Thursday, 21 October 2010

A growing culture of slenderness!!

We need to be beautiful to be worthy!!

And what does the concept of beauty encompass??

A difficult question…right??

Beauty is mostly defined according to our cultural settings. Females fantasize about their men having six-pack-abs just like Sharukh Khan with a sturdy body! Pot-belliness, hairiness and obesity are seen with contempt and rejection. And men want females to be just like Angelina Jolie..

They can’t tolerate flab on the skins, not even hesitate to comment on the physical appearance of the other person without even thinking about how the person would feel or take it and that too with a least amount of realisation, that they themselves are so imperfect!

Having a great physique becomes synonymous with “achha”. They without being given any right to do so, indulge in value judgement!

Being overwhelmed by this fashion world and trying to get westernized we have started worshipping the culture of slenderness. Fashion doesn’t permit us to appreciate large size, maturity, voluptuousness and massiveness. People are swayed by the glamorous media giving them various choices such as creams, lotions, serums, and liposuction and laser surgeries. All this has conditioned the minds against fat under the skin. There is constant reinforcement about the disapproval of overweight in the minds when people find large number of gyms, aerobic centres, spas mushrooming even in small towns. They tend to set unrealistic standards not only for themselves but also for those who are around them.

Poor body image is also a product of ones low self-esteem. It becomes both the cause and effect. The person may not only dislike himself due to obesity but he may also not even like to see plumpier people. Those who are not satisfied with their own bodies might also find faults with others. Thus complex psychological issues sometimes get involved in this whole issue of body image. We then get driven by a fantasy that “our life begins only when we are thin”.

You would be shocked to know that in a study conducted by the scientists, ‘body shame index’ was calculated. It was found that men and women could not find obese people suitable as their partners. They even had problem with their sexual arousability.

Unfortunately even our cultural prejudices are in favour of slenderness and against overweight. This is also a function of psychological and social factors. People associate slenderness with happiness, success, will power and is acceptable socially. On the other hand overweight symbolizes laziness, lack of will power, and being out of control. And alas! Out ward appearance thus stands to symbolize personal order!

Those who cannot conform to the set standards of slenderness due to any reason have to face prejudices. There is an increasing and an indiscriminate negative stereotyping of the people who are plump.

Though being obese and overweight is not good for health and can lead to many diseases and its hazardous effects are innumerable, but relating the size of body to being good or bad is just outrageous. A fat body should not be regarded as an insult.

There should not be objectification and criticism of the body or it can have devastating impact on the psychology of an individual.

Confucius has said: 'Everything has beauty, but not everyone sees it.' These are not only the words to be read and forgotten. These should be deeply embedded in our psyche. Every individual is unique and beautiful. To be different is not a bad thing.


  1. "relating the size of body to being good or bad is just outrageous....."
    rightly said!
    nice article!!!

  2. Wow...
    One more gem in the crown...
    This blog has become my favorite now.
    I think, this article is so much written on me... heheheh....

    Thanks a lot...