Being Called Fat. Sensitivity issues.

This is the place for ON or Off topic conversations. Almost anything goes - but be kind, and no trolling.
Forum rules
While the rules in this forum are more relaxed than in other parts of the Expat site, there are still a few things we’d like you to remember: No name calling, no insults – be civil to each other!
doublek278
Member
Member
Posts: 12
Joined: Wed Apr 27, 2011 9:03 pm
Location: Piura

Being Called Fat. Sensitivity issues.

Postby doublek278 » Mon Dec 12, 2011 10:21 pm

Okay so after 7 months of living here, I am way past my breaking point.

It all started in June, when my boyfriend's two aunts asked me if I was pregnant.
The next day, my landlady brought me her old maternity clothes.

At that point, I realized the Peruvians thought I was fat. No one has every called me fat before. Curvy, maybe, but fat...no. I carry a little extra weight on me, but I've never met a single person who would label me as fat (and not just because we don't say it like that in the States). For a point of reference, I'm medium-height, size 8 pants with a size S or M shirt. Pretty average by States perspective.

It kept going. I constantly faced comments of being called fat by boyfriend's family, people at the gym, people in the office.

By the time October hit, my self-esteem had pretty much been destroyed. My boyfriend took the side that I was a little fat.

Keep in mind, I work out a minimum of five days a week.

By December the new claim of Peruvians was that I obviously had a thyroid problem and that's why I was fat. Apparently they need an explanation, since I eat less and work out more than all of them, and I'm not pregnant.

Buying into this mentality, I got my thyroid checked. Negative. Of course. Angry at myself for buying into all this crazy self-esteem knocking, I decided to ignore the comments.

Until tonight, when my dentist (who is also a friend) informed me that in his "professional" opinion I needed to control my weight, but also that I was going to blow out my knees young, because I am apparently that fat. He also told me I should really work-out, tell my boyfriend to take me swimming.

I've pretty much had enough. Can anyone offer some similar stories, some opinions, some advice? I don't think it matters who you are, eventually your self-esteem crumbles no matter how strong it once was!
Last edited by doublek278 on Mon Dec 12, 2011 11:20 pm, edited 1 time in total.


User avatar
americorps
Gold Member
Gold Member
Posts: 3841
Joined: Tue Dec 12, 2006 4:16 pm
Location: Lima

Re: Being Called Fat. Sensitivity issues.

Postby americorps » Mon Dec 12, 2011 11:00 pm

well, my advice will be quite blunt

Get used to living in a different culture and quit applying your cultural values to the situation because it will only cause you great frustration.

We all have to whine and complain about the adjustments of living here, it is natural and common release when frustrated and believe you me, I have done my share and still do.

However, if you do so in hopes of changing it, trying to figure out what to do or say to direct it to another path, give it up.

I am a big guy, just last week a police officer who was directing traffic at the corner of San Luis and Canada left her post and started yelling at me, chasing me down the street. I thought I had done something wrong, but she just wanted to offer me her diet plans.

Where you will do yourself a favor, doublek, is consider the intention instead of the message. First, the Peruvians by and large do not consider fat as ugly as many western cultures do and the term is not nearly as offensive in Peruvian culture. it is not uncommon for any group of friends to have a gordo or a chanchito *little pig or any number of names that might cause a fight in other countries. And those kids do not grow up with quite as hurtful self image issue as we do because it is just not the same here.

I get called gordo probably 5-10 times a day and after 5 years, I hardly notice any more. in the provinces it is even more pronounced as people often come up to rub my belly. Still, by and large they mean no harm or ill will and do not think of me as bad or ugly as much as unusual.

I do not mean to sound like I do not sympathize or do not understand what you are talking about because it took me a long while to understand and deal with it.

And if I ever dated someone who told me they would not date me if I gained weight, I would feel a strong need to educate them on the fact that fat is not nearly as ugly as shallow in the soul.

Peruvians are also very health conscious and they will all have diets, pills, diseases that they are sure are directed to you. Why? they worry and want to help. It is really an expression of love, though I agree with you a very misguided and often unwelcome one.

It is NOT an expression of cruelty (apart from threatening to not date you as I consider that cruel and abusive personally).
User avatar
Kelly
Moderator
Moderator
Posts: 3871
Joined: Fri Mar 11, 2005 9:28 pm
Location: Lima, Peru
Contact:

Re: Being Called Fat. Sensitivity issues.

Postby Kelly » Mon Dec 12, 2011 11:04 pm

I'd just give them a cold smile and say thanks for their concern, but your doctor says you're quite normal. Weird that they'd even comment on it - most Peruvians love curves.
doublek278
Member
Member
Posts: 12
Joined: Wed Apr 27, 2011 9:03 pm
Location: Piura

Re: Being Called Fat. Sensitivity issues.

Postby doublek278 » Mon Dec 12, 2011 11:10 pm

Americorps-
Nope, no feelings of harm from being blunt. It bothers me most that I have let myself get to a point where I cannot ACCEPT that I am in another culture. I think that part makes me more mad than the part where they call me fat. It's the part that I can't just blow it off lately.
I appreciate your story, and it actually made me feel a lot better. It's nice just to hear that someone has gone through the same thing (I've been offered diet plans, injections, pills, and even liposuction...which was the most ridiculous by far).
As for my significant other, that definitely came out wrong. He will be there for me unconditionally, regardless of what I look like, and is the first to love the curves. It's hard to explain it without it sounding wrong, so take my word on that one!
I'm going home for Christmas for a few days anyway so it should help push the reset button to let me start over and not feel quite as frustrated.

