There is a very scary 90’s trend that I see in the super hit sitcom ‘Friends’. It is undoubtedly one of the best sitcoms ever. Most of us would have watched it umpteenth times, yet I wonder if you have ever noticed that it shows one of the notorious obsessions of the 90s – The craze for a really Skinny body. Almost all the lead female characters have such impossibly tiny waist that it is not surprising millions of girls still suffer from Bulimia and Anorexia. In fact, it has been rising since the 70’s.
Imagine the kind of pressure on a young girl’s mind that forces her to puke out her dinner and flush it down the toilet. Do you remember the gorgeous late Princess Diana? Would you believe that a beautiful woman like hers, who was an inspiration to women all over the world, went through the same ordeal?
I am a 90s child and was always super skinny. I never realised how it felt to be overweight during my growing years. Until I grew up and gained some extra pounds around my belly. Boy! how it hurts when someone looks at you and comments – “Yaar tu kitni moti ho gayi”. It was then I realised how normal it is perceived in our society to pass a comment on someone’s body type. I remember being defensive. I don’t even know why I was defending my double chin and a muffin top. It is a feeling that makes you feel so vulnerable and inferior.
I grew up with lovely friend of mine who would never click pictures with me because it made her look huge. She wasn’t huge. She was a tall girl and looked absolutely fabulous. The guys in the 12 km radius of our school can confirm that. But all through the years, I heard her criticising her body, eating only half her food during lunch. We never had strong role models. Everywhere we saw posters of fair and skinny women wearing jeans that won’t even fit a 10 year old. But, I lived near an Air force camp and would often see lady officers confidently walking in the campus. How awe-inspiring they looked!
When I was in class 9 I had an argument with one of my friends about how a perfect girl should be like. She believed that a girl should be delicate – soft like a flower. Oh how furious I was at the notion! I kept telling her that a women can be all of that, but also needs to be extremely strong. I have always wanted to be strong.
Strong is the new sexy.
Today, there’s a tectonic shift in the fitness world. Skinny is not sexy anymore. Yoga is the way of life. Booty is in!! This is the time when you can boast of your muscle gains without people cringing their nose saying ‘muscles look gross on women‘. As more and more focus in made on healthy living and society is slowly learning that body shaming is cruel, I really hope that in near future young girls will stop suffering from food disorders.
Having said that, it is very easy to be overwhelmed by all the changing trends. There’s one simple solution though – BE YOURSELF. Or find your mojo and give your best!
When I saw wonder women, I had goosebumps all over my arms. The strength and intensity of her character made me shed tears of joy. She is this spectacular women with thighs, a waist that didn’t conform to the horrible one finger selfie trend and arms that were most definitely made of steel. She had gained 14 pounds of muscles for the movie. Yes, I am totally fan-girling her.
I love this shift of focus on being healthy and strong, rather than skinny. And strong doesn’t just mean physically, but strong in the mind too. A strong person characterises years and years discipline and dedication. It also depicts a lifestyle of healthy choices.
All bodies are beautiful, all bodies are capable of doing amazing things. But you, and only you can take care of it.