In a country where women are expected to have perfectly toned bodies, the culture around body shaming seems to never mellow down. Diet fads, photoshopped perfection and extreme fitness routines to get those curves right further increase insecurity among women. The world is watching and wondering, why is your body not “perfect”. While all of us have to face this scrutiny, celebrities and actors only have it worse. However, in recent years, many influencers and celebs have spoken up about the need to project a healthy body image for women.
Sonakshi Sinha, who celebrates her 35th birthday today, is one such actor. In a recent interview, she talked about how, while growing up as an overweight girl, she had to deal with constant self-doubt about her body. Her personal experience influenced Sinha to feel inclined towards projecting a very healthy body image to women- something that she didn’t have while growing up.
Sonakshi Sinha on body positivity
Sinha said, “…growing up as an overweight girl gets difficult when you’re constantly being shown things that make you doubt yourself and your body, and also make you feel like you have to conform to a certain size to be beautiful.”
Being taunted for weight gain or loss can have an unpleasant impact on a person’s sense of self and could really affect their self-esteem.
In the contemporary world, our perception of physical appearances tends to be significantly influenced by a multitude of factors, including the inevitable role played by social media, peer influences, as well as societal factors. But is it fair to constantly taunt someone because they aren’t’ ‘fair & lovely’ or ‘slim and trim’ which is treated as a very basic standard of beauty?
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Sonakshi Sinha further said that is used to be challenging to deal with all the negativity earlier, “but, I guess you grow a thick skin and as you grow as a person, you kind of learn to accept yourself more. And once that happens, honestly, these things start affecting you less. What I’ve realized over the years is that it’s most important to just be healthy and happy.”
Size has nothing to do with beauty
Being taunted for weight gain or loss can have an unpleasant impact on a person’s sense of self and could really affect their self-esteem. It’s high time we take into consideration that beauty is beyond just looks. The absence or presence of fat, or pigment in your skin doesn’t determine your worth. Nobody has ever liked unwanted scrutiny of their appearance by anyone, be it family or any stranger.
From and early age we need to start telling boys and girls that a person’s size has nothing to do with beauty, it is more about our refusal to let go of long held stereotypes which reduce a person’s worth and desirability to their physical appearance. Actors like Sinha can play a big role here, if they use their reach and popularity to promote body positivity.
But the drive to embrace all body types can’t just stop at movies stars and influencers. Each one of us has a part to play. Do you compliment someone who has lost weight by telling them that they look beautiful? Do you find fat-shaming jokes harmless and funny? Do you shame a woman for not wearing clothes that “suit her body type? Well, you are not alone and so, on some level each one us is part of the problem. This everyone of us needs to rethink our approach and see how we can promote healthy body image to women on an individual basis.
Views expressed are the author’s own.