Kelly-
I like it! I've just been smiling and nodding and thanking them for the advice.
falconagain
Gold Member
Gold Member
Posts: 843
Joined: Sat Jul 16, 2011 9:27 pm

Re: Being Called Fat. Sensitivity issues.

Postby falconagain » Mon Dec 12, 2011 11:53 pm

Many Peruvians tend to criticize anything that they consider
different in order to feel better about themselves.

I came to Peru at a young age speaking fluent Spanish learned
in Madrid Spain. Everywhere I went school, high school, taking
a bus; most people tended to correct my pronunciation and
grammar because according to them I was making mistakes
which actually never happened, the mistakes where only on
their minds. My mother used to work at the military ministry
teaching the high ranking officers how to speak proper Spanish
and French. She had the same problem, specially with the
officers that came from an environment with poor education;
these officers thought that they spoke proper Spanish
and they even got upset with the Teachers when they were
corrected saying that teachers from other non Spanish
speaking should teach Spanish to them. They jumped to
conclusions as 99% of their teachers were actually from
Spain; because they were all blond and blue eyed the Peruvian
officers though that their teachers were from Switzerland or
England.

As you can see is something that most Peruvians do because
they tend to judge everything in advance with insufficient information
and they dislike to learn anything that is outside their society.

They will continue teasing you this way in order to make you feel
unwelcome.
User avatar
viernes
Gold Member
Gold Member
Posts: 115
Joined: Thu Nov 19, 2009 11:19 am

Re: Being Called Fat. Sensitivity issues.

Postby viernes » Tue Dec 13, 2011 12:01 am

Well, I'm not so sure about just accepting it. I also do not believe that peruvian nicknames exist for everyone whether you are el flaco, el gordo, el chino, el negro, el gringo, etc... in your circle of friends are really terms of endearment as they would have you believe. What I do believe, is that Peruvians are over critical of everything. It's just a cultural construct for most people in Peru. But to think that peruvians don't reflect on the names they are called the same way that people (us) who are not used to that kind of thing being told to their faces might be an over zealous assumption.

I'm all for cultural integration, but I know that as objective as I may ever be, it is impossible to ignore my own base of experience and bias in my analysis of another culture. I love Peru, but just as I have lots of criticism of my own culture, I have a little for Peru as well.

But as far as outwitting people who would say stuff like that, I would say learn some jerga and make up some nicknames for them.

Confianzudos son los peruanos. I second falconagain's post, but I might add that people see what they want or expect to see everywhere, not just peru.
renodante
Gold Member
Gold Member
Posts: 1228
Joined: Thu Oct 14, 2010 12:44 pm
Location: miraflores

Re: Being Called Fat. Sensitivity issues.

Postby renodante » Tue Dec 13, 2011 3:07 am

I am a big guy, just last week a police officer who was directing traffic at the corner of San Luis and Canada left her post and started yelling at me, chasing me down the street. I thought I had done something wrong, but she just wanted to offer me her diet plans.


I'm sorry, but this made me "lol"
renodante
Gold Member
Gold Member
Posts: 1228
Joined: Thu Oct 14, 2010 12:44 pm
Location: miraflores

Re: Being Called Fat. Sensitivity issues.

Postby renodante » Tue Dec 13, 2011 3:16 am

doublek278 wrote:
I've pretty much had enough. Can anyone offer some similar stories, some opinions, some advice? I don't think it matters who you are, eventually your self-esteem crumbles no matter how strong it once was!


yeah, it's a thing here, people just coming out and saying negative things about your appearance. my problem is, i'm from New York. I was trained from an early age, on the playground, that when someone insults you, you quickly do a scan of the persons body/clothes and attack back (verbally) at least twice as hard. or if you know some dirt about something they've done, their family, etc, even better. i've had to hold that skill back here, because i realize it's just their thing, and they often don't mean it to be malicious. a friend caught me in the wrong mood once and told me i "looked old" and i replied "you look as fat and bald as usual" and he looked hurt. so, i guess if i were you i would say something like "OK OK I GOT IT YOU THINK I'M FAT, NO NEED TO KEEP REPEATING."
MarcoPE
Gold Member
Gold Member
Posts: 501
Joined: Thu Dec 02, 2010 5:29 pm

Re: Being Called Fat. Sensitivity issues.

Postby MarcoPE » Tue Dec 13, 2011 6:29 am

dspougxy
Last edited by MarcoPE on Wed Dec 21, 2011 11:10 pm, edited 1 time in total.
User avatar
susita83
Gold Member
Gold Member
Posts: 112
Joined: Tue Oct 06, 2009 10:39 am
Location: New York
Contact:

Re: Being Called Fat. Sensitivity issues.

