By Pragya Singh:
We have our own definitions of beauty, but the majority of women across the globe have been expected to subscribe to notions of beauty that often work to oppress them systematically.
The female body has been the site of the highest scrutiny and both sexes have equally contributed to the flawed construction of the ‘ideal woman’.
For all those who have failed to achieve the notions of beauty set by the dominant society have repeatedly been shamed for their supposed imperfections. Most people shame others for their bodies because chances are they could be unhappy with their own and are constantly trying to achieve unhealthy beauty standards.
The first incidents of body shaming happen at home. Parents are often the first ones to point out their kid’s ‘imperfections’ in an attempt to want to hide their ‘flaws’ thinking that they are being protective when they are actually subconsciously giving into society’s constructions of what is beautiful.
Big nose, large butt, broad forehead, skewed eyebrows are perfectly normal features used to shame young and old women alike because they don’t fit into the mould of what is considered ‘beautiful’ at that point in time, in the society.
Statements like, “Why don’t you dress up like her?”, “You have got ‘man boobs'”, “I think, you should correct or hide your scars through surgery”, etc. hurt people, making them more vulnerable and heightening their insecurities.
When we change ourselves according to beauty standards designed by others primarily because we feel the pressure, we also, in the process, bury our true selves. We feed into the cosmetic industry that continues to boom.
We must stand up for ourselves. We must learn to accept people for who they are and accept ourselves for who we are. Retain our individuality. We must look beyond the facade. We make the society; it doesn’t make us. The earlier we realise this, the better we will understand reality and our true potential.