My breakthrough moment in body positivity

By KUNTALA SARKAR | Beauty

30th March 2022

I was just at my work desk, busy filling excels sheets, when I suddenly looked at my colleague. She showed me a picture of a thin and white lady in a bodycon dress, and I said, ‘you would look good in that too’, she shied. My colleague is a pretty lady with a bigger curvy body (bigger to the social beauty standards); she said she will buy this kind of body-hugging clothing only when she loses weight. On the one hand, I thought it was OK that she wanted to feel fitter. Maybe she did not feel fit at this moment, yet I knew it was not about that. It was somewhere a girl felt like she did not belong in that dress until she had a certain kind of body.

I was introspecting. I was precisely like her, with my bigger body constantly trying to fit in and trying harder to be in shape to fit into those clothes and beauty standards. I thought this was toxic for her, me, and every girl who was constantly trying to fit in.

I know I have been practicing this since my teenage; I was so bummed when I hit my puberty days, my body started getting flesh on thighs, stomach, hand, chest, and everywhere. Since then, I have never loved my body. But why didn’t I like it, It was because I didn’t look like those actresses and models on TV and in magazines, as simple as that. No matter how often my mother told me to eat, not starve myself, and I looked beautiful, I won’t listen because I thought she was being sweet, even she knew I was ugly and fat.

At this moment, sitting at my desk, I thought my colleague was wrong; I was wrong too. All of us are pretty, and all we need is bodycon of our size. I was never ugly. My mother was never wrong. The only thing missing then and now is the representation of women of different body types in media and magazines.

Although now, the media spectrum is changing slowly after the body positive movement wave in 2012. Currently, there are more representations of plus-size women playing the main protagonist in a film or series. We see big brands like H & M, Forever21, Victoria’s secret, and Vero Moda catering their product to plus-size women. Instagram is now full of influencers like Gabi Gregg, Caralyn Mirand, and Ashleigh Tribble, flaunting their curvy bodies unapologetically and inspiring the body’s positive movement.

Now I feel more confident and am unapologetic about my body type. All those years, the amount of mental trauma and frustration we went through was all planted in our heads so deep-rooted that even now, I feel a little uncomfortable when my sweet belly fat bulges out of my dress. Yet I have learned to love my body and accept it.

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