Content advisory 18+ In a world where we are more particular about appearances than reality, the unrealistic projection of an ideal body has amounted to a long-drawn obsession. However, it is a problem that is now being somewhat addressed as saner minds apparently prevail. Celebrities have spoken up about being “body-shamed” and “fat-shamed” and about eating disorders. The public has shunned photoshopped bodies to the degree of absurdity and appears increasingly repelled by such invasive and potentially dangerous interventions as ‘skin-bleaching.’
Now the ‘plus size’ is being celebrated with fashion-making catwalks being dedicated to these more ‘realistic’ body types, and clothing lines are doling out dresses to fit the new theme. That’s all well and good, I mean yeah, we should all respect people as they are. Everyone is different, we have different coloured skins and body types and different sets of problems. No two persons are alike and all of us are a result (in not always equal portions, alas) of circumstance and our own choices.
I don’t believe in bullying people. I do fondly tease my oversized friend but I absolutely do not look down upon her. She has a long list of health issues and they restrict her. I also have friends with an abnormally high metabolism who cannot seem to add some meat to their body no matter how much they eat! But then there are those who eat huge fatty meals, do not exercise (me!) or go on absurd diets to attain that ideal figure.
But why doesn’t the fashion industry talk about the “normal” figure? Why do we babble about the cinched waist and an hourglass figure or the fabulous “full” figure but never about a normal healthy ordinary human body? Shouldn’t that be something that all of us want to attain or maintain? Why does ‘fashion’ always need to go to ridiculous extremes?
Why do we promote an anorexic figure or an overweight body when it is clearly unhealthy to have either one? Hundreds of teenage girls look through these magazines and are easily influenced by the photoshopped beauty on display.
I went through a phase when I used to think that my dusky skin was ugly and felt that I would be fairer by using all these lightening and whitening creams in the advertisements. Everyone wants to look pretty, but few seemingly realize that beauty really does come from within. Of course they give lip service to the idea, but do they really grasp it and believe it? The ominous statistics that reveal an onslaught of suicide among teenagers would appear to demonstrate the pathetic anxiety that many teens feel, in large part due to their physical appearance and the flak they often get from their so-called peer group because of it.
What we need to do instead is to be more accepting of the people around us. Do not make fun of a girl’s hairy legs or a guy’s acne; do not laugh a flat-chested (or monumentally-bosomed) girl or a boy who is too tall or too short to fit the officially accepted mold; do not laugh at boys or girls who wear braces to straighten their teeth (do not refer to them as “Tin Grin” or “Metal Mouth”.). Do not bully someone into trying to become something they are not. Our idea of perfect is not everyone’s ideal. A girl can choose to dress like a boy and a man can choose to dance in high heels (OK, maybe NOT such a good idea !). It is really a free world. But in the end, take care of your body and mind since they are the only ones that will be with you all your life!