After comparing wrestling stunts to rape and intimidating a child into hugging a grown woman, bhai made sure to ruin a 42-year-old woman’s joy of meeting her idol Madhuri Dixit, by passing crass remarks about her weight. He fat-shamed a woman on prime-time television recently by saying, “Araam araam se kahin stage na toot jaaye”. And when the woman said that she belonged to a small town, he inquired whether she was able to fit in it.

Khan posters adore rooms of boys aspiring to have six packs and bulging biceps, along with empty bottles of protein powder. Even at 52, Khan sports a fit physique. (How? Well that is another question for another time.) However, this does not give him the right to insult someone else for their body weight.

By now, it has become a routine for the Race 3 actor to offend people and for us to outrage over his actions. He just refuses to mind his words or his manners. The alpha male is very aware of  his “stardom”  and the massive fan following.

Khan made a reality show contestant’s life miserable and didn’t show any regards for her talent or her passion for dance. He has grown habitual to adulation, so much so that it didn’t occur to him how important this television appearance must have been for the contestant. Here she was, a 42-year-old from a small town in India, standing in front of Khan and Dixit. It must be such a moment of pride for her and her family members. That she got to hug Madhuri Dixit is a tale she would have recounted umpteen times for the rest of her life.

But Khan spoiled it for her. His uncharitable remarks wouldn’t go unnoticed. There will be people who will mock her for her weight. They will rub it in her face that the great Salman Khan taunted her for being fat on national television. Simply because Khan could not see her talent or excitement or her journey to reach that stage.

All he could see was a chance to crack some third-rate jokes, which only his fans would find to be funny.

The people who fail to criticise people like Khan are to be blamed equally. Fat-shaming is not light-hearted, friendly banter. It is a brutally demeaning jibe to deflate someone’s worth and self-respect. It negates someone’s achievements and talent by switching the focus from their personality and character to their physical appearance. But fat-shaming says more about people who resort to it, than people who become victims of it. It speaks of a myopic view to assess others.

Body shaming someone is very easy. It may even come across as funny to some people who may share your taste in humour. But what when your own body gives in to the perils of growing old or middle-aged? What when those you have shamed become achievers due to the skills you never saw in them? Does Khan ever think of the time when he will no longer be able to maintain his physique? This thought should induce some sense of humility in Khan, if it ever crosses his mind.

Picture Credit: hdnicewallpapers.com

Also Read : Fat Shaming Women in the Name of Dietary Choices is Deplorable

Yamini Pustake Bhalerao is a writer with the SheThePeople team, in the Opinions section.  The views expressed are the author’s own.

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