Postby susita83 » Tue Dec 13, 2011 9:12 am

renodante wrote:
doublek278 wrote:
I've pretty much had enough. Can anyone offer some similar stories, some opinions, some advice? I don't think it matters who you are, eventually your self-esteem crumbles no matter how strong it once was!


yeah, it's a thing here, people just coming out and saying negative things about your appearance. my problem is, i'm from New York. I was trained from an early age, on the playground, that when someone insults you, you quickly do a scan of the persons body/clothes and attack back (verbally) at least twice as hard. or if you know some dirt about something they've done, their family, etc, even better. i've had to hold that skill back here, because i realize it's just their thing, and they often don't mean it to be malicious. a friend caught me in the wrong mood once and told me i "looked old" and i replied "you look as fat and bald as usual" and he looked hurt. so, i guess if i were you i would say something like "OK OK I GOT IT YOU THINK I'M FAT, NO NEED TO KEEP REPEATING."


:lol: I'm from New York too. I had a little malentendido with a combi cobrador in Lima a few years ago. He was yelling "baja, baja, baja" and looking straight at me. So, since it was like my 2nd time on a combi and I thought I was being yelled at, I snapped back in my usual NY-Spanglish style way. "Diiiiablo ya bajo, no me grites, sh*t!" :lol:
User avatar
susita83
Gold Member
Gold Member
Posts: 112
Joined: Tue Oct 06, 2009 10:39 am
Location: New York
Contact:

Re: Being Called Fat. Sensitivity issues.

Postby susita83 » Tue Dec 13, 2011 9:15 am

DoubleK... I know where you're coming from. I've always been the gordita in my husband's family. It was weird at first for them to keep saying it over and over, but I realized they honestly mean no harm.

So this past year I lost 50 lbs. My suegra saw me on Skype and got worried, asked me if I'm sick and told me I need to eat. Now, everytime I talk to one of my in-laws I get the talk "you need to eat, you're so skinny, what are you sick?"

You can never make them happy! :D

doublek278 wrote:Okay so after 7 months of living here, I am way past my breaking point.

It all started in June, when my boyfriend's two aunts asked me if I was pregnant.
The next day, my landlady brought me her old maternity clothes.

At that point, I realized the Peruvians thought I was fat. No one has every called me fat before. Curvy, maybe, but fat...no. I carry a little extra weight on me, but I've never met a single person who would label me as fat (and not just because we don't say it like that in the States). For a point of reference, I'm medium-height, size 8 pants with a size S or M shirt. Pretty average by States perspective.
lizzym
Gold Member
Gold Member
Posts: 164
Joined: Sun Nov 28, 2010 11:18 am

Re: Being Called Fat. Sensitivity issues.

Postby lizzym » Tue Dec 13, 2011 9:28 am

You can never make them happy! :D


Seriously. I´m nearly eight months preggo and still get the judgemental/skeptical body scan when I use the "asiento reservado" on the bus. I´ve also been asked to give it to other people, was physically stopped by a man who put up his hand to prevent me from taking it, and on another recent occasion was lectured by an old man about how I did not belong there. It´s incredibly annoying, but I chalk it up to the large amounts of stomach fat that is the standard here. Why on earth they would call somebody else fat is beyond me.
doublek278
Member
Member
Posts: 12
Joined: Wed Apr 27, 2011 9:03 pm
Location: Piura

Re: Being Called Fat. Sensitivity issues.

Postby doublek278 » Tue Dec 13, 2011 9:51 am

I am really enjoying these stories and feeling so much better! I actually felt a little silly for getting so upset about it, but I am glad to see that it is a real thing! Another friend suggested too that since many Americans are just plain built bigger, we look a lot bigger to the Peruvians. I thought that made sense, since finding clothing that fits like I'm used to can be a real challenge!
Still confuses the heck out of me though. You constantly see people with "extra-weight" spilling over their clothes, and yet I am the fat one? Maybe I just need to start dressing like that :D
Luckily they never call me gordita. At least up here, "gorda" is used for Moms, and "flaca" is for the young girls/girlfriends. So even more ironically, they call me "flaca" in the same sentence of telling me I am heavy!
I made a joke that I'll start telling them all the sign up with me for the marathon in Lima I plan to run in May. We'll see who wants to still call me fat then! Haha.

Thanks everyone! It's so great to have a forum where you can talk about something really tiny that bothers you (and no one back home will understand), but have everyone still be so nice and friendly about it! What a great place.
TonyLeslie
Gold Member
Gold Member
Posts: 270
Joined: Sat May 21, 2011 11:46 am

Re: Being Called Fat. Sensitivity issues.

Postby TonyLeslie » Tue Dec 13, 2011 10:09 am

I have the opposite problem. I came to Perú after three and a half years of a very active job which included heavy lifting and constant time controls which had me needing to run or at least walk very quickly most of the working day. Added to years of playing sports, I could still easily run a 100 yards (at 63) without much effort, even if it is a bit slower than when I was in my youth. I was also quite proud of my body weight of around 75 kilos and fitness level when I arrived here in April.

But nope, the good wife reckons I was too skinny and has been constantly at me to eat more and put weight on. We have had a constant battle over how much I eat, my eventual decision to not eat a large lunch on top of her huge servings of food at the dinner table and breakfast which I rarely ate during the working week previously but am made to do now. Now I am around 80 kilos and hating it and she reckons I am still too skinny. While I am not a huge drinker of alcohol, I do have my share on social occasions, but I compensate for excesses by walking anything from 30 minutes to 3 hours a day. I cannot convince her that putting on weight can aid things like asthma (personal experience before you start on the symptoms) diabetes, heart conditions etc. The lovely wife is Peruvian and has decided she knows what's best living in the conditions here, something I have a problem arguing with her about even if she decides to listen to me.

