I Was Told Not To Buy A Crop Top As My Stretch-Marks Would Show. Why Should We Accept Body-Shaming & Hide Our Natural Body Changes?

Articles & ads indulge in body-shaming by saying- 'use this product to make your eyes bigger', 'wear this dress to look smaller.' We have to stop letting others define our beauty & fitness standards.

Recently, I had gone to buy a crop-top and experienced body-shaming. I selected one top and tried it. Somebody with me suggested that I should not go for it as my stretch marks were visible. Why I should be ashamed of showing my stretch marks? Have I done something so bad by bringing a being into this world, that I need to foster guilt about it and hide it?

These are symbols of painful but beautiful memories. In fact, I would proudly say, I am a mother, and the changes that happen in the mother’s body during the pregnancy, are beautiful, sacred, and divine, and to be accepted and even flaunted!

The talk of the town: body-shaming vs body positivity

Nowadays, in the era of Google and YouTube, we keep getting several types of ads, based on our likes and preferences on the digital media. But after a while, I began to notice that that these ads mostly conveyed society’s beauty standards! By body-shaming women, they sell their products.

Personally, I prefer a healthy lifestyle and intend to take good care of my body. In this quest, I dig and try to get the deeper and right information from my digital means. What I observed during this time was that the most frequent ads I got, were ads related to losing weight, building abs, looking slim, and so on. Watching and listening to these ads, I was forced to think that my BMI index was just slightly more than normal and so to bring it down, I have to do a hell of a lot of things.

 Who are they to decide that I have to lose some grams to bring it to the normal BMI index? Let’s give them the benefit as they are based on artificial intelligence and work on the data.

But what about our near and dear ones or the far ones? Why do these people feel the urge to tell you how you are physically and what needs to be done to be perfect? Also, what is the definition of perfect? The definition of perfection can vary for each individual and also the quench for perfection should come from within yourself.

Why should I hide my natural body shape and marks?

We might have observed that we keep getting articles saying, ‘If you have a broad shoulder, wear such type of dresses which will make your shoulder less prominent’, ‘If you have a higher forehead, avoid such type of hairstyles’, ‘Such type of make-up to show your eyes bigger, lips smaller’ and ‘If you have a little bodyweight, wear such and such type of dresses, which will make you look slim, do such and such so on’.

Why have we defined and underlined some special features of the body to be right and others not to be right?

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If we talk in the words of Science, all beings are meant to have different or unique features, which helps nature in evolution, good gene selection, and ultimately help them in their survival with the changing times and eras. So, how come we decide, which is a better feature and which is not?

Gaining & losing weight in various phases of life is normal. Ignore body-shaming. Focus on a healthy body rather than a fit one!

Now, talking about women, it is said that we women don’t reveal our correct ages and want to be a teenager forever. Why do we do so? Why do we feel shy or awkward in revealing our correct ages? What is wrong in looking old, if we are getting old or what is so good about getting old but looking young? 

When we talk about a fit body, it’s not necessarily true that a body with extra kilograms is not fit and a body with lesser kilograms is fit. What I feel is instead of focusing on the weight, our major focus should be on getting a body with minimal deficiency of nutrients, vitamins, and minerals and strong immunity.

Don’t you think, these could be the right parameters of a fit body? And above all, gaining weight and losing weight in our various phases of life is normal and natural and one should not get obsessed with the idea of getting slimmer and so, ‘better’.

Women are subjected to impossible beauty standards!

We women are put more under this scanner of beauty standards. The reason is we undergo body changes due to hormonal changes/imbalance many times more than men during our life cycle. Secondly, we are the chosen ones to carry the crown of the epitome of beauty and perfection to seduce the other gender of the society. Bitter but true.

In our corporate culture too, I and many like me, would have observed that women are judged on their looks & appearance and not based on their actual talents. We are crushed in this game of appearance versus abilities, in our workplaces.

This explains why we end up spending too much time and money (as per a research, it is 55 minutes a day and $300K in their lifetime just on their faces) on beauty instead of focussing more on the significant goals and pursuits.

We should be the ones to introspect and decide our standards!

 While summarizing the above, here’s a piece of advice for all those women who tend to shatter their own self-confidence while meeting those false beauty standards, enforced by social media and society.

Please don’t get carried away by the postpartum loss of weight and to have a beach body. The showbiz stars encourage it and if you don’t get it, don’t get depressed.

  • If you have already got brains, please don’t get obsessed with the idea of looking perfect (as per the standards defined by others) and so-called looking ‘presentable’ at your workplace. Instead, put your valuable energy and time into becoming an important asset to society.
  • Please don’t feel elated, if somebody compliments you by saying ‘beauty with brains’. Since ultimately your brain will take you to the peaks, people are side-lining your intelligence against your physical appearance with such praises.
  • Please don’t indulge in self-criticism. Instead, inculcate self-contention and self-confidence.
  • Please chuck the idea of boosting your confidence by enhancing your physical features while trying to meet beauty standards.

We, as women, need to think and overcome this ideal of society. If we continue like this, then we encourage anxiety, depression, dysmorphia, eating orders, self-harm, and low self-esteem within ourselves.

We should not allow body-shaming and let others define our beauty and fitness standards. Even if any kind of change is required or needed, then we should be the ones to introspect and decide our standards.

Image source: Still from Kuch Kuch Hota Hai


About the Author

Archana Swarnkar Sahoo

Archana Swarnkar Sahoo is an avid reader and content writer who intends to voice the opinions of the modern women of society. She is a credit analyst professional with an experience of 10 years and read more...

1 Posts | 1,979 Views

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