Since the dawn of civilization, beauty has always been a cherished objective. Our society is also image obsessed and this reflects in the fact that all Miss India, Miss World contestants and winners are thin, slim and trim. Every leaf of everyday magazines and newspapers feature skinny figures and loudly associate with health and beauty. In short – thin is in.
Women and perception of beauty
In a recent survey across the country, it was revealed that only a minimal six percent of women aged between 18-64 were content with their ‘looks’. Are you one of them? What is it with women, beauty and the link to being thin? Why hasn’t this thinking ever evolved? One wise man said that if women were to be satisfied with their looks and figure, entire world economics would change and economies crash! We cannot blame the advertisements as they run after money and demand. We cannot blame the magazines and movies as they reflect the society to a large extant.
Who is promoting that beauty is in being thin?
There is a school of thought – that is increasing in number of believers – that fashion companies have vested interest in ensuring that women feel insecure about their image and looks and always try to reach an unattainable goal. Thousands of images of the ‘perfect’ beauty that we see in news reels or movies are in fact brushed to present this picture. What’s worse is that, most women know it but still feel the need to compare and be agonized. ‘Bodyism’ as it is known is showing women in the image as perfect and as a role model. This idea gets absorbed in young minds and later manifests as unwanted behaviors, unhappy adults and one ever striving to improve the looks. Imagine a child observing her mother starve to reduce weight. There are multiple books in the market that talk about avoiding rich nutritious food that promote lifespan, health and looks. Instead, one becomes a strong proponent of ‘diet’ and over exercise to remain thin as they confuse it with attraction and beauty.
So thin is not beautiful?
Not necessarily. Separate researches have shown that though overweight kills, one can try to remain fat and fit at the same time. People who starve and show the world that they are slim and beautiful are twice at the risk of early death and disease than those who are fat but exercise at least thrice a week to be fit. Hence one can be fat, fit and fabulous at the same time. We need to remove from our DNA that only slim and trim is beauty and health.
So what should I focus on – thin or health?
If your objective is beauty, focus on health first. The natural luster of a healthy body and mind itself is a great boost to your physique and beauty perception.
1. Ensure you exercise at least for 30 minutes thrice a week. Aerobic forms are preferred to weights or mere long walks
2. Ensure that you gulp down lots of fruits and veggies. Stay away from canned and stored food. Run away from fried foods like chips
3. Practice meditation or affirmations to level your mind and increase your acceptance ratio. This shows in your face, attitude and surroundings.
In the end, the message is to associate beauty with other aspects such as achievements in career, excellence in fine arts like dance or music or philanthropic activities rather than eternal downsizing!