Having had my moment of digressing, my comment to the original post is, from my observation Lima, has it's fair share of people, especially girls and young women, but not only that age group, who have ample fat around the hips and midriff. Much the same as the many other cities I have been to in Australia, Chile and probably to a lesser degree in Colombia. Some big boned youngsters whose genes are from at least one large adult somewhere in the family, will always be looking as if they are overweight even if technically they are not. So, for the family to start calling the poor girl fat, it would appear as if they are overlooking a fair proportion of the population and probably friends and neighbours as well unless they are into everyone around them with the same message. One also presumes from the original post, that the entire family must be very lean or small boned and beyond the reverse approach. If the size of food servings the families I have contact with here in Lima, and what the restaurants in Breña serve up is any indication, it is a wonder the whole population of Perú is not overweight.
User avatar
susita83
Gold Member
Gold Member
Posts: 112
Joined: Tue Oct 06, 2009 10:39 am
Location: New York
Contact:

Re: Being Called Fat. Sensitivity issues.

Postby susita83 » Tue Dec 13, 2011 10:36 am

TonyLeslie wrote:The lovely wife is Peruvian


TonyLeslie ~ that's why! My husband always told me that the wife is supposed to "fatten up" their husband when they get married. Maybe it's a cultural thing? I don't know but my husband is skinny and no matter how much he eats, he doesn't gain an ounce.
TonyLeslie
Gold Member
Gold Member
Posts: 270
Joined: Sat May 21, 2011 11:46 am

Re: Being Called Fat. Sensitivity issues.

Postby TonyLeslie » Tue Dec 13, 2011 11:17 am

Re: Being Called Fat. Sensitivity issues.
by susita83 » Tue Dec 13, 2011 10:36 am


TonyLeslie ~ I don't know but my husband is skinny and no matter how much he eats, he doesn't gain an ounce.

I hate people like that. No offence intended, but I'm not one of them. This is my third visit into the 80's.
User avatar
KenBE
Gold Member
Gold Member
Posts: 864
Joined: Thu Jun 21, 2007 5:25 pm

Re: Being Called Fat. Sensitivity issues.

Postby KenBE » Tue Dec 13, 2011 1:13 pm

This is one of the things I do not like about Peru, the constant remarks from people about what they don't like about your appearance. Yeah, I know it is a cultural difference and I am somewhat used to it by now, but I still don't like it and think it is rude. When I first came to Peru people where constantly telling me I needed to eat more, was too skinny, etc. This has stopped now that I have gained some weight but now they keep telling me I need to go to la playa because I am too pale LOL! It seems like when you meet someone for the first time they feel like it is their duty to tell you what you need to change about the way you look...
User avatar
jcn7vc
Gold Member
Gold Member
Posts: 94
Joined: Tue Jan 25, 2011 6:34 pm
Location: Red Dog, Alaska
Contact:

Re: Being Called Fat. Sensitivity issues.

Postby jcn7vc » Tue Dec 13, 2011 1:28 pm

I came here in May and have a similar story. Actually, I was quite over weight, by over 100 lbs. I was a very active guy, however, and no high blood pressure. I am also 6'3", so my weight will be higher than your average Peruvian all the time. Before leaving the US, I had one last physical with my doctor and he said everything was great, and actually getting better in terms of cholesterol and things. When I got to Lima and had a physical for work my first day in the country, they told me the same, except my BP was high. I told them sorry, just nervous being in the country for the first time, not knowing anybody, and having trouble with the language. They said ok, we'll check you again in a few days. It was still sort of high, but I was still really nervous. They said I have hypertension, and started telling me it is my American habits that cause my BP to be so high. And it would be very dangerous to move to Huaraz and work at 14,000 ft. I just was like whatever, prescribe me some pills, and we'll see how it is in a few days. I moved to Huaraz, and my BP dropped over 40 pts.

Now, fast-forward to December. I am about 60 lbs lighter, speaking really good spanish, and enjoying life. People that saw me when I first arrived, namely one Peruvian girl I met dancing, are afraid for my life. She saw me leaving a disco in Huaraz, and offered me the burger she was eating. She is quite the flaquita, so I just had to laugh. Even at work, no one really ever called me fat (actually, they called me chiquito for a while). Now they want me to get on the scale every week just to see how much I have lost.

Another interesting story. My boss saw the truck I drive in the US one day (a black GMC Sierra), and the camera I own (a Canon DSLR), and knew that I didn't have a girl friend, so he asked me if my penis was small. If I'm lying, I'm dying. Then, two weeks ago, a supervisor here was putting together a chocolatada, and asking everyone to bring in a paneton. I said I would rather bring in home-made cookies, if that is alright. He said, "Oh, are you gay?" So I think it is just their style to be blunt, even if it is none of their business or it might hurt someone.
-Joe

"A man's character may be learned from the adjectives which he habitually uses in conversation." -Mark Twain

http://www.flickr.com/jcn7vc
User avatar
rama0929
Gold Member
Gold Member
Posts: 1572
Joined: Wed Feb 10, 2010 8:43 am
Contact:

Re: Being Called Fat. Sensitivity issues.

