Most women and girls all over the world would have been subjected to body shaming at any one point of their lives. How often have snide comments about our physical selves led to us withdrawing into a shell, despising our bodies and comparing ourselves with the unrealistic beauty standards set up by society? The most impressionable category seems to be the adolescents who are forever on diets trying to lose weight or slathering on creams and lotions to get perfect fair, alabaster skin or poker straight hair.
While reality is that the worth of a person does not depend on a weighing scale or the image that looks back at them from the mirror, most teenagers are seemingly blind to this fact. It is here that campaigns which help spread body positivity amongst the youth and help them embrace their body — thin or fat, tall or short, dark or fair, acne-prone or scar-faced help.
Students of the Communicative English Department of Chinmaya College of Arts, Commerce and Science, Tripunithura, kicked off a campaign called ‘Every Body is Beautiful’ on November 13. The brainchild of faculty member Sreeja, the campaign took the online route first and then gained momentum with many celebrities endorsing the campaign on body positivity. Students Megha Rajesh and Jayalakshmi S. Babu explain more, “The campaign is aimed mainly at high school and college students. They are the most vulnerable of the lot with introverts being the worst affected. Individuals get worked up over being judged by their physical appearances and that affects them negatively. We want the campaign, which encourages people to contribute photos of what they feel is beautiful in their eyes, thus encouraging them to break free and embrace their selves.”
The campaign idea was first embraced by their classmates, family and friends. Slowly, along with celebrities like Jagadish, Anarkali, Leona Lishoy, Vishakh Nair, Shwetha Menon, Ahaana Krishnakumar, Roshan and Siddique, individuals from other countries too joined, contributing their pictures, art works, etc. Within a week, the campaign has gained traction and the students plan to give away prizes to the best photos when the campaign ends on December 11.