Have you ever looked in a mirror and actually liked what you see? Do you like your dressing style? Do you ever wish you had better hair, fairer complexion or sharper looks? Are you comfortable in your skin?
On most of the days, I’m not!
For as long as I can remember, I have been called “jadu” (fatty) by everyone. I think I was called fat because I was compared with my sister, who in my opinion was extra “skinny”! She too was made the butt of many jokes because of her petit and fragile frame. The name “Jadu” has stuck on and now most of my cousins, friends, aunts and uncles (in India you can just imagine how long an extended family gets) call me that and it has officially become my nick name.
These days, even when I know I’m not fat and never was, I tend to feel uncomfortable with my body. Such ‘body shaming’ has a deeper impact than we can even imagine and I have just recently learnt to come to terms with it.
But that doesn’t stop me from spending a few extra minutes in front of the mirror every day, trying to tuck in my bloated stomach or from buying a larger sized top to cover my almost non-existent love handles.
It has led to many insecurities and lack of self-confidence. All of it has taken toll on my perception of me, so much so that I only focus on my flaws and hardly register a compliment. I absolutely hate looking in a mirror. And no matter how many gyms I join or sign up for yoga classes, I’m not going to like me. I’m not going to voluntarily pose for a photo; because even when I’m faking a smile, I’ll be obsessing over how my hair looks or whether or not I’m looking busty and fat. No matter how many times I’m reassured, I never feel beautiful or confident.
Career wise, I’m doing great. But every time I step out for a party or a function or step in front of a camera or a mirror, my insecurities slither back in.
I think everyone deserves to be called beautiful. Because believe it or not, our physical attributes are just as important as our nature and character. It makes us, us. Hence everyone should be encouraged to feel comfortable in their skins. And most importantly people should stop joking about other’s physic and judging them by it.
In a world where bleaching creams, anti-ageing products, cosmetics, hair straightening chemicals, plastic surgery, toxic skin-lightening creams and casual racism is considered normal and sold and bought at sky rocketing prices, it is essential to embrace our inner beauty and at the same time make others feel worthy and beautiful too!
Once you’ve fallen pray to ‘body shaming’, it’s going to be a long road back. But when caught in a vulnerable moment , just remember that you are beautiful and you don’t need to fit into someone’s beauty standards! Just accept your natural beauty and be healthy. And one day maybe our fairy tales will read:
“Mirror mirror on the wall
There’s a beauty in us all…”
© 2017 Ashwini Nawathe, Kaleidoscope of My Life
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