Postby rama0929 » Tue Dec 13, 2011 1:53 pm

You guys are killing me with your stories :lol:

Gordo/gordito remarks were often followed by either a bear hug or an airplane spin. All in good fun, of course :D

Fat does not equal weak 8)
User avatar
chi chi
Gold Member
Gold Member
Posts: 6060
Joined: Tue Dec 06, 2011 5:28 pm
Location: Granada, Andalusia

Re: Being Called Fat. Sensitivity issues.

Postby chi chi » Tue Dec 13, 2011 2:42 pm

The most important thing is that YOU feel good in your body.

It doesn't matter if you are too skinny or too fat.

Just ignore people their comments.
renodante
Gold Member
Gold Member
Posts: 1228
Joined: Thu Oct 14, 2010 12:44 pm
Location: miraflores

Re: Being Called Fat. Sensitivity issues.

Postby renodante » Tue Dec 13, 2011 5:33 pm

like TonyLeslie and others have implied, you can't win. It's totally true, I've seen and been on the receiving end of being called too fat, and too skinny, when in both situations I was not on either extreme. it's just like a peruvian pastime or something. get "too skinny" (normal weight) and the mom/grandma/girlfriend wants to fatten you up. get "too fat" (which could be like 3 pounds overweight) and everyone is telling you what to eat to lose weight and how fat you are. i've seen it time and time again.
User avatar
americorps
Gold Member
Gold Member
Posts: 3841
Joined: Tue Dec 12, 2006 4:16 pm
Location: Lima

Re: Being Called Fat. Sensitivity issues.

Postby americorps » Tue Dec 13, 2011 6:13 pm

renodante wrote:
I am a big guy, just last week a police officer who was directing traffic at the corner of San Luis and Canada left her post and started yelling at me, chasing me down the street. I thought I had done something wrong, but she just wanted to offer me her diet plans.


I'm sorry, but this made me "lol"



After nearly 6 years here, little shocks me anymore, but I have to admit, i was sort of stunned at this one, it was rush hour in the morning and the lights were not functioning and she just left the cars to suddenly fend for themselves and chased me almost half a block up Canada. What's worse, she was on duty and trying tel sell me Herbalife.

My AHA moment that I would have to just learn to live with being called fat in Peru came one day when I was at Machu Picchu and I was leaving just as a busload of kids from Ayacucho were entering the park. We were at the first lookout point where you first see the citadel from above and most people who see it for the first time stop and drop their jaw at the wonder of it all. This busload of kids, however, all had to rub my belly and ask me questions because my belly was much more interesting to them than Machu Picchu.
User avatar
rama0929
Gold Member
Gold Member
Posts: 1572
Joined: Wed Feb 10, 2010 8:43 am
Contact:

Re: Being Called Fat. Sensitivity issues.

Postby rama0929 » Tue Dec 13, 2011 6:36 pm

Herbalife, the official MLM of Peru... :lol:
User avatar
tupacperu
Gold Member
Gold Member
Posts: 3350
Joined: Sun Sep 10, 2006 10:36 am
Location: Pimentel Beach-Chiclayo- Sanford NC
Contact:

Re: Being Called Fat. Sensitivity issues.

Postby tupacperu » Wed Dec 14, 2011 4:01 am

MarcoPE wrote:Well, considering that some of the longest lines I see here are at the KFC counter, I am guessing it is just a matter of time before the average weight of Peruvians makes a marked increase. :wink:

Came to Peru in 2003, by the time we left in 2010 we could see the transformation. There were alot more heavy people ( fastfood etc.....). Economic development has it's down side.
I actually dropped 20 lbs living in Peru. The availability of affordable fresh fruits and veggies etc..
User avatar
susita83
Gold Member
Gold Member
Posts: 112
Joined: Tue Oct 06, 2009 10:39 am
Location: New York
Contact:

Re: Being Called Fat. Sensitivity issues.

Postby susita83 » Wed Dec 14, 2011 9:04 am

tupacperu wrote:
MarcoPE wrote:Well, considering that some of the longest lines I see here are at the KFC counter, I am guessing it is just a matter of time before the average weight of Peruvians makes a marked increase. :wink:

Came to Peru in 2003, by the time we left in 2010 we could see the transformation. There were alot more heavy people ( fastfood etc.....). Economic development has it's down side.
I actually dropped 20 lbs living in Peru. The availability of affordable fresh fruits and veggies etc..


Everytime we go to Peru, I wind up eating way more than I should, and dropping a couple of pounds. I think it's a combination of all the walking around, eating my big meal at lunchtime instead of dinner, and all the fresh foods my in-laws prepare. No preservatives or chemical junk at their house.
Nomada
Member
Member
Posts: 8
Joined: Wed Dec 14, 2011 9:48 am

Re: Being Called Fat. Sensitivity issues.

Postby Nomada » Wed Dec 14, 2011 10:03 am

As a Peruvian American woman who is considered "gorda" in Peru, I have to respond to this one, which amuses me no end. I first encountered the way Peruvians openly critique one's appearance (although I must add that it is not just limited to one's appearance, but they will also eagerly criticize every aspect of everyone's life and have all the answers about what everyone "should" do, very black and white) when I was 15 years old and my Dad sent me to Lima to visit the relatives.

