Breaking the Vicious Saga of Body Norms

Sarabjit Kaur, Editor, Inspire Spectrum

As summer has arrived early in full force, most of us are busy shuffling our wardrobes. Responding to the change in the season, the oversized coats and jackets are being replaced by the fashion-savvy crop tees. The curvy goddesses are ready to flaunt their curves! But wait a minute!! Do each one of us really feel positive and secure about our bodies? More than 25% of Indian women have reported body dissatisfaction in India. And this number inflates to 89% of Indian women who believe social media aids in body shaming and creates feelings of discomfort among women. A whopping 90% of women believe that films and television shows do tend to make fun of people who do not conform to the standard norms of beauty and body concepts.

The impact of films and social media has gained much more relevance in the past decade. Today, each one of us is constantly engaged on one or the other social media platforms. Weekends are spent binge-watching a myriad of shows, thanks to the revolutionized OTT platforms. With a single click, we are absorbed into a new world of fictional characters with chiseled bodies in imaginary lands. Such significant engagement around the day with social media is bound to leave a deep impression. And in a scenario, where most of our celebrated women figures in the world of cinema and OTTs are pressured into maintaining nearly perfect physiques, there is no room left for celebrating curvy women.

None of us can deny the fact that chubby women have been put into a box most of the time, leaving them to play the so-called “comics” in not-so-funny ways. The comic roles assigned to them are less about the character and more about body shaming jokes that we all are very well aware about! Our readers might find it surprising that the ever so brilliant Uma Devi Khatri, Hindi cinema’s “first-ever comedienne” was given the screen name “Tun Tun” in line with her so-called “comic” roles!

It is high time to shatter these “body norms” which have become an infinite vicious saga, surrounding and engulfing us in more ways than ever. Social media is moving towards realistic body standards and we need to do our best to keep it going in the right direction. The world of cinema is essentially a reflection of society and not otherwise. The fictitious characters with zero figures portrayed on screen are the dream bodies of many brought to reality. We need to redefine the “dream” we have of us as the zero-figure women. Bijetri Roy, our boss lady at InsPIRE has reimagined Audrey Hepburn from Breakfast at Tiffany’s for us all.

Re-imagining Holly and Orangey from Breakfast at Tiffany’s by Bijetri Roy, Editor in Chief, Inspire Spectrum

Let us start today to reimagine our role models and pave the way for a healthier, inclusive and a realistic society without getting trapped into the rat race of the hourglass figures! Remember always that a confident woman with a smile on her face is the undisputedly the best version of yourself. Leaving you with a lovely quote from Tahereh Mafi, ‘Furthermore’:

Eyes closed, feet dancing their way toward the pond, she was her own music, her body her favourite thing she’d ever owned.

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