It was the last day of the Sahodaya Pre-boards and some of us had a meeting with Chairman Sir. Out of the many things that he advised us about, the topic that really concerned me was maintaining a healthy diet while the exams. Just so you know, I am not going to yap (my new favourite word, thanks to Purnendu Sir) about health, fitness and all that stuff. What I am going to really talk about is something more than that, something that we never bother to give a minuscule thought about. It’s been four months since I have become a complete vegetarian and am trying my best to stick to healthier food substitutes. It was not just because I have always liked the way vegetables tasted than meat, but also because I wanted to maintain a good figure. Mind you, not because I wanted to remain healthy, put the 10% law (look it up in the class ten science book, chapter 15) in use and gain more energy from food than non vegetarians, or to decrease the effect of biological magnification (chapter 15 again), but because I wanted a “good figure”. I still do. And that’s exactly what the problem is.
I have had many encounters with kids my age who literally ridicule me for skipping Jalebi and fries in the cafeteria. It felt like I could mind read them calling me a self absorbed, ostentatious, diet conscious, spoilt snitch of a girl who does everything to make them feel like a piece of dirt. I have come across quite a lot of people, who are really insecure about their body. And it’s not just the people who are overweight, or too short, or too tall or just downright disproportionate. I have seen people having excellently built bodies cursing after the little this and that they “think” is wrong with their bodies and being ashamed of it.
So, yeah, I am going to talk about body positivity.
You might have a flab of fat pooling out of the waist of your trousers, or a bit of a bone protruding out just at the side of your big toe joint on the feet (called bunions), but does that even matter? Would you really become a different person if you had pretty feet and a toned waist? Are your thoughts and ideas going to change? Just remember that the people who really care for you, love you, will still love you, however you look. And as for the others, you don’t need to satisfy their expectations and live to impress them.
Body positivity is about loving one’s body for what it is, what it was and what it could be. But, it doesn’t mean that if I am obese, or malnourished, or lack basic body hygiene, I should be happy about it and do nothing to improve myself. It also doesn’t mean that my body, whatever it is like, is better or worse than anybody else’s. Body positivity is looking at the positive side of your body. It is more psychological than factual. And agree or not, psychology plays a major part in the way feel about us and others. Remember, it’s body “positivity”. It’s not “only my body” positivity, or “bodies like mine” positivity. Actual body positivity includes everyone. Body positivity is not backbiting about the person sitting two seats ahead of you who has a double chin, it is not wearing extra tight jeans so you could fake a thigh gap, it is not taunting about someone’s diet and it is not at all for women only. It is for every gender.
Most importantly, body positivity isn’t just about embracing one’s body the way it is and working towards bettering( it’s correct English, I just looked it up) it, it is also about adopting ideas about our non physical attributes and see us and others in a completely different light. Body positivity for me is gaining skills and knowledge from people around me by not judging them on the basis of what they are but who they are. So, my readers who endured my lousy writing till the end, whoever you are, raise your chin up, broaden those shoulders and sashay yourselves through the crowd, because your body is yours alone. You live in it and with it, and you have got every right to be proud of it.