Fortunately, I was quite slim at that time, so I didn't get the fat criticism, but I remember very well meeting a couple of old great-aunts and they looked me over as though I was horseflesh and made the remark, oh, you have your mother's good figure, too bad you have acne all over your face! I was mortified and it took me a while to realize that this is just what people do in Peru.

On subsequent visits, and then when I lived there, I got accustomed to being told that I should lose some weight particularly by people who are borderline anorexic. I wear a size 14 and am tall, so I am not exactly a candidate for lap band surgery, but am a large-boned woman who admittedly carries about 25-30 extra pounds. I learned over time that, at least in my Peruvian family, who are white upper-middle class Limeños, appearance is crucial, as is social status and having money. Being an old California hippie, I have never shared these values, although being a middle-aged nouveau pauper has taught me the value of money.

I tend to ignore most commentary and was never told anything insulting by non-family members, but I don't really like it. I have to admit also that I am very critical and I think it runs in the blood. When my sister and I were little, we used to make fun of people we saw on TV, and our American mother would say, you girls are so critical!

And, no, you cannot win. My father, who always used to try to control what I ate since he wanted me to have the model's figure that I had in my 20's, once arrived from Peru after I had slimmed down. The minute he hugged me, he said, Ay, estas flaca! YOU CAN'T WIN!! Stop trying. I say please yourself, your mate if you have one, and bugger the rest! Peruvians tend to be 20 years behind the times anyway, because on returning to the States I notice that quite curvy woman are once again in vogue. Here in the state of Montana where there are an unusual number of heiferish-size women, I am considered average and can actually find clothing that fits.

The culture will not change, criticism is a national pastime, get used to it.
renodante
Gold Member
Gold Member
Posts: 1228
Joined: Thu Oct 14, 2010 12:44 pm
Location: miraflores

Re: Being Called Fat. Sensitivity issues.

Postby renodante » Wed Dec 14, 2011 1:21 pm

because on returning to the States I notice that quite curvy woman are once again in vogue.


the bony waif thing as fashionable is an upper class thing. most non-piticos like um thick.
User avatar
rama0929
Gold Member
Gold Member
Posts: 1572
Joined: Wed Feb 10, 2010 8:43 am
Contact:

Re: Being Called Fat. Sensitivity issues.

Postby rama0929 » Wed Dec 14, 2011 2:11 pm

renodante wrote:
because on returning to the States I notice that quite curvy woman are once again in vogue.


the bony waif thing as fashionable is an upper class thing. most non-piticos like um thick.


Bone is for the dog, meat is for the man 8)
Lloyd007
Gold Member
Gold Member
Posts: 516
Joined: Wed Oct 20, 2010 11:24 am

Re: Being Called Fat. Sensitivity issues.

Postby Lloyd007 » Wed Dec 14, 2011 2:18 pm

I think anybody with half a kilo of extra weight is going to have these issues in Peru. It is horrible to be called fat and is about the worse and most offensive comment someone can make to an American or European.

When I explained this simple fact and labeled it as a major cultural difference to my friends and family here, they understood (or seemed to almost understand that it wasn't the norm for me) and now through mutual respect very rarely do I ever hear those types of comments anymore. A bit of communication and sharing feelings about such comments is appreciated by people here. How can they know something upsets you if you don't tell them?

Having said that, it does take some getting used to, but it does get (a bit) easier as time goes by...
Alpineprince
Gold Member
Gold Member
Posts: 1473
Joined: Mon Nov 03, 2008 8:12 pm
Location: "Miraflores State of Mind"

Re: Being Called Fat. Sensitivity issues.

Postby Alpineprince » Wed Dec 14, 2011 2:21 pm

"Warmth in the winter,shade in the summer"! -Charles Keenan
renodante
Gold Member
Gold Member
Posts: 1228
Joined: Thu Oct 14, 2010 12:44 pm
Location: miraflores

Re: Being Called Fat. Sensitivity issues.

Postby renodante » Thu Dec 15, 2011 1:46 am

I talked about this thread with my Peruvian friend over lunch today and he had no idea calling someone fat was a big deal in the states. i was like "yeah, there thems fighting words."
User avatar
JoshuS
Gold Member
Gold Member
Posts: 307
Joined: Sat Oct 24, 2009 9:40 am

Re: Being Called Fat. Sensitivity issues.

Postby JoshuS » Thu Dec 15, 2011 7:57 am

It seems to me they don't seem to have the indoctrinated complex of people in the US. It's a South American thing, in Argentina even came up with a song:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bxYGEhIbuac
User avatar
rama0929
Gold Member
Gold Member
Posts: 1572
Joined: Wed Feb 10, 2010 8:43 am
Contact:

Re: Being Called Fat. Sensitivity issues.

