I Love My Body

Body-shaming is the weapon of the weak….Shun it to emerge stronger and beautiful.


The video above has gone viral in social media. Vidya Balan (Bollywood superstar well known for her iconic presentations) has poured her heart out. She is dealing with a topic that screams for attention from society. Provokes it to think and feel. Perhaps not for the first time.

It is a collaborative effort with radio station 92.7 Big FM. It is streaming across the internet with the catchy hashtag #DhunBadalKeTohDekho.

It is about body-shaming. No...not just that. Something that goes way deeper and diffuses through the untouched. An individual, even if a child, is never spared. Every breathing moment of her life, she is judged for her looks. She is ridiculed and rebuffed for something she has no control over. And who does that? The society. That uncountable mass that has the power to not let the ‘she’ admire her reflection. But look forward to external approval.

"Don’t your parents give you enough to eat?"
"You look like a mannequin! Clothes have to be fitted on you."
"Look at the dress you are wearing...as if it's on a hanger!"

I was a thin, skinny girl since my naive years. Many recommended health drinks and syrups which would induce hunger. The obsessive occupation became to increase my girth. Destiny came to rescue, and later in life, with age, I gained weight. Tremendous weight. Within a span of a year and a half, I gained a staggering 14 kg. Now, I was called fat. A new set of advice followed. “Hit the gym...go on a diet... don’t try that dress, you won’t look good in it!

Somewhere between all this, I lost my mirror image. I was always what somebody else wanted me to be. A faltering individual, hurt and helpless. A victim.

Again, I have thick curly hair since birth.

I was nicknamed ‘Nazrul Islam’ (a notable Bengali poet, writer and musician) and ‘Sathya Sai Baba’ (an Avatar and an Indian guru). All thanks to my hair that resembled that of these towering personalities. A more common call was ‘Maggi’ or ‘Noodles’. The others I have willingly surrendered to oblivion.

Only recently, Kangana Ranaut (another Bollywood actress noted for her non-conformist roles) subverted the image. She popularised curls and today its fashion. Suddenly, my hair is all gorgeous. “How lucky you are to have such beautiful curls!” That’s what I get to hear at present.

It seems my smile too was not the perfect one. Believe me, I could do little about it. I did try to “make it right” though. Once when I was in high school, on a dental visit, I had inquired, “How to make my smile non-gummy?” The Doctor advised a minor surgery but only after I was 18. Time took the better of me, and later, I never thought about it again.

By then, I had learnt to ignore insensitive remarks and overhear unwanted advice. I had just started loving my body, my hair and my smile when something new cropped up.

I will be 40 in four more years, and my hair, right now, is 30% grey. I don’t colour my hair to hide my premature wisdom! I chose to keep it as it is. Do I receive any suggestions? By now, you know the answer.

Oh, I forgot to tell you about my dot! The gorgeous black mark on my right cheek. Will keep it for some other day.

But before that let me hear the story of your journey from being the victim to becoming the victor. From bearing body-shaming to celebrating your body.

By: Quotidian Tales

Disclaimer:
This article and the opinions expressed in it are personal opinions. It is not meant for imposing specific views or endorsing a particular way of life. Also please do ignore any errors or omissions that you might come across. We pledge to learn from them. Happy viewing.

Comments

  1. Well written.. our story... hope its different for our daughters...

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  2. Yay to living beyond boundaries and boxes!

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  3. Thank you friends. Yes, let’s join hands in creating this difference by appreciating the uniqueness in each one of us. Dhun badal ke toh dekhe!

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  4. Good to read such a personal take on this. I would like to add that not just the society , it’s our own family too that unknowingly criticises each other . Also, recently , i was clicking a selfie with my tenants’ 5 yo daughter... she saw herself in the camera and said... ‘aap zyada achi lgg rhi ho, bss apni click kar lo’ !!
    Now, where are we headed? It’s a long long way to go... but so glad a movement against body shaming has started. 🤘🏼🤘🏼

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    Replies
    1. It’s really heartbreaking to hear that. The damage done is deadly. What more could I say, now that the concept of the ‘image’ has unconsciously or even otherwise got ingrained into the psyche of little ones. But it’s better late than never. Let’s do our bit to change the perspective of looking at someone till each of us appear unique and beautiful.

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  5. Replies
    1. Every affirmation or encouragement is one more step towards the desired direction. Thank you.

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  6. "...And I said to my body, softly, 'I want to be your friend'... it took a long breath and replied... 'I have been waiting my whole life for this'..." - truly penned... keep expressing!

    ReplyDelete

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