Welcome to Ask Poppy! I’m Poppy, your go-to girl for all of life’s woes. And when I say ALL, I MEAN IT. I’m not an expert on anything except maybe for being me, which makes me totally qualified to do this.
Some of my older relatives are getting on my nerves for always pointing out that I’m—in their standards—”fat,” and I have no idea how to call them out without being disrespectful.
This actually started when I was still in high school. They would always jokingly comment on the fact that my thighs and my butt are bigger than that of my more athletic and genetically thinner cousins despite me having a somewhat thin physique as well. Fast forward to 10 years later, it’s still ongoing. And the jokes aren’t funny anymore. They’d encourage/force me to take up sports even though I’m not really interested in them, but I am trying to walk more instead of commuting, and I’m eating healthier.
Don’t get me wrong: I’m grateful that they’re looking out for me but you know, their passive-aggressive comments on how I’m not as active and fit as my cousins are making me self-conscious to the point that seeing tummy rolls and having a (normal) weight of 124 lbs instead of 115 lbs make me feel bad.
So yeah, to cut my rambling short, I want to tell my relatives to stop without them thinking that I’m being disrespectful to them because they’re older, and that their comments are making me insecure.
Your titas don’t like you, when they like everyone. Nako talaga yang mga@TitasOfManilana yan, Trish. It always sucks being compared with others, especially when the shade’s being thrown by your own blood relative. I mean, akala ko ba blood is thicker than water, tita? However, being the titas that they are, we simply cannot avoid this because it’s what being old does to you: you become bitter and contemptuous towards the younger generation. They’re the older ones yet they succumb to such behavior.
Plus, you know, parang family tradition na yan. It really doesn’t matter if you’re thinner than the usual; they will always see you as “fat” because their eyes are all malabo. Case in point: I once had chicken pox and I would scratch and scratch my head until I developed a bald spot. My tita saw it and started calling me “poknat.” To this day, whenever she sees me, she refers to me as poknat. I don’t have that bald spot anymore and my hair is fucking gorgeous, boo, but it stuck, and it’s what they cling on to. These familiar memories are what bind you to them because, well, you guys are family. I once had a neighbor named “pukengkay,” and I used to laugh all the time whenever they’d call her out. I wonder how that name started. They were so serious about it as if being called pukengkay is the most natural thing there was in this world.
You don’t know me, but I pack a lot of weight inside me. I’m chubby and cute as fuck. I used to get teased a lot as a kid. Like, whenever there was a really uso commercial on with a chubby girl on the forefront, ine-expect ko na that I would be name-called sa playground. One time I was called “Carl Kalabaw” at a Jollibee ball pit. I stopped drinking Coke for, like, two years.
In Mindy Kaling’s Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me? she wrote: “If someone called me chubby, it would no longer be something that kept me up late at night. Being called fat is not like being called stupid or unfunny, which is the worst thing you could ever say to me.” And what Mindy’s saying is really true—being called fat can be hurtful, but that’s just one of the many things that people can say to you to bring you down. Beat out your chest and say this: “Don’t you bring me down today.”
I’m saying that you should suck it up. Being called “fat” won’t cause any internal boo-boos, sweetie. Especially when you’re being called fat by a family member. N-word, they’re just playin’. (N-word is nanay.) What I feel is universal in the Titaverse of our country is their ability bring out a laugh from a myriad of things just because they can, even if they end up becoming hurtful. It operates on the same level as those think pieces of older journalists on why they hate millennials. Making fun of their pamangkins is their bread and butter. It’s right up there on the list of Top 10 things that Titas Like to Do, next to Eating at Mary Grace and going for Zumba sa village plaza. You’re a (really) big girl na, Trisha. It’s time to keep them haters to the left, to the left.
Personally, I would really give zero fucks. I mean at least they’re not calling me Poppy Pothead or Puta de Poppy. (I may or may not have been called those names before.) I’m not even gonna pressure you to lose that weight because you shouldn’t let others bring you down, girl. There are simple ways to get back at them, though. You can take really bad pictures of them whenever they ask you to. The next time you’re in a get-together, take photos of them while eating and upload it on Facebook. Tag your entire family. The next time they call you fat, I recommend throwing truth bombs like “At least hindi lawlaw ang dede ko,” or “Ikaw din, tita.” Make sure you laugh real loud and follow-up with a “Joke lang, po.” Hit up Justin Bieber’s “Love Yourself” on the karaoke machine and be like Halsey and sing it like she did in this video while staring intensely at your titas. They’ll get the message fo’ sho.
I’m totally kidding. You should really hold back and make sure you respect your elders. You can always ruin them telepathically. Use your imagination and allow it to go way deep, right down into the bowls of hell. Trisha, trash ‘em up.
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Disclaimer: The views expressed here are solely those of the author in her private capacity and do not in any way represent the views of Preen.ph, or any other entity of the Inquirer Group of Companies.