My size 10
Why does my size 10
Do you worry that
If all women
Actually fall in love
With the way they look
And the way
They just are
You will have no place
To sell your lies?
A few months ago my 9 year old daughter came to me and asked me if she was looking fat? I was shocked? FAT? She is 9 years old. Where is she getting this idea from? And this got me thinking about the beauty industry. And the focus on looking perfect these days. While the pressure to look good is on men and women alike, I believe women are more under the scanner and more prone to judgements than men. Everywhere form of media we look at, whether newspapers, magazines, digital media like Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest we see only perfect, air-brushed bodies, near impossible to get figures. If we look around us with awareness, we will realise that we are constantly albeit subtly, being told that we are not good enough as we are.
I open Youtube and there are thousands of women telling me that my curly hair needs to be tamed and put through the punishing routine of serum, conditioner and blow dryer, before I can step out of the house. What is wrong with my curly hair anyway? It makes me, me. It makes me unique.
We ladies decide what we want to wear not based on comfort and weather but whether our legs are perfectly shaved or not. As if our monthly periods were not enough of a deciding factor.
I am a size 10 and happy with it. Sometimes I go upto a size 12 too. I am not thin, not fat either, just pleasantly plump. And I am happy with my size. Do I feel like shedding some weight? Yes… but that is more for being fit and healthy than for the sake of vanity. Or for looking better than the next girl, or looking sexier. I am a big advocate of body positive, I believe very strongly that all women are beautiful , at all sizes, whether 2 or 12, 4 or 14, XS or XXL.
So who is setting these crazy, unattainable standards of beauty that we all are feverishly trying to follow and beat.
The beauty industry ? Sure. The beauty industry all over the world is a 445 billion dollar business. What a staggering number. Imagine, if every woman woke up each morning, looked at the mirror and said to herself… “Damn girl…. U look hot”. “You certainly don’t need yet another 1000 rupee lipstick to look pretty”. Or “wow!!! My hair looks amazing without those rollers, or the 800 rupees blow dry”. Do we really need 50 different shades of nude nail paint?
The beauty industry thrives on making us feel ugly, not good enough, a little less, unless we buy the expensive shampoo, and the 1000 rupee manicure, or the 5000 rupee facial every month.
The Cannes Film Festival which is one of the most prestigious film screening festivals of the world has come under the scanner for having turned away a few women who refused to wear heels for a film screening. What? Really? Is this the message we are giving to the girls of today who are looking to us while deciding what is acceptable or not. Whoever said Ballerinas flats can’t be formal. Why are we women killing ourselves, torturing our toes, hurting our backs , squeezing into those painful heels and pointy toed shoes. I too am guilty of giving in and slipping into heels for a party even though my tired feet would love to be comforted in stylish flat footwear.
This is just a part of the issue. Let’s talk about the gymnasiums, diets, superfoods industry. They are constantly advertising perfect bodies to us. The message we are constantly getting is that even a little extra fat is unacceptable.
Having said this, I admit that I love makeup. I absolutely love my red lipstick. It speaks of power, raises me up on my low days, makes me feel glamorous. I feel more confident when I am well dressed, wearing a smart pair of heels, and my hair is well styled. The problem starts if we start believing that the day we are not dressed to the hilt, we are any less. The unhappiness begins when we start believing that is the only way to be.
What price are we paying in terms of our sense of well- being, mental health, self -confidence and self -esteem?
So what’s the solution? Where do we start? Well, I truly believe, we start at home. And in our neighbourhoods. Let’s not judge each other so much. Let’s encourage and motivate each other to be ourselves, curly untamed hair and some fat rolls and all. Lets celebrate ourselves, our tiny laugh lines, hell let’s even be thankful for those laugh lines, they mean we have a happy life. Those little white stretch marks? Well I got them as I brought little angels into this world who will grow up to make this world a better place. My friend may have a plus size body, but she also has a plus size heart and a plus size brain that dazzles corporate honchos day in and day out.
So ladies, lets create new definitions of beauty, new meanings of loveliness. Men, support us, motivate us, cheer us on. When women are happy, families and happy, societies are happy and the world becomes a dazzling place for all.
beauty at any size, beautiful inside out, proud women, body positive, body confident