By Anshul Tewari:
For long, our society has stereotyped women and their bodies, and compelled them to be “in shape” to suit the needsÂ and imagination of men and the society. The reality is, women don’t owe their bodies to anyone, andÂ in no case deserve any form of body-shaming. We live in times where body-image issues haveÂ led to higher stress levels, depression and even growing suicide rates among young men and womenÂ across the world. Celebrities, fashion magazines and their ideas for perfect bodies have only furthered the stereotypes – and this impacts both men and women negatively.
But celebrities themselves can set an example. Huma QureshiÂ shattered the stereotype around the “perfect body” in the latest Femina cover,Â giving a strong message, “I don’t owe you perfection. My body, my rules”.
The cover not only questions the society and our flawed perception of beauty, but also makes a striking remark about who decides for women in our society.
— Genderlog (@genderlogindia) July 9, 2014
What I am LOVING about the @humasqureshi Femina cover is the fact that her expression is so vulnerable even though the statement is so bold.
— Aditi Mittal (@awryaditi) July 12, 2014
Some even called off the hypocrisy they thought that Femina showcases.
— A Pai (@aksrpai) July 9, 2014
Though the cover did receive its fair share of criticism about the amount of airbrush used on this photograph, and that it still compares perfection to a “size zero mannequin”, it certainly is a good start.
From the moment a child is born, the stereotypes around how one should look take over our perceptions, compelling us to treat people with different body shapes differently. Does this cover solve the problem around body-image? Certainly not! We need a more cultural shift from patriarchal values which have driven our society for the longest, and move more towards a society that respects other people’s bodies and their rights. However, what this cover does mean for women and the stereotypes around their bodies is that the much needed conversation is now out in the open.
What do you think about this cover?
To know more about what I think, follow me on Twitter @anshul_tewari.