Flipping through the pages of the newspaper I found this in the matrimonial section: “Tall, slim, fair, it is fine if she is from another caste we are very open-minded modern people”
In the critically hit show Indian Matchmaking, Sima Thaparia is heard saying: “Nadiya is a very tall, slim, beautiful girl, she will get any good boy”
These statements are not only wrong but ironic because who decides all of it? Who makes the rules?
Barbie dolls are nothing but caricatures of women who are tall, fair, and slim, making young girls pressurized to look a certain way to be validated. Garment manufacturing companies have sizes only up to XL or L. This makes me wonder who are these companies manufacturing clothes for?
On the other hand of the spectrum, women are shamed for being thin, they are nicknamed “match stick ” or “skeleton”, for humor or thrill.
Beauty standards pose a serious problem not only for women but for men as well. The use of “well-chiseled” men in TV commercials makes men uncomfortable about their bodies. In most of the web series “teenage boys” are shown as bulky muscular men without an ounce of fat on their bodies. The Kissing Booth is a web series that portrays the leading men Noah and Marco in a highly unrealistic manner.
During adolescence, boys tend to interact more often and more closely with fellows. Which leads to body shaming, from school to gym locker rooms or even the playground. This causes bouts of depression, anxiety, and low self-esteem.
Body positivity is however not the same as encouraging an unhealthy lifestyle or glorifying obesity, It merely means normalizing all body types and making people feel more confident. We need to understand that beauty comes in all sizes, shapes, and colors.
Making me ask if beauty lies in the “eyes” of the beholder.
Written by Aricia Bahl for MTTN
Edited by Andrea Xavier Gonsalves for MTTN
Featured image by Sen oaks illustrations
Artwork by Giulia Pintus