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Sameera Reddy shared an inspiring message against body-shaming and blocking the hate. Why is it still so tough for us to accept women as they are?
Recently, Sameera Reddy posted a video on her social media where she spoke about her struggle with body-shaming and colourism that exists in the industry. She revealed that when she was younger, she’d tried to lighten her skin and eyes, and used padding on her body to conform to the images of “perfect” actresses.
With her rallying for body positivity and self-acceptance, she is definitely one to watch and learn from for young women across the country.
Films always reflect ideal representation of all that is considered beautiful in a culture. Through decades, our movies have dictated how women should look, be it ‘curvy’ or a ‘size zero.’ For the longest time, these standards have been adjusted to the tastes of men who dominate the director’s chairs.
Actresses are never appreciated for their diverse bodies or talent, and thus, the women watching their films do not feel represented either. This creates a vicious cycle where women from all walks of life are humiliated and forced into looking ‘pretty’ and ‘desirable.’
Sameera Reddy’s message clearly tells us something about ourselves as women fighting our way through a man’s world. As women, we all are conditioned to experience shame when we think about our bodies.
We are always too short or tall, too fat or thin, too light or dark. And we accept these insecurities and spread them like a virus, and before you know it, we are teaching more women to hate their bodies.
Body positivity is a way of countering this culture, not by fixing the flaws we are told to hide, but by celebrating them as part of ourselves. Our bodies are not ‘temples,’ like they say.
Rather they are our homes, which are a little rough around the edges but all the more perfect. They are built for function, not for others to gawk at. Part of fighting sexism and patriarchy is rejecting the idea that our bodies are made for others to desire. If a woman earns privilege in our social spaces by being desirable, and envied for her body, it does not reflect any real progress for us.
We are, often, presented with so many temptations when it comes to ‘improving’ our appearances. Fitness is all about burning calories and getting rid of unflattering fat. Beauty treatments are all about brightening. And makeup is all about presenting an illusion of something you are not.
A whole billion-dollar industry (mostly managed by men occupying spaces as CEO’s and marketing heads) thrives on women feeling disgusted and unsatisfied with how they look!
In such an environment, loving yourself the way you are at an individual capacity is tough. Sometimes it may seem impossible not to see yourself as less worthy.
That’s why practicing self-love is the most challenging thing you will ever do. Like Sameera says, it is really important to focus on the good things, because “we will get there.”
Picture credits: Sameera Reddy’s Instagram
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Writing intern with a passion for gender justice
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