Body Positivity is a social movement, focused on the acceptance of all types of bodies, regardless of shape, size, gender and appearance. We, specially women, are so hung up with having the perfect body, where perfection is defined by society’s beauty standards. Maybe once upon a time skinny bodies were looked down upon and women would have aimed to achieve a fuller or a curvy body. Since many many decades, being fat / obese / chubby is not acceptable in society. Forget dating, etc., even mere existence of fat people gets on the nerves of some people.
I might have shared this multiple times on twitter / on my blog. I was never a skinny kid. When I was in my mother’s womb, I was thought to be twins. And after puberty I started gaining weight like crazy. Mind you, junk food was not so available during those times. Max junk food I would have indulged in is Vada pav. Of course, I started to be teased and shamed about my body – Elephant, Football, Ganpati Bappa, Tuntun were some of the names bestowed on me.
I was a shy kid and a teenager and all these comments made me withdraw further into my shell. I was happy with the company of my books (Another reason why I read so much). Wherever I went, I was bombarded with weight loss advice. It wasn’t as if I was doing nothing. I was having warm water + lemon + honey everyday, walked at least 12 kms 6 days a week, exercised in the gym, indulged in diets (while secretly munching on vada pav – my ultimate comfort food). No one understood what I was going through, not even myself. Eventually I stopped going out. Never went to relatives place until absolutely necessary, bunked college most of the time and started thinking of myself as a burden on Earth. Enter depression, suicidal tendencies, self destructive behaviour and the start of my famous temper (the mirchi part of what was till then just a sweet laddoo). And then started rejection by guys (for marriage proposals) so much so that even fatso guys used to reject me. Some mothers thought I would not be able to do household chores because of my fat.
What did all this do to me? I lost my ambition, I lost all interest in studies or career, I lost interest in anything and everything. I did not see beyond the fat. And this was all because I was victim of the society’s perception of me. I did not think that anyone could love me for who I am. One guy was ashamed to go on a date in a public place because what it would do to his reputation. This was after the introduction of Yahoo chat era. I started indulging toxic guys because if they talked to me, the fat me, that only meant they were nice guys.
Now I am above all that. It has taken decades of efforts, of course with support of genuinely nice people, that I started recognizing my talent, used it & regained my confidence & ambition. Over the years, I did lose some of the excess fat, got fitter (a better goal, actually) and understood what self love meant. I now accept my body. I am not ashamed of it. I don’t care if my tummy still looks like I am 10 months pregnant. I only care that I be fit, be healthy so that I can lead an active life till I am alive. Yes, I learned to live. Finally.
Because of what I have been through, when I see the body positivity movement, I feel really good. People should not get stuck in the image of what their body is perceived to be. They should realise that they are much more than their body. They are heart, they are mind and they are soul. And all this is nothing to do with health. People who mock body positivity have no actual concern for anyone’s health. Obesity invites lots of diseases but it is not like skinny people are always healthy.
Just like men and (some brainwashed women) indulge in bashing feminism because of wrongdoing of some women, body positivity is mocked because it doesn’t suit the agenda of certain people. Body Positivity does not mean anybody is promoting obesity (just like promoting feminism doesn’t mean promoting hatred towards men)
Imagine if all trees were of the same shape, how boring the world would be!