What Matters? How you Look or how you Feel?

As I walked on my favorite path yet again in the sunny land of Goa, I noticed a group of women at a distance. They were familiar and lived in my neighbourhood. “Oops!”, I said to myself. Time for me to hang my head in shame, errr, regret. I forgot about the abundance of nature around me and focussed my attention on what was yet to come. *Shudder*

“Hello,” said one aunt in a flaming red dress with a maroon lipstick that brought out her ‘vampire-like’ qualities. (Is that a quality? Think so as she seemed to endorse it!) I muttered a hurried ‘hello’ and tried to rush by. “Wait,” she said. “You look so thin again, doesn’t your mother feed you?” I struggled for an answer as my mind flashed all the lovely food items my dear mother prepares.

Barely a teen then, I felt awkward and smiled shyly. Another lady opened her mouth which had the stench of it being never washed (Eeks!), “Oh! She seems to be growing taller and thinner. Don’t grow too tall, ok? You won’t find a right match.” I muttered feebly, “Ok!” I mean, what else could I say? I was just humiliated and had no ready answer. Perhaps, I wasn’t even brought up to answer such ladies rudely. And, wait, what did she say about the husband? (Oh my God!) That explains my lack of silence. Even till today.

(Blog continues below image.)  

Vidya Balan, the talented actor scaled new heights in Bollywood despite being body shamed
Vidya Balan, the talented actor scaled new heights in Bollywood despite being body shamed

As the years progressed, I dreaded the trip to a local art center with my sister. Here, another lady who was nothing close to perfection herself, continued her volley of taunts. “Omg, your daughter is so thin,” she whispered hoarsely to my Mom, who was anyway tired of the usual small talk. The lady continued, “Look at my daughter, she is so good at everything.” I rolled my eyes and muttered to myself, “Yeah, does that explain her miserable grades in school?” But, then, I shrugged it off. There was no point in boiling my blood over miserable people, right? “Don’t be vicious”, I said to myself. Hey, I think I was already wise for my age! 🙂 (Possibly a case of being forced to be wise early on in life!?)

What happened was a couple of years back. The times have changed. The greens are lost. The concrete jungle has taken over. Morning walks are a luxury. Everything is fast-paced. But, what about the nature of people?  What about their thought process? Has it changed?

I don’t think so. We call ourselves modern. The contemporary woman of today who knows how to drape a saree with a backless blouse with no fear or sport a jumpsuit with equal grace. We are the modern families who feel proud when we spend absurd amounts in shopping malls as retail therapy. We are the modern bunch of people who rely heavily on technology for our daily tasks. Yet, we are the same bunch of people who haven’t changed the way we think – for the better though our spending capabilities have increased. 

Why is body shaming visible on a larger scale today? With the changing times, I would have thought this would have been toned down. The aunties have changed for sure. They wear their hair with a straight finish in a shade of blonde and brown. The lipgloss has replaced their lipstick shades (in a bid to get Katrina-like lips). Their clothes have turned more revealing and ‘stylish’ (Errr, to each her own!).

But what is it that spills out of their mouth?

Taunts. Hatred. Negativity.

Body shaming someone for being too fat. For being too thin. Basically, for even existing! Why blame the media and the stars of today for the current situation? Body shaming always existed. And, this is not only about the large-sized people, or as one of my cute friend puts it, ‘plumpy’ people.

People who are on the slimmer side have also been subjected to ridicule. If you are large, you can’t wear that dress. If you are thin, you don’t seem to be eating properly. Goodness me! The reasons are aplenty. But, does anyone care to hear?

That woman you just labelled large – she has a hormonal issue. She has tried every diet plan. And she does exercise. Give her some time. Let it rest, people!

The girl you just wrote off as skinny – she is going through a personal crises. She has her meals right. But, her stress levels are high. She loses weight with every worry. Have you done anything to help her, yet?

Body shaming (when targetted towards children) can lead to a severe identity problem early on. This leads to a lack of confidence at every stage of life, hampering their personal and professional goals. (Thank goodness there was an absence of social media  when I was a kid. It would have been a recipe for disaster seeing those aunties online!)

Can I request you to watch your words before they spill out? Can I hope that everyone can be themselves without any fear? That a woman or a man need not be made to feel insecure as you may find their appearance peculiar.

Can I hope that you will look into the mirror someday and see your true reflection? 

This blog post is about a topic close to my heart. This is also a part of the blogger challenge by Smart Indian Women. While my blog does talk about fashion and style, the aim is to stop having false icons in life and photoshopped goals. Stay fashionable, be who you are. Enjoy the feeling as YOU ARE UNIQUE. No one can take it away from you.

While I’ve penned my feelings straight from the heart, it would help if you can share my post and press the ‘Like’ button. Please share some love as it will bring me closer to winning this contest, as the subject is indeed close to my heart. 🙂 Thank You!

As the author of a blog that promotes fashion and style, I would like to highlight important issues such as these
As the author of a blog that promotes fashion and style, I would like to highlight important issues such as these

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