of 'em! :D
  • Hayaah
    By
    Hayaah
    23.12.10 03:54 AM
    ha ha... <3'ed the whateva-sapiens coinage!
  • Jerome Osmund Roopan Singh
    By
    Jerome Osmund Roopan Singh
    22.12.10 11:05 PM
    From an "Indian" man
    The Hips,
    What is houses therein;
    What its role for all human kind;
    What pleasure it gives;
    How sultry it is as it sways;
    What it eventually produces for our survival;
    God gave womankind HIPS for all that;
    Who am I to want less;
    Why should you want less;
    why should we settle for less.
  • soumya
    By
    soumya
    22.12.10 10:10 PM
    Haa haaa.. particularly loved the oily pakoda scene..and der s one group who r (gasp) naturally endowed with shapely hips!!
  • Maria
    By
    Maria
    22.12.10 02:52 PM
    I agree...m in d middle too, struggling to not become a too well endowed person...hehehe. Shud hv been born a few decades ago :)
  • Anu
    By
    Anu
    22.12.10 12:44 PM
    A thumbs Up for Guru but apparently Size Zero is the new Curves. I belong to the Middle-O Sapien - an unapologetic surrender! I might be mistaken but a lot of men have begun showing off an hour glass figure - broad shoulders, slim waist and long legs, forcing more women into the wateva or size 0 mania.
  • Guru
    By
    Guru
    22.12.10 10:17 AM
    Haha.. I'm glad :) Thank you :)
  • Maria
    By
    Maria
    22.12.10 06:13 AM
    Beep! Sahi Jawab, Guru! I am sure there are lotsa Indian women out there smiling because of your answer :D
  • Guru
    By
    Guru
    21.12.10 05:48 PM
    I LOVE WIDE HIPS!!!
    I'd rather die than see my Indian women become size-zero and un-become women, in the process :(

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