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Sonam Kapoor’s essay on BuzzFeed titled ‘I Didn’t Wake Up Like This’ is an amazing account of pretty much what every girl goes through in her lifetime as far as body shaming is concerned.
“Like every girl, I spent many nights through adolescence leaning into my bedroom mirror, wondering why my body looked nothing like it should.” Is how she starts her essay and is pretty much the crux of the entire write up.
There is a certain way our body should look and it doesn’t – is a thought which can jeopardize one’s life more than we expect. The moment we make a seemingly harmless effort to make our little girls look pretty, it instills a deep rooted expectation in them that looking good is something they always have to work towards.
And so dangerous it is to not like what we see in the mirror that girls end up wasting a lot on unwarranted effort to sometimes achieve the impossible. For example, if I have a broad bone structure or a short height, those physical traits are always going to remain with me, no matter what I do.
As she mentions in her essay, “We’ve been taught that women need to be flawless even when our flawlessness is wildly implausible, sexy even when our sexiness is a break from plot. We’re sprinting through Jurassic Park in heels, fighting supervillains in strapless corsets, being stranded on deserted islands for days without a hint of stubble. Real female bodies are so taboo that hair-removal-cream ads show hairless legs even before the cream is applied.”
Girls love it when their looks are compared to those of celebrities. And unfortunately, public figures are shown to be flawless. However flaws are real and perfection isn’t. And Sonam Kapoor gives a detailed account in her essay on what it takes to get those flawless looks. It is a big group of people working to create that image.
Let eating be clean and healthy eating, exercise be fun exercise. Aspire to give your body the sleep it needs and live well in it, not traumatize it. There are all well-meant messages she conveys in her essay.
It is definitely a refreshing change having some of these actresses coming out with issues they face in ‘real life’. And it is not all pink and perfect as it seems on the ‘reels’. Deepika Padukone talking about her tryst with depression and how she dealt with it gave a very real and possible picture to something which we as a community have issues talking about. Kalki Koechlin comparing the Indian woman to Ophelia; and just like any other woman how she also has to bear the brunt of the patriarchal norms and her only way out is through her spoken word, through her madness.
These narratives are definitely something that a lot of us women can relate to.
Top image via hdwallpaperz.in