Wednesday, December 07, 2011

Mid-Week Reads: Your Body Is Not A Flaw

When I started out with this series of posts, I didn't know I'd continue regularly. I didn't think much about it at all. It just seemed a good way of a) turning something purely passive (reading) into something more active (passing it on to you) and both thanking the authors for creating good content as well as introducing it to more people; b) sharing inspirational or cheerful stuff, since I often find myself looking for something like that, usually in the middle of the work-week when I begin to feel overwhelmed, and I thought you might too; and c) putting up an easy blog post, since I'd become irregular and felt like I didn't have the time for the blog.

But apart from the fact that just updating something on the blog every week makes me more inclined to write about other stuff as well... I want to try to keep these posts up. Even though I'm not making anything new. Even though when I started, it seemed just a way of making blog fodder out of something I was doing anyway.

Starry-eyed commented on one of these posts:

You know, of late, I have been coming out of a self-imposed dowdy, aunty-type dressing style...all I did for the last two years was focus on ONE physical 'flaw' that I have, and let myself go to seed over it. Now, something clicked (probably started off with that stuttering-as-an-accent speech you linked upto)...and I've made many, many changes and I'm feeling and looking bleddy attractive and confident. The so-called flaw doesn't matter any more AT ALL! So, thanks to you...really.
First of all, more power to you, Starry. I haven't even met you offline, but I know you're a wonderful, smart person and I hope you know that. I'm glad you're feeling confident, and I hope that only grows.

Second, I'm so glad that something I link to helped nudge someone forward. That's the best outcome I could ever hope for.

And now, a recommendation, since Starry talked of body image: read Already Pretty. Sally is beautiful and smart and incredibly stylish, and she's made a business out of her passion in a way the rest of us can only hope to do. But most of all, I love how she writes about positive body image. I am big on loving your body as it is, on going natural and not changing a thing you don't want to. Of not having to fit into an image society constructs. And reading Sal lifts my mood, most days. I especially love her latest post:
Because the assertion that bodies can even have flaws implies that some bodies are flawless. It creates an imaginary and impossible hierarchy of beauty that women strive to ascend. It makes us all feel inadequate on a fundamental level because flaws are damage, errors, mistakes. Flaws are wrong.
But your body is not wrong. Nothing about your body is a flaw.
And that, I hope is what Starry knows and believes, and all of you know and believe.

Now, a few other things. 

The problem with "constructive feedback" and how to solve it.

9 things successful people do.

The best toys of all time.

Great hotel bathrooms.


starry eyed said...

Can I give you a ginormous hug for this post? :) Thanks from the bottom of my heart!

I've let go of a lot more than 'shame' or dislike...I think females are taught to be very careful of all their body parts...hide it, cover it up, if your strap shows or your dupatta falls...cringe. Make sure your dress stays put the way its supposed to...well, I'm sorry, I've had it.

Why do we have to apologise for our bodies? First of all we're kept out of public spaces esp in India thru so many overt and subtle ways, then if we do happen to claim our right to be there, we don't have to keep busy checking if we're attired respectably.

I'm tired of dressing according to others' likes and's been freeing, so liberating to wear what I want when I want, and to hell with what people think. In fact, I've found if I'm uber-confident...people just don't even have an opinion...they just accept me the way I present myself. Does my rambling make sense? :)

Unmana said...

Starry: I agree with everything you say here. I think our criticism of others' appearance says more about us than them. Yes, I do it too, but I've become more conscious about it. And I am getting to the point where I don't care what someone might think about me. If I get compliments, great. If you hate what I'm wearing or how I'm wearing it--hey, your problem, not mine.