Self Expression Magazine

It’s Not All About That Bass

Posted on the 22 March 2018 by Scribe Project @ascribeproject

I was the first girl in my class to bloom, physically. My body developed readily at the age of fifteen, hips expanded so much that my skirt lifted and I had to secure the front of my blouse with a safety pin every morning, because my bosoms left a gaping hole in between buttons. Obviously, the attention streamed in the moment I knew how to dress, proudly flaunting the curves but it did come with a backlash that I need to stop eating and start running in order to “lose some weight” and look more “desirable”.

Obviously, my first thought was “What make curves undesirable ?” In every way possible, I tried to curb the negativity about my body – from aunties to online keyboard warriors. I was inspired by models and celebrities who raised a middle finger to the society that shamed their body, I projected a view that meant no negativity towards any women who had large thighs, wide hips, back flaps and bellies, and I brazenly dressed to show that I’m proud of my curves.

It wouldn’t be false if I said I wished I had a petite body like certain girls at school. I thought that having a smaller body meant lesser problems with popping buttons, thigh chafing and never having to find jeans that could fit. It was not until my best friend and I were tailoring our clothes and she had to get her suit a little pinched because of her petite frame, when an uncle snickered behind her back and backed it up with a little unwanted opinion – “Maybe if she ate a little more to put on some meat, she wouldn’t have to alter clothes.”

I think there is nothing wrong with her, I replied curtly. Maybe you should have kept your trap shut, I thought to myself, promptly walking out of sight to avoid further confrontation. For that fleeting moment, I glimpsed a completely different page of the book altogether.

How many of us alike, have been under the impression that body shaming only happened to big girls and boys alike? How have we mocked our skinny friends by measuring their wrists with our thumb and forefinger grasps, how have we joked about them getting through window grills or compared them to bamboo poles used for drying laundry?

Tapping on Google about body shaming had me disappointed. I appreciate the measures taken to slap down fat-shaming with the power of the internet, but have we plastered it to the extent that the actual purpose of body shaming is forgotten?

Body shaming is the act of humiliating someone for their body type. The may or may not be comfortable in it but flash news – certain skinny people DO get ashamed of their bodies too. They do get upset when they have tried eating everything they can but their frame stays the same. They get envious of the curvy women who are able to pull off figure-hugging dresses and stressed when they realize that half their shopping needs to be altered down the sides or the male section doesn’t carry extra small shirts. (because how could men be THAT small, c’mon !)

The society thinks that ‘thin-shaming’ is utter crap as compared to ‘fat-shaming’ because being thin is seen as a compliment. Compliment what ? The absurdity that people are supposed to have a certain body type to be deemed as “beautiful” or “healthy”? Clearly, a double standard.

The media glorifies perfection, exudes unrealistic beauty standards and sets crazy expectations about body types. We all witnessed Aishwarya Rai during post-pregnancy, strutting the Cannes red carpet proudly with her chubbier self and asked ourselves if she was indeed once B-Town’s “50-kg Taj Mahal”. We were appalled at Taylor Lautner’s weight gain after robbing young hearts with his shirtless werewolf persona in the Twilight series. We were also the same bunch who later pressed replay on the ‘Lovely” music video to watch Deepika Padukone gyrate her hips and concluded that she looked too thin; we felt that Katrina Kaif’s thighs were too big for her skinny upper body.

In a society that grows every day, it saddens to see that minds indeed get smaller than waists do. Curvy, thin, man or woman – no one should ever feel threatened for how they look without wanting to adhere to artificial standards. In all honesty – shame on you, society, for wanting a monochrome masterpiece and failing to appreciate the gray blurs. Well then, is someone ever going to tell Meghan Trainor that it is NOT all about that bass too?

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