Since time immemorial, every woman has been plagued with the idea of achieving the perfect body type. Now, these trends seem to change every few years and women throughout the world spend their lives staring at meal platters and counting calories to fit into dresses that they saw on their favorite celebrity crushes. Every day, you switch on the television while eating your food and then see air-brushed, photo-shopped models parading on the screen with delicate, smooth flesh and glossy hair. You silently put down the extra parantha that you had intended to devour. Every day, you eat a little less and measure the gap between your thighs. “Why can’t you be thin like those girls?” says the man. The woman silently listens to his reprimands and joins a random gym, chastised. She barely manages to wake up and rush to the gym to work out. She maintains a strict diet and keeps working herself into oblivion. She comes back home, does her chores and then tries to sleep. Next morning: Wash, rinse, repeat. One day, she looks at the mirror and sees what she has done to herself. She can’t remember the last meal she ate, she wants to fall asleep at every turn and worst of all—she has no hunger left in her stomach. The rigorous workout continues, and she falls ill. The man promptly scolds her and tells her that she is too thin. She now tries to gain weight. Thank you, mass-media for implanting the image of an unattainable female body in our heads. These alien women have no shred of extra flesh on their body, not a stretch marks marring their skin; thigh gaps the size of the Gulf of Mannar and their collar bones, protruding. Our religious texts ask us to worship our body, and treat it with utmost care, yet we keep abusing it for the sake of ‘beauty’ at the cost of one’s own health and self-respect. We, the women of the world need to realize that our body is our own; soft and supple, lean and athletic, petite, Amazonian… you take your pick. Look yourself in the mirror every day after your belly is filled with food and see how your eyes sparkle and how your face glows. Your feel suddenly starts to look killer to you, and your waistline… Imperfection as you have known it becomes perfection in that moment. Stand tall, let your fellow insecure women lean on you and soak in the courage that you have found. Do not scoff at their fears, for they are you. Love them and yourself. Remind them that they were meant to be healthy and glorious. Show them how to take a twirl in front of the mirror with a pretty dress on, and walk down the street munching on the best food you can find. They will see your victory. They will derive their courage from you. In that moment, they will be you, and you, them.
About the Author: This article is contributed by Ayantika Lahiri, our intern.