By Deepti Chadha:
Every woman, irrespective of size is beautiful.Our body image does not define the kind of person we are. Today, curvy women are well appreciated everywhere. Author and poet Maya Angelou was a plus-size woman, who elucidated how her beauty lay in the span of her hips and the curve of her lips in her poem, ‘Phenomenal Woman‘. Tess Holliday, a plus size model was recently on the cover of People magazine, looking as beautiful as any zero size model. Our very own Sonakshi Sinha and Vidya Balan who define a curvy body type are one of the most loved actresses in Bollywood. These women have shown the world that you do not have to be thin to be beautiful.
Fat-shaming women has become so common these days that girls have started eating less, or maybe stopped eating altogether. This has led to increasing cases of anorexia and depression, which is very harmful for women’s health. 20 million women in the United States alone suffer from anorexia. Society has expectations and stereotypes like, ‘fat people eat all the time, that is the reason they are fat’, ‘maybe they are fat because of their metabolism’, ‘people who are thin don’t eat at all’, etc. A positive body image needs to be promoted. Every woman needs to embrace her curves and her body because she is beautiful no matter what. ‘Fat’ or ‘Curvy’ are words which have been given a negative connotation. But they aren’t, they are just the same terms as thin or tall, it’s just a matter of perception. Women need to love their body, and that is what will make them more confident and strong in a world like this.
It’s another thing to want to lose weight or to gain a little to look fine, but do that for yourself, not because someone teased you or called you anorexic. Beauty lies in the mind, not in cosmetic products or designer clothes. Sadly, stereotypes are not just restricted to body size. There is also the whole issue of colour. Every advertisement on television has white, fair women talking about fairness creams. What we don’t understand is that nobody has to be fair and ‘lovely’ to look pretty. The whole world is obsessed with lighter coloured people, maybe bringing a change in their mind-set would take years, but we have to start somewhere. Models like Alek Wek are dark skinned but indeed one of the most beautiful women one can ever see. We should stop classifying women into categories like black, white, skinny, curvy, hot, and nerdy. Let us stop with the stereotypes and learn to appreciate and love.
I think it’s time we all started to look good for ourselves. We should feel comfortable in our own skin and not insecure. Whether we sit in sweatpants all day long, tie our hair up in a messy bun, wear different coloured socks; we should do what makes us comfortable and happy. We should do things the way we want to, not the way it pleases others because at the end of the day it is our happiness that matters.