“You are imperfect, permanently and inevitably flawed. And you are beautiful.” ―Amy bloom
Well a lot of us back in India are new to the word body shaming.For a lot of us, we had not heard of the word say 10 years back. And for a lot of us, it still does not mean much. Although it should ! For a country so obsessed with fair,slim and sundar dulhan(beautiful dauther-in-law) and a tall, dark and handsome jamai or son-in-law (yes, men are subjected to body shaming too).In a country where calling someone moti(fat) is okay and in a country where if you’re born kali(dark), you’re basically doomed for life. Of all places, our country should be warned against this modern-day societal evil, discrimination of humans based on their physical appearance , on what their body type is and how they happen to look like. I admit to have body shamed a dozen people as a growing kid without even knowing that it was wrong.I pledge to never do that to a person ever again !
So when did I hear of it? Back in 2007 .After my board exams, we had all planned a trip to Puri, It had Jagannath Temple so Mom was happy, the beach was more us kids were interested in and all Dad wanted was to see us happy. On the way, while waiting at the station I was allowed to have my first teen magazine,yes at the age of 16. It was called Seventeen. Seventeen at the age of sixteen people!! It was the most beautiful thing I had ever come across, I suddenly felt adult.One of the articles I had read in it apart from all the fun stuff was about how body shaming can do terrible damage to a growing mind. This article had pictures of the flawless Megan fox ,all bronzed up,in gold bikini at the beach,looking like a Goddess had touched her with magic. It had Megan fox on the cover and was talking about how the fashion industry was promoting impossible beauty standards and pushing our youth to attain a body that looks like a Victoria Secret Model’s. Guess what I paid attention to? No,not the article.Yes, her! Megan Fox and ended up thinking why I was not born as pretty,as slim and as tall as her. And how I would look like a sea-lion if I posed the way she did at the beach. I didn’t realise I was body shaming my own self. Harming my confidence and self esteem.I didn’t know Photoshop and I didn’t understand the many wonders of makeup. But now I do. And so should you.
Because the damage done can be too deep and irreversible. Have you heard of people obsessed with plastic surgery and body alterations to the point that they develop physical deformities ? heard of bulimia and anorexia? Most of these people had been exposed to an environment where body shaming was a norm, where they felt they had to meet impossible standards of beauty to be desirable. Just the message our current society is giving off! If you happen to open the matrimony section of any goddamn newspaper or visit a matrimony site, you’d know just what I am talking about.Who brings this change then? A better place, where a woman with any BMI could be a potential model and a place where a darker girl is as desirable as the fairer one because of who she is,smart, intellectual and compassionate! us! no one but we can make the change!
We need to understand that our physical self does not amount to the sort of person we are .That the ones who truly love us really don’t care.We need to propagate that no one’s perfect. We need realistic looking people in cinema and healthy ,fit models on the runway.We need to understand that though immensely beautiful, Megan fox also had to go through a lot to look like what she does today. That there is a team behind her that makes it easy for her to be seen like a Greek Goddess in every freaking shot! And that we don’t really have to look like her anyway. We have to look like us! We have to be our best selves. We have to love ourselves and be confident. That’s the new sexy! All we have to do is live life the best,healthy,happy way we can,all the while accepting and adoring our selves inside out. So difficult to do? I am sure not!