[ #Opinion ] Body/ Slut / Image shaming |#GuestPost by Artist Shubhra Chaturvedi|

As a country we are so prejudiced.  We love stereo types and we will go at any length to justify the same. Out of box, anything different from the mass is not acceptable.

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Title:Rapunzel Size:15″x22″ Medium: Watercolour and inks on paper Year:2013 Artist: Shubhra Chaturvedi

Especially when it comes to how we look. So a man need to be tall and well-built, well-groomed and   a woman needs to be fair, slim and have long hair and be extra well-groomed if there is a term like that.

I wonder where and how did these definitions crop up?  

In India many say that we felt inferior to the whites  and considered them and how they looked as our ideals. However if we go back in time and check the history of various cultures, study the societies of  west, east, middle east , asia and observe, even in mythology, the narratives, the folklore, the fairy tales and children stories etc  it’s the same everywhere. 

A perfect princess looking for her prince charming and the king wanted a brave man to take care of her “nazon se pali rajkumari”

The issue is not in being good-looking, slim or fair. Issue is attacking anyone who is not. Some decades back in most families and (maybe now also in some smaller towns) many girls and boys have been rejected by the families of the other sex for being fat, short, dark complexion; cut hair, bald head etc. Girls were rejected even for wearing spectacles.

I come from North India and though quote unquote, I wasn’t dark complexioned and wasn’t that short or fat, I had always had short hair. Compare me to my cousin same age, long hair, slightly more good-looking maybe (I am thinking now), and the general consensus was that I am not a docile and obedient, marriage material girl and she was because her hair were plaited, her voice was soft and she obeyed everyone. 

We grow up with this conditioning so much so that we make these comments on others and continue to shame each other despite having gone through it ourselves. My sisters were always slightly plump, as compared to me and I would always join my mother in asking them to exercise and lose weight etc  Its only now that I am aware what a trauma that must have been for them.

I can’t rewind time and take those moments away from them and set it right but now when I interact with my students during the art lessons, I do my bit to make them question the stereo types, to shirk them away, to accept themselves and others as they are… But we have a long long way to go…

Shubhra
16th June, 2017

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This is a Guestpost written for a campaign on my blog for creating an awareness on how much we put others or ourselves down on physical aspects, personality traits, financial status, perceived notions and mindsets conditioned by years of nonsensical vagaries.

Popularly called Body/Slut shaming, its gripping us all in epic proportions on a psychological levels and creating havoc in the minds of the young women and men who are more susceptible to peer pressure or should I say “Peer pleasure” ?

Look forward to seeing my readers reaction to this and many more to come!

Passionate about everything design, I am in love with photography, travel and baking. My writing journey was initiated with my letter writing hobby as a child and has metamorphosised into serious blogging. I indulge with reading fantasy fiction, day dreaming and sipping good wine.

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6 thoughts on “[ #Opinion ] Body/ Slut / Image shaming |#GuestPost by Artist Shubhra Chaturvedi|

  1. Great post – I think ideals/stereotypes for women are all around the world … Its a way of putting women down, I believe… Interesting to hear about when you grew up – quite similar over here too and even these days – I hear of a lot of young girls struggling: they are not thin and well-trained enough, want bigger boobs, bigger ips, smaller vaists… Arrgh! Makes me crazy – I think as we grow older and wiser we relax about all that more – at least I do – and can try to be a healthy relaxed role model for other women…

    1. Seems its a universal problem in every culture/society!!! We have built up so many myths around the PERFECT beauty!!!! Thanks for stopping by Eli.

    2. Ya health takes a back seat and only fashion, acceptable looks plays on the mind of youngsters. It’s the Conditioning that starts from very young. Skimpy Barbie dolls, the fairy tale movies, books all feed the same thing…

  2. How true it is that we make fun of those who don’t conform to the current idea of beauty. I remember when growing up my wild curly hair was made fun of but now that my hair has become thin and straight every one tells me how they wished they could have had hair like mine ( wild and curly) . As each year passes and my hair gets thinner I wish so too!

    1. I wished for goldilock curls and still do…. ppl yearn for my straight hair 😉 But yes we seem to be fixated with what perfect beauty should be like and in the process damage our own self esteem!!

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