APPU, JUMBO, elephant, mota, buffalo-these are just a few names by which huge or fat people are characterized and ridiculed. Naturally, few extra-large people wear their fat well or feel at ease while socializing. Now, things are about to change. Extra large people will soon have their own club in Bombay and be able to feel comfortable with people of their size.
Called XL Club (an abbreviation for extra large), the club is scheduled to have its first meeting on august 12 at the Shalimar Hotel in South Bombay.
The club is meant only for a privileged few. Females who have a waistline less than 44 inches are not eligible to be members of this club. Males weighing below 90kg need not bother to apply.
Even if the physical criteria of the club are met, there is still the mental attitude of those who want to apply, which will be taken into account before people are admitted into the club. Yamini Zaveri, who is the brain behind the club, is very clear about who is eligible. “The XL club is just not another club. We want seriously obese people who are serious about being fat. It is not a weight watches club. The club will basically motivate extra-large people to accept themselves and be comfortable with their size.”
Ms Zaveri should know what she is talking about. Life for her had not been too kind after a messy divorce. Though hailing from a very prosperous jewelers’ family. Ms Zaveri had a series of problems for all of which food became a solution-a solution that in reality is a form of sickness.
Realizing this too late in the day, Ms Zaveri tried every trick in the book to become her slim self, but to no avail. What really bothered her, apart from the derisive comments she attracted, was the problem of her clothing. Very few stores had extra large clothes. Salespersons smiled every time she asked for clothes her size.
Soon Ms Zaveri decided that she had enough. That is when she decided to design her own clothes. So good did she become at designing extra-large clothes that requests from people of her size started pouring in for designer clothes. After holding four successful exhibitions of designer clothes for extra-large people, Ms Zaveri felt that there was more to be done.
“During my exhibitions, my personal encounters with extra-large people made me realize that they too faced problems of a similar nature. Unfortunately, there were no outlets for such people to vent their feelings. Even family members of many extra large people were not supportive. It is out of this that the idea of forming a club germinated in my mind,” she says.
Ever since she announced the formation of the club, she has been deluged with requests for applications. So far, 37 people have sent in their applications along with Rs 3,000 as their annual membership fee. However, even as requests for membership are pouring in, Ms Zaveri who is a co-promoter have decided to keep the membership down to a manageable 40.
Every month, these 40 extra large people will gather initially at the Shalimar Hotel. The topics of discussion will range from sex, to food, to clothes to entertainment. Doctors, designers and psychiatrists will be invited to address the club.
There will be delicious snacks. “Why not? We are not a wait-watchers club. Neither are we Over-Eaters anonymous. Our club will consist of extra-large people who have accepted what they are. The key to this club will be self-acceptance,” explains Ms Zaveri
The club’s motto: “fat is fine, with a healthy body and mind.”
By Ketan Tanna