Before you scroll down, here’s a reminder: YOU ARE BEAUTIFUL :)
Updated: Jul 12, 2020
Since my blog is going to revolve around fashion and activism, I thought what better way than to start with a topic that relates to both of my interests- ‘Body Image’- a struggle that I have seen almost every teenager around me battle with.
The fashion industry is a place where creative minds express themselves. For me, it is a platform that I use to read articles, follow the latest trends and think of ideas that I could one day incorporate into a collection. It’s my outlet, an area I could explore all day and never get tired of. But with all the outward glitz and glamour there is hidden darkness of duplicity.
And here’s why-
It's hard to scroll through an Instagram page without seeing a professionally clicked picture of a beautiful young model. But have you stopped to think that its mostly only one kind of woman in every picture?
The same thin, curvy, long-legged, blemish-free woman.
Although the size zero figure is no longer idealised, a new hourglass figure has come to be revered.
It needs to be said- Body image is NOT a trend.
While there is nothing wrong with women with these bodies, this archetype is not realistic for most of us given our natural body shape and genetic makeup. Sure, you could work towards it if that’s something you really want but more often than not, it leads to unhealthy dieting, overtraining, dampening mental health and impaired self-esteem. While fast fashion brands have been appreciated for including different ethnicities in recent years, they still lack showing different body types. Even though most brands sell clothes up to size 18, models tend to be a size 6 or 8.
What’s worse is that advertisements lead us to believe this is what normal looks like.
I would like everyone to read a powerful message Sonam Kapoor has for all the teenage girls out there:
“So, for every teen girl leaning into her bedroom mirror, wondering why she doesn't look like a celebrity: Please know that nobody wakes up like this. Not me. Not any other actress. (Not even Beyoncé. I swear.)
Here's the real deal: Before each public appearance, I spend 90 minutes in a makeup chair. Three to six people work on my hair and makeup, while a professional touches up my nails. My eyebrows are tweezed and threaded every week. There's concealer on parts of my body that I could never have predicted would need concealing.
I'm up at 6 am every day and at the gym by 7:30. I exercise for 90 minutes and, some evenings, again before bed. It's someone's full-time job to decide what I can and cannot eat. There are more ingredients in my face packs than in my food. There's a team dedicated to finding me flattering outfits.
After all, that, if I'm still not "flawless" enough, there are generous servings of Photoshop.
I've said it before, and I will keep saying it: It takes an army, a lot of money, and an incredible amount of time to make a female celebrity look the way she does when you see her. It isn't realistic, and it isn't anything to aspire to. Aspire, instead, to giving your body as much sleep as it needs. Aspire to find a form of exercise that's actually fun for you to do. Aspire to know your body and how to live well in it. Aspire to confidence. Aspire to feel pretty and carefree and happy, without needing to look any specific way.”
It's time to stop calling out others for their perceived “flaws” because we need to learn to celebrate everyone’s uniqueness. There’s no need to brazen people for being “stick thin”, or having a “cardboard figure”.
It's time we normalise laugh lines, gap teeth, cellulite, scars and birthmarks. They are proof that your body has grown, adapted and lived. You started off as a blank canvas and now you are a masterpiece of your own making.
There is no good, bad, right or wrong body.
Repeat after me: MY BODY IS NOT AN APOLOGY, AN ORNAMENT OR A MEASURE OF MY WORTH. Make this your mantra.
Stop with the I cants and start with the I cans. Because you will find a multitude of reasons to put yourself down but you only need one to build yourself up- knowing that you are enough. Educate yourself on how the media distorts our image of beauty and stop feeling the urge to conform to an impossible body type.
I’m sure you must’ve played truth or dare at least once, so I dare you-
Pick out an outfit that you have always been afraid to try out. Show off your skinny thighs, your short legs, your stretch marks or your naturally curly hair You never know….you might just love the new you! ;)