Postby rama0929 » Thu Dec 15, 2011 6:23 pm

JoshuS wrote:It seems to me they don't seem to have the indoctrinated complex of people in the US. It's a South American thing, in Argentina even came up with a song:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bxYGEhIbuac


:shock:

http://www.fatandproud.com/

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pZ8jxym_-X8

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=01KrL1ilnB4

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bUtf_Q4dg9Q

:)
User avatar
crazytacoperu.com
Gold Member
Gold Member
Posts: 146
Joined: Sat Dec 10, 2011 11:32 am
Location: Miraflores

I lost 60 lbs in Peru

Postby crazytacoperu.com » Sat Dec 17, 2011 11:34 am

Hello,

I was HUGE when I first came here. I lost 60 lbs going to this doctor in Miraflores. Her name is Dr Paola and she has a treatment called Carboxiterapia. Here is her website: http://www.carboxiterapia.info/

she does subcutaneous localized injections of Co2 to eliminate the fat cells, and gives a strict diet. For a while there I was losing 1 kil per week. wow. worked wonders.
..A Peruvian once asked me:what's the difference between special and abnormal?.....well my answer was : Lady Gaga and Miley Cyrus..
ranchevy1302
Member
Member
Posts: 5
Joined: Thu Nov 14, 2013 11:43 pm

Re: Being Called Fat. Sensitivity issues.

Postby ranchevy1302 » Mon Sep 29, 2014 12:40 pm

My MIL's first comment whenever she sees me (weekly) is almost always "oh, you've lost some weight" or "you are looking well" (but I know she is referring to my weight more than anything else.) I even got chicken pox from my kids since living here, and my in laws came by when I was finally feeling better and my MIL and SIL both exclaimed "you've lost weight!" to which I replied "....yes....I've been sick with chicken pox..." and my MIL said "que sigue la varicella, te cae bien!". I just turned around and walked out of there, to outright say that I should stay sick in order to lose weight! These people.....ugh
danjaker
Gold Member
Gold Member
Posts: 234
Joined: Thu Feb 14, 2013 8:50 am

Re: Being Called Fat. Sensitivity issues.

Postby danjaker » Mon Sep 29, 2014 12:58 pm

This is not the US,
South Americans do eat better, healthier and get much more exercise than Americans. So, people tend to be in much better shape. Its just the way it is.
Get use to it, or eat more Peruvian meals, walk, exercise...
User avatar
adrian Thorne
Gold Member
Gold Member
Posts: 1134
Joined: Fri Aug 03, 2007 1:29 am
Location: Sol De La Molina

Re: Being Called Fat. Sensitivity issues.

Postby adrian Thorne » Mon Sep 29, 2014 1:19 pm

To me it is strange you should notice a problem.
Since arriving in Peru nearly 8 years now, the first thing that I noticed was people were not at all vain. Size means nothing to Peruvians and in fact it is quite common to see slim boys / girls with a rather large partner. It was quite refreshing as I was at the time 150 lbs and suffered all my life from the usual Whale / elephant / fatty etc. in good old Blighty. They are very vain there. My wife was a very slim girl of 110lbs, but now she has crept up to around 150lbs, but nobody ever comments. Sometimes the word (Gordo/a) is mentioned, but always as a form of endearment. My wife`s best friend is a big girl and often called Gorda, but it means nothing to her. She is a bundle of laughs.
User avatar
chi chi
Gold Member
Gold Member
Posts: 6060
Joined: Tue Dec 06, 2011 5:28 pm
Location: Granada, Andalusia

Re: Being Called Fat. Sensitivity issues.

Postby chi chi » Mon Sep 29, 2014 1:38 pm

adrian Thorne wrote:My wife`s best friend is a big girl and often called Gorda, but it means nothing to her. She is a bundle of laughs.


People are always given a nickname in Peru according to their appearance.

You are either a Chino, gringo, negrita, gordo, cholo, flaquita...
User avatar
KenBE
Gold Member
Gold Member
Posts: 864
Joined: Thu Jun 21, 2007 5:25 pm

Re: Being Called Fat. Sensitivity issues.

Postby KenBE » Mon Sep 29, 2014 2:25 pm

adrian Thorne wrote:To me it is strange you should notice a problem.
Since arriving in Peru nearly 8 years now, the first thing that I noticed was people were not at all vain. Size means nothing to Peruvians and in fact it is quite common to see slim boys / girls with a rather large partner. It was quite refreshing as I was at the time 150 lbs and suffered all my life from the usual Whale / elephant / fatty etc. in good old Blighty. They are very vain there. My wife was a very slim girl of 110lbs, but now she has crept up to around 150lbs, but nobody ever comments. Sometimes the word (Gordo/a) is mentioned, but always as a form of endearment. My wife`s best friend is a big girl and often called Gorda, but it means nothing to her. She is a bundle of laughs.


:shock:

This has not been my experience at all. The first thing they do when they meet you, even if you are a total stranger, is comment on how fat/skinny you are. Even if you are just a tiny bit overweight people will tell you. "Amigo(a) estas gordoooo". It is part of Peruvian culture and they don't see it as rude or offensive.
ironchefchris
Gold Member
Gold Member
Posts: 1642
Joined: Sun Oct 14, 2012 11:10 pm
Location: Arequipa

Re: Being Called Fat. Sensitivity issues.

Postby ironchefchris » Mon Sep 29, 2014 2:37 pm

I've noticed that there is no "perfect." Everyone is gordo/gorda or gordito/gordita.
Jgringo
Member
Member
Posts: 5
Joined: Mon Jun 01, 2015 11:01 pm

Re: Being Called Fat. Sensitivity issues.

