• N.B I always hated the poem and still do. Ask me chubby cheeks mean nothing but people pulling em (as if they have every right to) even if you become a grown up woman. Suggestions come every time, Zoe was recently unwell and all the ‘concerned’ people came up and told me don’t put pics on FB, nazar lag jayegi and stuff. They tell me to give her badaam, ghee, et al coz ‘per them’ she needs to put on weight. I’ve now had it enough… My reaction is thanks… But no thanks. Why can’t people look beyond ‘good looks’ especially when it comes to baby girls. Terrible.

    • LOL on that chubby cheek part 😀
      Yeah…people suggested me the same about Fb pics posting. Thanks …but no Thanks…I would adopt this term 🙂

  • Nithya

    copletely agree with your thoughts…every word of it… I myself put my foot down when i came to applying ubtans and stuff although my daughter hd lot of facial hair… and I also do not support the kajal thing and nevr used it on my daughter..although, my MIL felt I wasnt doing the right thing… wonder when will the perception change? your post made me sad…but its the ugly truth in our society:-(

    • We can start applying the change at home…might be then only can see some hope of change in society mindset 🙁

      • With parents voicing their opinions against such stereotypes, there will sure be a positive change in the mind set of people. That sure will take a lot time though.

  • I didnt realise the contours of the poem until you stated it. You have a point about self esteem and all of that. Having been through it it is but plain obvious for me.

    The world isnt ‘Fair’! Parents become the greatest of equalisers!

    • I loved the line ‘The world isnt ‘Fair’! Parents become the greatest of equalisers!’. Yes as a parent we can instill that self esteem which gets hurt repeatedly by society’s cliched mindset.

  • Fab

    Blue eyes, rosy lips, very fair – racist much?? What’s the point in teaching kids a poem that is purely based on appearances and is something they can’t relate to in anyway?? It just reeks of negativity and I’m glad you brought it up!! I hope they just delete it from everywhere!

    • Yeah it brims with negativity….but you know there are lot many such rhymes – fairy tales which just pass on some truly ambiguous messages.

  • You have a point, Nibedita! Discrimination on the basis of fairness, good looks et al in schools… I shudder to think about the damage it must be doing to the psyche of the little ones who are not ‘chubby cheeks…’.

    • Yeah… the kids who face this feel so bad. Really damaging for a tender kid’s mind.

  • Very aptly put and this is so true.. I have often seen people and teachers get more attracted to a fairer, good looking kid and I am sure the one’s left out do feel hurt…
    However, as Kavi pointed out… Parents have to balance it out and maybe put a little extra to let not it affect them.

    • Yeah…. parents have to take that stand to negate the damage done by cliched society mindset.

  • It is very very sad how these stereotypes perpetuate in our society. They distil down from parents, relatives, teachers and people at large.

    • These stereotypes exist everywhere and is so saddening 🙁

  • this is my favorite poem although I have never been that kind of kid. We usually visualise that we are like that only:) Yes appearances do matter but I believe that the inner you is more important in long run.Nice post surely next time when I will hear this poem your words will be in my mind.

    • Thanks for liking the post 🙂

  • Oh no! we talk of racism in Us, uk and OZ. See the discrimation here in India. It will demotivate a child and damage her self-esteem surely. I hope every discriminating teacher reads this post and corrects themself, nibedita.

    But then, it is difficult to change the mindset of people but we can teach our children to be confident and bold when they face such cirumstances so that their self esteem is intact. My daughter a teenager is thin and most People keep giving her advise, tell your mom to give this and that . She politely but firmly tells them with a smile “I am healthy and fit aunty”.

  • Ohh NB. How did I miss this post!
    Can’t tell you how true is that and who better can know this than a girl herself and than a mother of a girl. “Some people’ were even offended that she resembles me more than S…huh!!! And don’t start me on those uncalled-for-advises. I think by now we all have reached to a stage where its ‘thanks..but no thanks’ kinda, isn’t it?

    • Ha Ha…that’s funny. I mean a kid would inherit her mother’s genes…what is offending about it!!
      Yeah…thanks…but no thanks 🙂

  • Its a western poem so white=fair=good=adorable… and we in India are obsessed with ” Gora” Color… read matrimonial columns.,..

    The Facebook Nazar makes an appearance … 🙂 check my earlier post on the same here..


    • These matrimonial ads are weirdest of lot. 😀 Quite entertaining Huh!

      Hopping over to your post 🙂

  • Amrita Thavrani

    Next time I hear this poem, I’ll remember you. This post and your perspective 🙂

  • Roshni

    Neither of my sons was chubby…both had my husband’s and my genotype (at least when we were kids!!) which is scrawny! We got a lot of concerned and pitying looks for that but my sons were always active and energetic, so I didn’t care!

  • priya

    Happy Face – Simple Words
    Sweet Manners – Nice too
    Neatly Hair – very clean
    To friends is good and learning well..

    Teacher’s Pet – Is that you?
    Yes Yes Yessss 🙂
    while collecting songs for my son , i searched alternative words for this poem and reached here.Then I wrote my own words.

  • Elizabeth

    Does anyone know the origin of this song? Is it from India?

    • Elizabeth

      Please forgive my ignorane. I’d never heard it before Chu Chu TV and everything I can find to read about it seems to come from India. I definitely don’t like the message of the original lyrics! Whiteness and physical appearance in general are not things I want my baby daughter to prize.