19-year-old Nazakat Inna Zibran is a dancer and a student who’s soon going to be studying medicine in Bangladesh. She also runs an inspiring Instagram account on which she actively talks about body positivity and and how she refuses to let let society dictate how she ‘should’ look. For instance, here’s a post she shared:
Why is that girls of just a particular size or body type are allowed to flaunt their bodies… #convergenow #converge Be the change and love yourself no matter what. Beauty goes beyond size and it runs deeper than the surface. #shinethrough don’t be gorgeous, don’t be what society tells you to be, be you… Just you.
The photo received a lot of positive reach and it isn’t the first of its kind that she has done. Zibran throws away with the stereotypical notion that the only way to be seen as ‘beautiful’ is to be thin. However, this didn’t come easy to her.
In a conversation with YKA, she spoke of a time a year ago, when she was struggling with “fat-shaming and weight criticism”. As anybody who has ever tried to lose weight will tell you, the struggle is difficult and doubly so when you are fat-shamed for it, especially in terms of jokes. We are tempted to dismiss it, especially if it comes from family or loved ones, hoping that they didn’t mean it, but as she says, “All your other good qualities that define you as a person on that one single moment just disappear, and you diminish to become just a huge blob of fat with legs.” It diminishes you, the human being, to just a sum total of some of your attributes, and it can be extremely demotivating.
This, for Nazakat, was impetus for her to realise how toxic body shaming can be. “I would’ve liked to have something to at least remind me, a few motivating words maybe from a friend or a family member perhaps, weight is just a number, and that it doesn’t matter,” she says, thinking about this time.
She thus started talking about body image issues, not just for herself for but also as a way to get anyone with insecurities about their appearance, to open up and start realizing their “own unique beauty”. And that’s where her journey towards body positivity and self-love started.
She has dreams to be an envy, so she’s starving. Coz covergirls eat nothing. “Beauty is in pain, beauty is in everything . Whats a little bit of hunger. I can go a little while longer”,shes fades away. She don’t see her perfect, she don’t understand she’s worth it. #noscarstoyourbeautiful #positivevibes
With many comments like “Beautiful” and “Amazing!”, Zibran says that the reception to her pictures has been positive, with many who feel empowered by her confidence in her own body and the fact that she’s not overtly conscious of her weight. As she says, not everything can be “measured on a weight machine” – and guess what, it doesn’t have to either.
For Zibran, social media is about how you perceive yourself. At the end of the day, “the only opinion that matters is yours,” she says. “You can’t change the world, you can only change how you perceive things.” Her final message is both simple and inspiring, “You can only change yourself and hope that somewhere, someone is feeling better about themselves. One person a day.”
Like Zibran, another Instagram user, Suhani Chandhok, also shares inspiring messages and had a confident response to give to online bullies who tried to body shame her. Read her story here.