Oh, Freedom! What is freedom if not to accept yourself just like the way you are? This comes rather surprisingly as India has always been a country, that considers women as deities. Historically, we have had been a society of matriarchy, until we were not of course. Be it political reasons or agendas of some Crusades abroad, we who worshiped Kali, the epitome of woman empowerment and body positivity, lost our way.
Every year, on 15th August, we greet each other “Happy Independence Day” to commemorate the enormous efforts & sacrifices of millions of freedom fighters. But even after the prolonged 74years and multiple revolutionary parades, women in India still have to think about their freedom. The freedom of mind is yet to come.
We still worship Kali but small girls become the victim of the cruelty of patriarchy every now and then; ironically to the feet of that same Kali.
Women in India have lost the freedom to make a decision –It’s a fight in every step of their entire life. Since patriarchy has always been scared of a free woman—rape, body shaming, racism raised like parasites. Even in 2020, a girl’s fate is decided by her family according to social norms and if you are bold enough to stand aside, you fear standing alone.
Why Body Positivity is Important for freedom?
Body positivity has become such a pushing matter as physical insecurities have been instilled in women for generations. The biggest hurdle to the independence or freedom of women in India is “log kya kahenge”! This has been so deeply rooted in our system that we women have forgotten to love ourselves. Women have forgotten to accept themselves just the way they are.
Societal validation, stereotyping body types, clichéd life-circle are still ruling the Indian mindset. Fat-shaming, colorism, pimples & cellulite-related embarrassments are harsh realities that play havoc with the self-esteem of women. In the special occasion of Independence Day, DArtisians have picked up 6 beautiful Art pieces defining “freedom to accept yourself”. Each art piece has its own story to tell about body positivity.
Here’s what our artist, Tiyasa has to express through her art:
Tiyasa Mukherjee (Instagram Id: @_kaaju_barfi_)
“Ei ei Or pa ta dekh! Hihihihihi!
“E motu tui r khash na re fete jabi!”
“Babe you’re really cute and I love the way you are but tor bhalor jonno bolchi ektu roga ho bhai!”
“Tui oituku khash? Pet bhore? O to tor ek kona e pore thake bodhoy”
“Dress ta emni te bhalo but toke pore kirom odd lagche”
“Oto shundor dekhte chele ta, orom mota mey ta ke keno pochondo holo ke jane?”
“Bhai e jodi sex korar somoy opore chape chele ta to more jabe”
“Uff pod taaaaa… Uff dudh taaaaaa…”
“Sobai eto bhalo dancer, tar majhe ei mota ta ke kirom bemanan lagche”
“Tor size er jama hoy naki porda kete banash?”
“Mukh ta khub mishti, shundor dekhte.. Tobe khub mota.. Ektu roga ho toke byepok dekhabe”
“Oma tui boshle puro 4 te thaak hoye jae, ki cute!”
“Toke roll kore dile tui to goriye bari chole jabi”
“Toke crane e kore tule ante hobe pore gele”
“Tor biyer piri bhenge jabe bhai, loha er banash.. Ota boro jor beke jabe”
“Toke jodi chure mara hoy tui to bounce back kore chole ashbi”
Na ekhanei apatoto pause!
R EKBAR EROM KONO UKTI SHUNLE EI SHORIR NIYE SHOTTI DOURE GIYE (TATE EARTHQUAKE HOLE HOBE) BUK ER UPORE CHEPE NISHWAS AKTE MERE FELBO! #stopfuckingbodyshaming
Social media, magazines, beauty advertisements took a huge toll on the self-confidence of a woman worldwide. Being a part of the global audience, Indian women just fell in the hands of further brutality. There is no such thing as a perfect body that we all allude to. The concept of perfection is in itself flawed. Real beauty comes from within. The most beautiful people in the world are those who have a good heart. One’s identity should never be swayed by social validations. One’s self-esteem should never be dependent on one’s appearance. Character, values, skills are the attributes one must seek to acquire or develop.
Explaining her own story here is how our artist, Shilpa explains body positivity and freedom.
Shilpa Roy (Instagram Id: @delacour_art)
So last year I was dating this guy who on one such date, told me how puffed up my face was looking. He has done the same previously too but this date was supposed to be special.
As I sat there panicking that my hours of getting all decked up has failed, he pointed out how some pounds off can make me look nicer.
Now I was getting really worried about my appearance and he gained the ability to point on me again and again.
