Love your curves and all your edges, the strongest armour one can have is self love. We often hear statements like this from people around us. While we know it comes from a place of love and encouragement, how much of it do we actually believe?
In today’s social media obsessed world, it is very easy to fall into the trap of the comparison game while looking at the highlights of someone else's life. We are often left with the feeling of not being good enough or wanting to look and dress like someone else. In reality, the way you feel about yourself should not be determined by society. The hope is that everyone is able to feel confident and comfortable in their own skin without worrying about what others may think of them.
Body Positivity Stems and Self Love
Body positivity stems from self love. “I can’t wear sleeveless, my arms are too fat”, “I can’t wear shorts, my legs look like sticks”, “I’m too old to wear this, what will everyone say”. Most of us are guilty of making such statements. Sometimes a reminder that we are more than enough just the way we are can be really helpful. I'm grateful to be surrounded by a community of women who are a constant source of inspiration and always encourage me to be the best version of myself, with or without the extra pounds or dark circles under my eyes after a long work week. For me it is not about whether you actually wear the sleeveless top or not - it is about feeling comfortable and expressing yourself the best way you know how.
Picture Credit: Reistor
We often fill ourselves with a narrative of self doubt and dislike for our own body, the same body that has gotten us through life's ups and downs and everything in between. Accepting our body in all its glory with cellulite, stretch marks, pigmentation is where self love begins. As a society, the onus is on all of us to break the unfounded beauty norms and standards around the perfect type of body. As part of the fashion industry, what irks me most is when I hear people say that certain silhouettes only look good on specific body types - I truly believe that everyone can wear any type of silhouette. No one should tell us what we should or shouldn’t wear. Wear what you want, what makes you feel good and wear it with confidence.
Something that recently struck a chord was when a friend of mine said, “I recently found myself saying that I’ve struggled with my weight my entire life. When I realised, no I haven’t- society has struggled with my weight. That’s a them problem now”. The societal pressure of having an ideal body type can be extremely harmful and can manifest into a multitude of other physical and emotional issues.
Everyone’s idea of self love is very different and I love learning about how other people navigate their own journeys to becoming the best versions of themselves. To me self love is living life on my own terms versus someone else’s, it means being around people I love and who support and encourage me to do better. It means going that extra mile, it means being the best version of myself and learning to love the skin that I am in. Self love and body positivity is about believing in yourself, taking risks, doing what you’ve been dreaming of, and overcoming the obstacles you think are holding you back. Feeling comfortable in our bodies is a journey and the road can often be complicated and difficult - something I still struggle with but I am committed to working towards.
As someone who works in fashion, it is so refreshing to see the shift in the mindset of the fashion fraternity- we are definitely progressing towards being a more inclusive and supportive industry, one that celebrates diversity. I know that we have a long way to go but every small step taken toward this can lead to massive positive change. Right from magazine covers to television shows to models walking the ramp we have made a vast amount of progress. It is so refreshing to see women of varied body types, from different walks of life and age groups represented. Much needed change and a step in the right direction.
The world of fashion is becoming a more inclusive space where one can freely express themselves and their personalities. Seeing real bodies and real stories being told by women is in an empowering experience. Today, I have realised the importance of being part of a community that shares their experiences and is focused on empowering one another. Inclusivity is not about supporting a certain body type. To me inclusivity goes way beyond body type. Understanding each other's unique perspective and celebrating each other's differences is all a part of being inclusive.
As I mentioned earlier, self love for me is a journey and something that I still struggle with - there's some days when I make great progress, other times there are also detours where I give into self doubt. For me it is one day at a time. I am learning to live life on my own terms and being completely comfortable in my own skin. I feel like everyone should do what makes them feel like the best version of themselves, without worrying about what people say. So I say wear the damn shorts, send that damn message, say what's on your mind, and do what makes you feel most like yourself.
Mehma Singh is the Co-founder and Head Designer at Reistor. The views expressed are the author's own.