By Halley Nongmaithem –
As a woman who respects her being, it is pertinent to eat right and maintain a healthy BMI [body mass index]. When an obese woman, who is susceptible to varied lifestyle diseases, encourages her fellow counterparts to accept the way as they are; it only propagates a nonchalant attitude and a fundamentally wrong notion of a woman’s choice. There is nothing feminist about staying bloated with a protruding tummy and oodles of fats; deposited on the butts, thighs and arms among others. Taking care of one’s body should be the first step toward internal feminism. Whilst the popular notion of feminism is asking for equity from the institutions and society, respecting one’s body by starting to remain fit and thus fabulous should be the virtue of feminism a woman has to inculcate before she ask people to respect her precious being.
Eating only the right food and a 30-minute walk is the ideal way to keep oneself fit. Rigorous hours in the gym, botox and other plastic surgeries are a person’s prerogative. The colour of the skin, structure of the body and the height of woman are nature’s gift. But getting a glowing skin and maintaining an appropriate body mass index is the effort a woman has to take in order to avoid any unwarranted diseases. There have been very few cases where the woman’s body have been criticized for taking good care of herself. While seriously criticizing a woman’s physical appearance is not appropriate and unwelcomed, any remark from concerned acquaintances about an obese or zero size body, should be taken as a wake-up call to do something about their bulging or shrinking body.
A woman should be fit and healthy and nothing else in physical appearance. Any notion of patronizing the big, fat, skinny bodies that she tortures on it should be discouraged at all instances. Feminism grows from the idea of respect for one’s body and gender. Treating them horribly by eating bad carbs, processed food, sugary and fats filled snacks is feminism gone wrong.
While teenagers need to be guided appropriately in order to avoid crash dieting, a certain course in school for eating right with the help of dieticians should be included in the curriculum. The dangers of anorexia and bulimia on a growing girl’s body should also be taught early in schools so that no girls would be encouraged to crash dieting and thereby suffer from disorders related to it.
Anything bad should be pointed out but deliberate criticism to put people down is the work of the shallow minded fellows. The best option is to avoid such pests and simultaneously act upon getting fit.
Also, zero sized celebrities have influenced young girls to be anorexic. A culture of thin female actors has instigated a trend of skinny sized body structure among the teenage girls and young adults. It is important that authors write ferociously against the public personalities about their body sizes as they play influential role models to the next generation.
The initiative by former US First Lady, Michelle Obama, to ask her American counterparts to eat greens to curtail obesity in the United States, didn’t go down well with many as they took it as a way of body shaming. But the basic question is, should an obese body ridden with implicit diseases be encouraged? It is time that pseudo-intellectuals sit up and think straight about the consequences of voracious slogans against any form of acknowledging that a woman is obese or anorexic.
While serious body shaming has been considered unhealthy and should be reprimanded if anybody indulges in it, what is more important is to propagate a healthy lifestyle so that nobody would be obese and anorexic. In the past, literatures have been dedicated to the definition of body shaming but it is better to concentrate on the study of eating healthy and staying fit as an alternative.
A chapter should be included in the study of feminism where the definition of it would also mean respecting one’s body enough to keep it fit and healthy. A new curriculum should be introduced on eating healthy and remaining fit so that the cause of body shaming is tackled at the roots. Also, if a person tries to be mean enough to say more than what is considered ‘concerned’, the best way is to avoid such kinds as toxicants. Rebuffing them would also help.
The bottom-line is that people should accept that there is problem in the body and that is the reason why it is being pointed out. The first thing that should be in one’s mind is to do something about the body. Unsolicited remarks should be rebuked at best, keeping in mind that harmful body shaming is the work of a bully and should be dealt stringently that is befitting to them.
(The writer is the founding editor of The Current)