36-24-36. Women have always been defined by this predetermined body shape. But have you ever wondered, who determined this size as the ideal body type? And, why this size only? Why only 24, why not 26 or 28? These are questions we have never bothered to ask ourselves before and for many years, we have simply accepted and passed on the idea of the perfect body shape to be considered desirable by men. A body shape that wasn’t within the achievable range of many women, so, instead of changing our beliefs and becoming more accepting, we put unnecessary pressure on them to change the way they look and feel about themselves. Unless one matched these measurements, one was not considered ideal. And just like that, we all forgot the fact that appearances can be deceptive.
The new age of social media has only added fuel to the already agonizing fire to perpetuate the image of a flawless woman. When big brands like Victoria Secret refused to accept plus size models for their fashion show, that millions of young girls followed closely, we knew this was a long fight. Even today, most people, when they come across someone who is overweight, think that they are either lazy or obese. This attitude is in no way promoting or supporting the idea of body positivity, which is an ongoing process to encourage people to change their belief, thoughts and behaviors regarding what they consider as healthy. We have, for long, associated health to burning calories in the gym or exercising, as if physical health is the only form of health that is acceptable. But how do you expect people to be healthy in general, if they refuse to link health with its most basic and primitive form: psychological well-being?
The entire point of body positivity is to encourage people to accept their bodies the way it is. And to acknowledge the fact that we are more than our bodies. The images that we see on social media, of models posing with their toned abs and flat stomach is a far-fetched process, one that takes hours of planning and months of sweat. And not that it cannot be achieved, it’s just that it shouldn’t be considered “ideal” or “perfect”. Some people have this long-held belief that body positivity is for those who don’t want to put efforts in looking that way, but the idea of putting so much pressure on our minds to look a certain way to be accepted, heard or desired in society is a fallacious idea to begin with! The fact that it is not the compassion in our hearts or our intellect that decides our appeal is all wrong.
Taking these points further and propagating the notion of positive self-image are some Instagram influencers, who decided to not be held back because of people’s feeble mindset. They are showing people a new definition of beauty and accentuating the importance of choosing and respecting your own self even when and especially when, others refuse to.