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Dear Designers, Fat Shaming ‘Normal’ Women’s Sizes Is Bad Business!

When will designers start making clothes with 'normal' women in mind? Influencer Dr Cuterus, aka Dr Tanaya Narendra recently spoke on Insta of body shaming by top designer Tarun Tahiliani.

When will designers start making clothes with ‘normal’ women in mind? Influencer Dr Cuterus, aka Dr Tanaya Narendra recently spoke on Insta of body shaming by top designer Tarun Tahiliani.

Translated from the original in Hindi.

Simply put, body shaming is when someone decides that another person’s body does not fit their definition of ‘ideal body structure’ and makes the other person feel bad about it. This unfortunate mindset, prevalent in our society, is as shameful as it is ubiquitous.

The worst part is that women are often the recipients of body shaming not just from family members, relatives and friends, but even more so than from random strangers that they meet.

Recently, a post on body shaming caught everyone’s attention. Influencer Doctor Tanya Narendra posted on her Insta handle Dr. Cuterus about the incident of body shaming that she had to go through.

The incident took place at designer Tarun Tahiliani’s Ambawatta store.

Body shamed by staff at Tarun Tahiliani’s Ambawatta store

In the post, Dr. Cuterous writes, “There is SO much pressure on people to lose weight before their wedding – I had that too. Family friends would ask why I wasn’t ‘dieting’ before my wedding (in a span of one month lmao). Some even went out of their way to send me ‘slimming teas’.”

She went on to say that the staff at Tarun Tahiliani’s bridal store also body shamed her, and that it was very evident from the way they looked at her. On the other hand, designer Anita Dongre gave her the lehenga of her choice, in her size.

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She also mentioned that a lot of people made unsavoury remarks about her ‘double chin’ and how her stomach appeared in her lehenga, and many more such regrettable things she had to hear.

Who decides how a woman (or girl) ‘should be’?!

Why is it that our society has decided how every woman’s body should be? And why are women constantly pressured to adhere to this image of ‘the ideal body shape’ that society has decided for them?

From the time they hit adolescence, girls start getting categorised based on their physical features. Some are called thin, some fat. Same fair, some dark. Some short and some tall. The situation only worsens as they journey through puberty and into adulthood, to the extent that these categorizations become ingrained into their identities, and start to define even their sense of self.

The pressure of body shaming only worsens with time and reaches fever pitch once parents and relatives deem the woman to have reached marriageable age. They start telling the girl that unless she slims down no one will marry her (as if the sole purpose of her existence is to get married). Friends and relatives, at this point, start doling out endless streams of unsolicited advice on how to slim down and reach the ‘ideal’ body shape and size.

Sometimes body shaming is done in the guise of ‘humour’ though it is far from funny. It is cruel and unnecessary and can have a lasting negative impact on the psyche of women It can completely erode their self confidence, and even permeate into other aspects of their lives, leaving an impact there as well. Left unchecked it can even lead to clinical depression.

Clothing brands body shame women with their unrealistic ‘sizes’

Now let’s keep our families and friends aside and talk about clothing brands and their contribution to body shaming – which in my opinion is massive.

Has it ever happened to you that you have gone clothes shopping but your favourite clothes are never available in your size? I have a feeling most of you are going to answer a resounding “Yes!”

There are a lot of differences in the body structures of Indian women, but why is it that clothes are available in such a narrow range of sizes? And who are these imaginary women these sizes are based on? I have never seen them! I am not saying that all possible sizes should be available (though that would be absolutely fantastic!) but at least the ones made available should cater to a more realistic consumer base.

Every woman is beautiful and this beauty is reflected in her happiness, not the colour of her skin, her clothes or any other such measure. Clothing brands, please keep that in mind – most Indian women do not have ‘standard model sizes or shapes’!

Update: Tarun Tahiliani has since issued an ‘apology’ that was not accepted by Dr Cuterus, and she has answered it point by point here.

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About the Author

Ashlesha Thakur

Ashlesha Thakur started her foray into the world of media at the age of 7 as a child artist on All India Radio. After finishing her education she joined a Television News channel as a read more...

6 Posts | 13,264 Views

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