We’ve all been there, micro-analysis every inch of our body, scrutinizing everything about ourselves that “shouldn’t ” be there. But who decided what should and should not be on our bodies? Who decided what is normal? Sexy? Ugly?
Society did. Shocker. We can point fingers at our parents, who blame their parents and so on for shoving these unrealistic standards of beauty down our throats. However, the fact of the matter is that we have all been socialised into compartmentalising things into ugly and beautiful.
Recently, I was in Goa tanning by the pool and my grandmother turned to me and said, “It is 2022, surely technology has found a way to get rid of these stretch marks, why don’t you get rid of yours?”
I retorted defensively saying, “It’s 2022, why don’t we stop commenting on other people’s bodies?” In trying to explain to my grandma why one should refrain from passing such remarks, I ended up understanding that it’s not the fact that she said something, it’s the fact that we see physical attributes like stretch marks as a flaw, to begin with.
Also Read: How to remove stretch marks
I mean, I don’t love them but they aren’t the bane of my existence either. Nor are my strawberry legs. Or my cellulite.
We go through life always trying to improve or fix something about ourselves, always fixated on the ‘flaws’, forgetting to celebrate and appreciate everything about ourselves that we do love. I was 14 when I first noticed a faint purple line on my inner thigh and spent 8 years trying to hide them, and for what? Literally, every single person I know has them. Finally realising this at the age of 22 led me to have other revelations too.
Firstly, I wish I had always thought this way because I would have saved myself so much time, effort and heartache just embracing them as a teenager instead of hiding them or using scar removal creams.
Secondly, how I view my body needs to be completely independent of the standards set upon me by society at large. I began to unlearn all the toxic ideas we have of the ideal body, and start loving each and every part of my body. My body lets me do so much, it lets me eat, drink, dance, sleep, and I love it!
Thirdly, my stretch marks are a testament to the fact that I am constantly growing and evolving, facing life head-on with joy, laughter and even a little pain.
Lastly, I learnt that the way you speak to yourself is so instrumental in how confident you feel in your own skin. Speak to your mind and body the way you would speak to your bestie, with love, admiration and respect! Try practising affirmations or mantras in the morning and see if it makes you feel any different. It worked for me.
So the next time you catch yourself thinking about your ‘flaws’, ask yourself is it genuinely ugly or do I just hate it because society tells me to.
“In a society that profits from self doubt, loving yourself is a rebellious act”
– Caroline Caldwel
Featured Image: Self.