Chasing beauty or seeking acceptance ?

Today, size identifies with happiness.

Last night, I saw a very graphic picture about a perfectly fine baby trying to cut the flab off her body. It was a personification of the idea of the profound impact of negative body image and the urgent  need to get over the whole façade of beauty.

We are not born feeling bad about our bodies. We take cues from the society and specifically, media. When our ideals are size zero with a perfect butt and hair well in place we ought to draw comparisons and feel bad about ourselves.

Every girl wants to look pretty, it is wired in them but when the standards are racking and society so judgmental, they feel bad about their weight, shape, height, color, and God knows what not. When you have this in your mind all the time (or, being reminded of ) you miss out on bigger things in your life. The vision kind of gets blurred and goals get narrowed.

My weighing scale and I have always been at loggerheads. I was a fit child but Chubby, healthy, motto is what I was referred to as for a good part of my life.  With time, my circle of influence began to increase and what grew more intense was the realization that I was not having a body like all my friends. As I entered teenage, those names and so called standards of beauty started taking a toll on me. I was shy to go out at first then I gave up wearing jeans and felt under confident most of the times even though I was doing well in my academics.

In my late teenage, India was under the grip of size zero and so was I.I just wanted to be thin more than ever at any cost. The long and short of it is that, I gave up eating healthy food and started to count every damn calorie .All that I had on my  mind was a skinny me. In one year. I had almost dropped 3 dress sizes and all the charm off my face.

That was a happy time. I could wear anything I wanted to, nobody was calling me those names for once in my life and to beat it all, it looked as I was expected to. My parents had never seen me with those spectacles of beauty with which I used to see myself and the world around. They tried to reason this whole expedition of weight loss and negative body image with me but I had been through a lot ever since my schools years that having a slimmer self at the expense of health looked like a fair  bargain.

I was not alone. There were and still are hundreds of Malvikas doing same on some turf round the globe.

This feeling struck me quite late though I always was conscious of my outline but in this new age girls as young as 6 year old start complaining about weight and feel bad as why do not they look like their friends/dolls.

When I see in retrospect, I see scarred memories and lonely times(I see good times too, but that is not the point here).Nobody realized it had something to do with BMI and my genes but  nothing with my fitness. Now, that I am all grown up and a mother of a girl, I feel more responsible about the cause.

To me, It makes little sense being told by some X designer firm that you need to lose weight to get into their clothes or some random personal shopper telling you to wear boot cut if you are “pear shaped” to create an illusion.I really would not like her to hide behind Photoshop either.

Why not just be happy with our selves? Why so much obsession with perfection when the term itself is so vague?

This issue is already being debated at multiple platforms but it warrants more attention. I absolutely adore Mindy Cling for being vocal about her “chubbiness” in this size zero age and how it has nothing to do with her being courageous or unfit. Precedence like this matter.Open letter like this helps too.

The concept of having ideal bodies has been here for centuries and is here to stay perpetually . No wonder the concept itself varies from culture to culture. But the question still remains ,is this the degree of seriousness it needs to be taken with. Is it worth all my attention and energy or beauty really is just skin deep?

May we raise our girls in a place

Where being a better person makes more sense than anything else.

May we raise our girls in a place

Where these naive parameters do not hold anymore.

May we raise our girls in a place

Where boundaries hold no meaning

and they have a whole world to ride and sky to swim.

AMEN.

Malvika

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