Postby Jgringo » Mon Jul 27, 2015 6:11 am

Kelly wrote:Weird that they'd even comment on it - most Peruvians love curves.


They sure do here in Cusco. It's hard to maintain weight at this altitude with the cold, not to mention getting sick here and there during the first 3 years of getting used to the bug (Furoxona fixes).

M wife and I were thinking about starting a weight loss camp here in Cusco. You will lose no matter what you eat or how much you exercise. Living in Cusco means unavoidable exercise, diet and effortless weight loss. Calories go to heating your body as opposed to having a heated house. It's harder to put weight on so the guys here treasure that.

I'd rather be in Piura, Zorritos or Mancora surfing and getting fat on Parihuelas.
User avatar
asgp
Gold Member
Gold Member
Posts: 207
Joined: Sat Jun 06, 2015 9:42 pm

Re: Being Called Fat. Sensitivity issues.

Postby asgp » Wed Jul 29, 2015 11:15 am

It's good to see that all of you embrace the Peruvian idiosyncracy about this topic :D

Las gorditas y los gorditos have virtually no problem here in Peru.

I wanted to share this video about these three comedians who have a show in Barranco, they're just hilarious.

https://youtu.be/9Gwn3BDpMz0
vivaperusurf
Gold Member
Gold Member
Posts: 108
Joined: Thu Mar 14, 2013 12:56 am

Re: Being Called Fat. Sensitivity issues.

Postby vivaperusurf » Thu Aug 20, 2015 4:19 pm

as far as im concerned if you are very sensitive peru is not the place for you. make a big bubble, get inside, and never crawl out. oh and 20 mgs of valium and a few chelas would help too.

as it has been my experience many many people enjoy maleteando or palteando - embarassing someone or talking behind their back. you just have to ignore it and not let them get to you or it will happen more n more.

however they dont call ugly people feo or fea to their face like they do with other things. why is that....what an old thread.
User avatar
jimuazu
Gold Member
Gold Member
Posts: 177
Joined: Mon Oct 25, 2010 2:45 am
Location: Arequipa
Contact:

Re: Being Called Fat. Sensitivity issues.

Postby jimuazu » Fri Sep 04, 2015 4:02 pm

I think the answer to the OP is that all those people meant well, so ignore the words and take it as it was meant (whilst at the same time ignoring their well-meant but unhelpful advice).

My wife and her twin sister both have the same first name (confusing, right), but my wife was always thinner, so they call her Flaqui (skinny), and the other one Goya (chubby). They are not so different in build now, but the names have stuck. I guess looking at someone new, it is the first thing that crosses your mind and the temptation to turn that into a nickname is irresistable to Peruvians.

Also, my wife is constantly concerned about fattening me up and rounding off some of the corners, but I don't feel comfortable with bits of me jiggling around, so it is a bit of a battle. But for people who have often been without sufficient food in their childhoods, I guess skinny means undernourished and at risk of getting ill and dying, so you can understand the concern. It's just one of those things.
Image
User avatar
Alan
Gold Member
Gold Member
Posts: 2856
Joined: Tue Sep 27, 2005 5:10 pm
Contact:

Re: Being Called Fat. Sensitivity issues.

Postby Alan » Fri Sep 04, 2015 6:10 pm

It´s kind of endearing how you hear "flaco" "gordo" "flaca" "gorda" within married couples, spoken with no ill intent, and with no offence taken. We have one pair of friends... he used to be on the heavy side 20 years ago but is now quite slim. Still, her pet name for him remains "gordie".
unspoiled
Newbie
Newbie
Posts: 1
Joined: Fri Feb 15, 2019 8:45 pm

Re: Being Called Fat. Sensitivity issues.

Postby unspoiled » Fri Feb 15, 2019 8:50 pm

I think this sounds good - it would imply to me that obesity isn't as big of a problem in Peru as it is in USA and that it's possible to find a suitable mate there. I just wonder how much smoking/vaping, drug use, and getting tattoos is done there.

I'd hope i could get a gordo burrito there.
69roadrunner
Gold Member
Gold Member
Posts: 255
Joined: Thu Aug 11, 2016 1:48 pm

Re: Being Called Fat. Sensitivity issues.

Postby 69roadrunner » Sat Feb 16, 2019 9:46 am

unspoiled wrote:I think this sounds good - it would imply to me that obesity isn't as big of a problem in Peru as it is in USA and that it's possible to find a suitable mate there. I just wonder how much smoking/vaping, drug use, and getting tattoos is done there.

I'd hope i could get a gordo burrito there.

Good luck finding any kind of burrito. Have you tried Mexico?
Slippin' Jimmy
Gold Member
Gold Member
Posts: 137
Joined: Mon Jul 17, 2017 1:06 pm

Re: Being Called Fat. Sensitivity issues.

Postby Slippin' Jimmy » Sat Feb 16, 2019 1:00 pm

You can get anything you want
At the El Mexicano Restaurant.
But whether it's good or not is debatable.
Everyone has different tastes.

viewtopic.php?f=11&p=156749&sid=1e2694026f0a5194388e153cc5c426c2#p156749

Return to “Expat Conversations”

Login  •  Register