We have all been consumers of content over the ages that portrays women in specific, conventional forms and figures. We have seen women being patronized, put in boxes and often the patriarchy is so inherently built in our system that it can be just a disguised character flaw as opposed to an intentional jab at a woman’s self-respect and you will never know. While the conversations around feminism and women empowerment have gained momentum and a lot seems to have changed,
there is yet a long way to go when it comes to equality and fair opportunity for all. In a country that has been obsessed with fair skin, thin frames, only to slightly let in the hour glass figure; we have a long way to go when it comes to accepting, if not instantly appreciating all body types, be it a man or a woman.
While the acceptance across the globe has changed phenomenally and can be seen through the kind of shows we consume, the way the media approaches sizes that are different from the few that have been conventionally considered beautiful and from the changing mindsets of people around us; to truly embrace every individual, body, mind and soul, it takes a new way of thinking, an enlightened
mindset that is all inclusive, incredibly forgiving and completely devoid of judgement. Imagine a world that does not judge each other based on how pretty your face is, how tall you are or how much you weigh. A world where your employment opportunity is based truly on your potential and capabilities. How liberating would that be?
Imagine a world where the male and female gaze is exactly the same and the way a woman is looked at is absolutely a non-issue. Seems too farfetched and unrealistic? That’s how far away we are from making that happen. Body positivity is not just accepting the kind of body you have been blessed with, it also means appreciating and truly loving your own self, taking extreme care to ensure that your mind and physical state are happy and healthy. Body shaming is a deep-rooted problem and especially in a country like India, where a woman’s appearance is placed on a pedestal, it can take a while to change the mindsets of people across borders. But it all needs to start from somewhere and just like charity begins at home, trying your level best to include this conversation at your dinner table or educating your children from an early stage in their life will have tremendous implications later on. We often tend to overlook these aspects and while it may seem like a minuscule character flaw to be judging a woman based on her body, it can be seriously damaging to the person at the receiving end of it. And the only way to trigger a change is to start from the people around us.
Start questioning the way you address this issue. While being fit and healthy is a great way to live, we need to change the way we define ‘fit’. Being sexy does not come with a specific measurement and should not be confined to a dress size. Being confident in your skin, wearing anything and everything that you feel you the desire to wear and flaunting what you wish to flaunt should be the ideal state of mind and way of life. No questions asked. So, who cares what people have to say as long as you are happy? Who says what is wrong and who defines what the process should look like? Let’s break stereotypes, make our own rules and create a world in which women feel as safe as the men and as secure in their bodies as they ideally should!
- Revati Nargund