Obviously, it stung a bit. He pointed out how my arms are a bit chubby, and the problems of having swollen cheeks. To prove how he just wanted me to be the best, he clicked a picture.
Oh, how I thought it was to make the date memorable! But apparently, he wanted to show me how puffy I’m.
Now that is something you can’t ignore. Can you? When I saw the picture though, I thought I kinda looked cute. Though I didn’t let these affect me initially, soon those comments started to sink in.
He asked me to not get disheartened and to set that picture as a standard. By this time I was actively searching for flaws in me.
A few days later, I shared that same picture with my women and enquired about my list of flaws. Because i was so sure that the list is quite long.
Believe it or not, after 5 texts with my girls, I couldn’t even remember any cynical comments, let alone the guy who was so concerned about my wellbeing.
I wore that same fucking dress again and man! was I rocking it. I ended up setting that picture as my DP which was supposed to make me feel less than perfect.
So you see, if it wasn’t for my girls, I still might have been wondering what my flaws are. This is how much we need our women.
I don’t know how to life without them. Cheers!
Don’t try to emulate someone else’s looks or personality. Be Unique- that’s what will make you stand out—Be a human first, and then think about what gender you belong to. If you accept yourself, love yourself on the inside then, no matter what, YOU ARE BEAUTIFUL!!
Spreading the love we have another artist, Kaveri who celebrate herself and encourage you to do the same.
Kaveri bose (Instagram Id: @kaveribose2009)
When I first thought of body positivity it essentially struck a chord with me as I myself have been called fat, chubby with an unconventional appearance in my adolescence. Accepting myself for who and what I am in spite of these criticisms is what signifies Body Positivity to me. It is celebrating yourself completely for what you are irrespective of your vital statistics, your color, your shade card, fairness glowing creams, measuring tapes, and so on. It is a celebration of your soul.
My waist size, or my color cannot define me.
It is my soul that sets the world on fire!
2020 is the time for body-positive initiatives. The term “body positivity” is thrown around a lot on social media. The hashtag has been used over 2 Million times on Instagram alone. However, being body positive doesn’t mean automatically loving everything about yourself. It simply means not nit-picking every imperfection when you look in the mirror and giving yourself the benefit of the doubt.
Our artist, Swastika loves to adhere to out-of-the-box female figures and express self-love through her art.
Swastika Dey (instagram Id: @biplobi.beraal)
Art for me is not a skill set but an expression.
‘And I will take what’s mine, create what
God would never design.’
I just got tired and took my phone to draw something, without a blueprint planned. This was my mental state then, after the end product, I was able to understand and fell in love with my power of overcoming.
What is self-love is not this!
Being body positive is not like 2-minutes instant noodle, it’s a constant journey of learning to accept your body for what it is so that you don’t let your insecurities hold you back from living life.
Artist, Jorge is explaining the same with his powerful art-piece.
Jorge M. Cucalon (Instagram Id: @jmcucalon)
I’ve always drawn “curvy” women because I’m mostly inspired by women from my country (Ecuador) and Latin America in general, which is known for their curves and size. I think it’s important to reflect all types of bodies in humans since we are always presented with the same ideas and standards of what is normal.
The last but not the least, is our own in-house artist, Namrata. Here is how she envision her ideal woman.
A mother is looked upon as the fiercest and yet the most tender being, a reflection of God on earth. The same woman is expected to be fair and lovely and obedient as a wife or lover.
Medusa, Kaali is worshiped and feared but a woman with such physical attributes are in fact considered to be unholy in most places if not all. Society norms are equally disturbed and confused. It is nothing but made by the convenience of the lost minds. She doesn’t need to be in high heels or glittery clothes to be beautiful as a woman is born beautiful. She is the one true creator and the one to have the universe inside. Sadly, this woman is killed in birth, raped in life both mentally and physically, frowned upon, and the easiest target of domestic and social violence.
Be the woman you choose to be, take your decisions, and embrace your every true instinct.
In this Independence Day as we all are stuck in the home thanks to COVID-19, let’s hope for a change in people’s mindset. Even one step by every woman can bring a change. Let’s pledge to love ourselves no matter what and make the word body positivity a norm, not a highlight of our agendas. You don’t have to feel sorry for being yourself. Accept yourself because you got to spend the rest of your life with yourself. So, start loving your body, your weirdness, your voice, your talents, your everything –Be unapologetically you!
P.S: All Images and their subsequent texts are collected from the individual artists.
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