Touch me not

A story has been making rounds in Dubai this morning. Apparently, a man in his mid 30s walks up to a 22 year old woman, who was shopping for wrist watches, patted twice on her butt and told her she needs to exercise. Read more here.

The women has reported him to the authorities.

But this incident got me thinking. How far can we go to comment on someone’s weight? Where should one draw the line?

Ofcourse the above incident is inexcusable. Any amount of physical contact is wrong even if it is just a brush. This is sexual harassment. Infact I think she should have slapped him first and then reported him.

But if that man had walked up to her and politely told her that she needed to exercise, would that be OK?

Or would she ask him to mind his own business?

I’ve never had strangers walk up to me and comment on me, my clothes or my weight. Atleast not offensive things. Though I’ve received a few compliments at times from complete strangers and I don’t mind that. Then why should I be offended if someone said something like, “dude, you look fat in that trouser” or “your shirt does not match your pants” etc. Hasn’t happened yet but would be interesting to know when it does.

For some, weight is an extremely personal thing. Infact it is for me too. When I loose weight and people around me compliment on my waist line, I love it. But when the opposite happens, it is not a pretty thing. But I wouldn’t mind someone I know walking up to me and asking if everything’s OK or if I am under stress or if that extra weight is due to comfort eating. Not sure how I would feel if a stranger said that though.

My point is, if we can take compliments sportingly, why not criticism?

But if someone touches my butt and tells me that, I’ll tear him into pieces. Period.