At the 2017 Super Bowl Half-time performance, Lady Gaga gave an incredible performance. She sang on the roof of the stadium, jumped onto stage with a wire, did back flips, danced and caught a football in mid-air before disappearing off the stage. Spectacular as the show was, however, it got a lot of attention from a group of body shamers. Social media was abuzz with talks of Lady Gaga’s flabby midriff! Her rebuttal on Instagram was simple – “I am proud of my body, you should be of yours too”.
It makes us think. What a perfect body anyway? And who defines it? It’s all about perspective, and when stars like Lady Gaga make a statement, it helps women feel good about themselves (we’ve spoken about Jennifer Aniston lashing out at the media for the same reason before)
Many of us struggle with the shape, size or color of our bodies at some point in our lives. From a personal standpoint, being someone who has been really thin most of my life, I actually found myself not so accepting of my bigger self during and after my pregnancy. However, I did tell myself that my body was going through changes needed to bring a life into this world and I decided to enjoy it. But, that’s not how many women I know feel about their bulging bodies and try to hold themselves to impossible standards. They put themselves through undue pressure under some misguided notion of beauty, wanting to get back to their pre-pregnancy weight within a couple of months of giving birth. Don’t get me wrong, I am not advocating obesity or, for lack of a better expression, of letting-go. The idea should be to be fit, and not some misplaces sense of beauty.
Here’s why we should look up to people like Kareena Kapoor. She decided to walk the ramp when she was pregnant at the Lakme Fashion Week. She looked big, majestic and gorgeous in her Sabyasachi lehenga (who doesn’t look great in Sabyasachi, right?). Again, she walked the ramp 45 days after the birth of her son Taimur. Surely, she embodied the spirit of “self-love is the best kind of love”. Her being over the “fashion standards” of weight did not stop her from declining ramp walks and sit behind closed doors.
For the sake of our future generations, our celebrities need to the right examples, because they wield a lot of influence. Many women have felt the need to go under the knife to “correct” a flaw. Did that make them feel better about themselves? It probably did. but was it worth it? Or, rather, would they have been any less beautiful without it? The answer is no, they would’ve been the same – because beauty is not about how thick your lips are, or perfect your smile is – beauty is about your little imperfections, it’s about your heart, it’s about your mind. Beauty is holistic – it cannot be seen as physical alone.
Body shamers (and it’s interesting to note that only women are subjected to it) must be ignored. They will not be able to exist in a vacuum – if no one cares about what they say or think, they’ll soon stop.
So women, wear what you want – you don’t have to have a perfect body to flaunt your midriff.
by Namratha Varadharajan
Namratha is a digital marketer in the making. Other than her love for the written word and her kids, she enjoys Italian food, dancing and gardening. Explore more of her writings at www.namysaysso.com