Sanam Jung says she wanted to quit working because people fat shamed her after she gave birth
Despite efforts to get the conversation around body positivity to take off, fat shaming is still a very real thing. This leads to the birth of the fear of getting fat shamed, which pretty much is an unwanted guest overstaying their welcome in your head. Former TV host and actor Sanam Jang opened up about her experience being judged for her weight gain and said it affected her so harshly, she wanted to quit her job.
In an interview with FUCHSIA, Jang said talked about her dressing room problems after putting on weight. “I do remember when I was expecting Alaya, it was very tough for me to find clothes — I was doing morning shows at the time,” she said. “Even after that, it was quite difficult for me as designers have limited sizes and not everybody wants to give you clothes when you’re a certain size, which is really sad. It’s not fair. Why? Why do you always think that these clothes would only suit a thin girl? I also feel like stylists don’t want to style you. They only want to style those who are safe — they say ‘This is safe, this is easy.’ Yeah, that happens.”
The Alvida actor remarked that people say such things, wording them carefully. “And many a time, they convey the message without wording it directly. Yeah, that has happened with me — wardrobe issues are a big problem, ask my team.”
The Mein Na Janoo actor was deeply affected by this, to the point of stopping everything. “For some time, I gave up. I had become like this [hides face] — I don’t want to do it, I don’t want to appear on television, I don’t want to work. This is very disturbing for me, I am already going through postpartum, I don’t understand how to handle my child, I’m a new mother — I don’t know what’s happening with me and then I’m reading comments.
“People are sharing in this magazine that, ‘Oh, people said this to Sanam.’ How weight gain should not be an issue and they were sharing all those comments was really depressing. I would be lying if I say I was not affected.”
Revealing that it affected her a lot, Jang said she had a lot of family support that got her through it. “When I used to come home and share this with my husband, he would hold my hands and say, ‘Sanam, you are beautiful’,” she shared.
“Why do people think she’ll look beautiful only if she’s thin? I feel this to this day. I could step out of it but it hurts, it feels difficult and you get depressed,” she stated. “I used to stand behind a chair when my show would open, in my master shot, I would place the cue cards in front of my stomach after spreading them. How disturbing is that you’re working and this is what’s going on at the back of your head. ‘Assalamulaikum, welcome to *Jaago Pakistan,’* and I’m half covered by the chair so I appear less.”
Jang’s journey has now brought her to a point where she can stand up against fatphobia. Her ongoing project, Pyari Mona, addresses body shaming. She plays a plus-sized character in the show. “That is the jawab [answer], that it doesn’t matter. I am embracing it and I’ve learnt it now after reading this script. Why did I say no at first? Because there was a fear in me deep down but then I read the script and understood that this is a message — for me, for everyone, so it’s important to do it,” she explained.