Don’t we often ask people to gain weight if they are too skinny or lose weight if they are fat? We have enough number of products which speak about how to lose weight or appear slimmer “instantly.” We don’t find it offensive to criticise body types which do not look like those of models.
Body shaming can lead to a vicious cycle of judgement but there are people who have fought such shaming with a smile. Tanmay Bhat is one such person who has laughed with people who have laughed with him.
Tanmay Bhat shared his story of being fat-shamed with Humans of Bombay. He speaks about how he fought his own insecurities.
“I remember my first legit stand up happened when Kavi Shastri advised me to talk about who I am— for 20 minutes I joked about what it’s like to be fat and people loved it and I loved the applause — it was like a drug like nothing else and I think that’s when I decided I wanted to do this for the rest of my life.”
The famous stand-up comedian of AIB shared an incident from his childhood which helped him change his path of life.
“My parents were concerned with my weight for health reasons, so when I was in the 8th standard they bought me a cycle at home and motivated me to lose 5 kgs in 6 months. That was a significant incident in my life because even though I had no pressure from my parents, it was an admission of a huge flaw. I remember cycling and weeping because that’s when I thought If I couldn’t even lose 5kgs, what was I really capable of?”
He did not give up and accept this feeling of less as he himself said,
“But like they say, from your biggest adversity comes the biggest opportunity — after that I was never the same again. I worked my ass off— my numbers were perfect — I topped my school and my college and became obsessed with making something of myself and proving a point.”
Tanmay Bhat had rooted his career to be a comedian way back when he was in 7th Grade. As he shares,
“On the 26th of January when I was in the 7th Grade, there was a building function going on and I mustered up the courage to ask the organisers to give me 5 minutes on stage. I told them I couldn’t dance, or do kart wheels but I would make people laugh. I went on and for 20 minutes straight released all the Johnny Lever jokes within me…and I basically slayed. You could say that my first tryst with comedy stemmed from way back then.”
Shutting up all those who troll him for being overweight, Tanmay concludes by thanking them all,
“I say thank you because I have an entire career because of it. I say thank you, because if it wasn’t for those jokes, I wouldn’t have had that much anger in me to go out there and kill it.”
Tanmay Bhat, we love you for making us laugh but we respect you more for your boldness to speak up against body-shaming!