I has been only recently that I have mustered the courage to admit that I have had an excessively volatile and almost abusive relationship with my body and my looks since my early teens.
I wasn’t the baby who’d grow up to be a “Soni punjaban kudi”. To be a stereotypically good looking girl would mean Gora chitta rang (light skin), tekhe nain naksh (sharp features), and patla lak (lean hip) and I was far off from being any of this.
I During my teens, I’d slather a paste of besan and dahi on my face, or put freshly ground neem leaves on my acne. Now if these acts were an outcome of my love for myself it was a different thing altogether. But An undue pressure of looking a certain way was pressed into my psyche, that led to certain actions.
As I grew older, I was able to gather my thoughts and understand that my behaviour was an outcome of preconceived notions that the society has set, it was a product of oppression built within myself.
According to a survey I recently read, approximately 91% of women are unhappy with the way they look, and 40 % of them would consider going under the knife in the future.
the truth of the matter is, a lot of us are unhappy about how we look and where these thoughts stem from is secondary.
We have been hearing this term a lot more often in the world of media and socially.
Put in simple words – Body Positivity is unlearning the idea that there exists a certain body type that is worthy of praise, that is perfect. Instead every single body irrespective of it’s shape, size, colour or any other prejudice is equally beautiful.
Sounded simple right? Just love yourself and done! As simple it is to put this in words, the more complex it is to make it a part of your life. We are humans after all, we tend to get affected by own thoughts and those of the others.
Even though the road to body positivity is not easy, it is the need of the hour. Also because body positivity is not a ME thing or a YOU thing it’s a process that begins with you, leads to the one’s around you and eventually to the world.
So here’s my take how you can kick-start your journey towards this absolute transformation of thought. These are my mantra :
1) Choose healthy over skinny :
You must shift your focus from weight to health. Feeling fit, strong and capable is one aspect of positive body image.
I have been exercising for over a year now and loosing weight or having tighter muscles is only one of benefits of it. The joy and results of exercise doubled when I stopped seeing it as a medium to lose weight but to gain strength and become healthy.
2) Body Positivity is (definitely) not about shaming the “skinny bitches”
This is the most significant aspect of Body positivity. Being positive about your own body does not mean feeling a sense of high shaming someone else. At times, we soothe ourselves by responding to a body targeted comment by passing a nastier comment. You called me Moti, I’ll call you Sookhi, bambail, or kandi. The chain then wouldn’t end. In real sense, being body positive means kicking body shaming in the rear.
3) You’d fail, but you got to rise back:
We tend to be overtly harsh on ourselves. Our thoughts aren’t likely to change over night. There will be days when the bulge around the waist will seem like a tyre you want to burst. But that is okay! That night before you go to bed, give yourself a nice talk as you rub moisturizer on your arms. Smile a little more as you look into the mirror. Get rid of the negative jibes and be back to loving.
4) Shift your thoughts
It’s only when you stop obsessing over the sagging arms or the size of your thigh, you realise that there are so many beautiful aspects about you that aren’t physical or external in nature. You begin to focus on your strengths, your career, your health, parenting, the skills you possess and the ones you’d like to acquire. It’s significant that you hold those thoughts and thrive upon them.
5) Eating Healthy
By no means I mean you should starve yourself. Eating clean, natural foods makes you feel cleaner from within. My husband and I are consulting a nutritionist who heals with food. After a month of clean eating, we haven’t really lost much of weight but we feel more energetic and healthy inside out.
6) Stay away from things that intimidate
Instagram is flooded with self proclaimed fitness experts that flaunt a perfect body and encourage you to follow a certain diet or a workout regime. But not all bodies are similar, we all respond differently to different workouts and diets. It’s important to get alluded by the perfect image portrayed on the internet. Walking into a store or boutique that promotes a certain body type can be intimidating too. You must also stay away from branding and commercialism that we are exposed to in the name of wellness.
With a shift in my thought process, with the right kind of people walking in to my life, with support from my sibling and with oodles of focus I was able to leave my baffled and vexed self behind. These things may work for you or something else might. You must follow your heart and love yourself body positivity will follow irrespective.
I am elated to share that I, along with 30 other bloggers, am celebrating Woman’s Day in a unique way by pour our hearts out and thoughts out theough a special blog train #Unapologeticgirlz. I thank Sinduja who writes at MyTinyTigger for introducing me.
I also take the opportunity to introduce Monika who shares her stories at alubhujia.com
Do check out their posts on the prompt for the day – Body Positivity