“You would look prettier if…you lost a few kilos“
I know a lot of us have heard or said this a lot of times before and I don’t need to give an introduction about how important it is for us to ‘look thin‘. The fact that we aspire to look thinner and not healthier tells a lot about the idea of a very thin body to be an ideal body which in construed in our minds. Every time you try on clothes at the mall you don’t focus a lot on the material or the design of the clothes you buy, we all buy colours or patterns that make us look thinner, because let’s face, it if it doesn’t make you look thin, it makes you look ugly, right?
The weight loss industry in India consists of over 60,000 to 70,000 crore rupees, that is almost the annual budget of a small developing country. They say you’ll feel great if you lose weight and most of us fall prey to these business gimmicks because of the restrictive standards of beauty which are portrayed to us. If you are thin they say you will fly away with the wind and if you are a little plum they say you’ll break chairs.
Fitness is not a bad thing, if you do it for yourself, I really appreciate the ones that hit the gym regularly and watch out for unhealthy calories and treat their body like a temple, but this is for the ones who just go harsh on themselves because they want to be thinner and not healthier.
Where it all started…
Most of us spend our lives looking at girls on billboards and more importantly movies which have a huge contribution in shaping our outlook towards questions like what is acceptable and what is not and over the years they have had a huge share in determining our outline of a beautiful individual. As it is considered that only good looking and presentable ones make it to the glamour world.
If you ever sat down with your grandparents to watch a classic from the 50s or 60s you’d notice that the heroines back then looked nothing like the ones we see today but they were still symbols of grace back then and now we have actresses losing out on roles for being a few kilos overboard.
However, our obsession with the thin waistline has started from the movies. It starts at the very beginning when little girls play with dolls whose human form is a lady with sharp features, a 14-inched waist, a four-finger thigh gap and a carved jawline, even the male dolls carved abs and muscles. While movies portray characters, which appear nothing like the audience that watches them toy companies follow identical standards in manufacturing toys.
When we are little kids we have balls for cheeks which are the most lovable sight for every neighbourhood aunty but suddenly when we enter teenage with all that weight with us we don’t look cute or adorable anymore and all your qualities and talents are hidden behind this mound of fat on your body, then you resort to all sorts of means to lose weight fast and google bombard you with these tips which help you get rid of those extra kilos in days. Doesn’t matter if that means losing your mind chasing some unrealistic figure measurements which don’t at all define you.
“He/she is healthy” is a gentle way of conveying that the person is a little fat, which has eventually made “healthy” sound more of like and abuse. I have a BMI of 22.5 which ideal, my weight is in exact proportion of my height and I have absolutely no health problems or hormonal imbalances, but id still be lying if I said that I have always loved the way I look and have never been a fan of crash diets and haven’t tried those super popular detox drinks that claim to help you lose 10 pounds in 10 days and not let some irrelevant persons shallow comments about my body affect me.
That reminds me of the time I saw a video on YouTube about how to deal with body shaming, I haven’t seen the video till the end till date and it is not because the lady who was giving the tips was far from the category of people who are skinny shamed or fat shamed, it was the first tip. It said that when someone points out a flaw about you should simply ignore them!
Why not ignore!
I seriously don’t understand how are people who get affected by these comments considered weak or less strong. Why should you ignore such comments? Imagine someone was hurting you with a knife does ignoring that person’s actions or forgiving them stop your blood from dripping? No, it doesn’t! this might come across as a harsh analogy but it’s true. People don’t understand how much the person has been affected and they might even describe it as an overreaction.
You could be dancing around in your own cloud of happiness and such conversations just seem to puncture your self-esteem in a sentence, so what do you do? Ignore it? Run away from it? Stay away from the people who said that? Start hating yourself? No, you don’t! being thin or fat has nothing to do with how gorgeous or attractive you are.
Just because someone doesn’t think you are attractive that does not mean you stop being attractive.
While I’d say that the opinion of these shallow people doesn’t matter that wouldn’t help you get out of your rut because that isn’t practical. You have already been hurt, so why ignore? Instead, tell that person head-on about how you felt and let me tell you there is nothing more gorgeous than a person who respects their own feelings and stands up for them! Ignoring them simply feeds your grudges and their false belief that they did nothing wrong and they could do that to someone else again and no one deserves to feel that way!
We should all just look beyond all of this, a lot of people gain or lose weight due to some disorders, some women go through conditions like PCOS or thyroid and all this only adds to their mental stress and even if they don’t, they are gifted with an ocean of different talents. No person has the right to sabotage someone else’s self-love bubble. while there have been many people speaking out about body shaming and coming out as strong individuals and planting movements like #ISeeNoFlaws amongst others nothing changes till we lose ourselves and stop ignoring and begin speaking out!
To any person going through this is don’t really have any tips for you or a mantra because all of us are uniquely beautiful and we take things differently but I’d just share something I wrote a while ago while I fell in love with myself…
She asked me what my favourite painting was, I said it was me! I am the most wonderful piece of art I have seen, With everything corner covered in a different shade of tan, With the centre that turns pink when I’m cold and red when I’m angry, With two gems for eyes, blessed with the ability to speak more than I do, With the bridge joining to the rest of the canvas not separating it with a jawline, With broad welcoming shoulders, With my belly hugged with fat, And my thighs that applaud Every-time I walk, With the final stroke of my skin, with cuts and scratched in shades of mochas, lattes and cappuccinos,Signed with self love and care!