You just bought a dress that you had been eyeing on for the past one month. It is finally there in your cupboard. You will be wearing it on a Saturday night. The day arrives. You have your meal and put the dress on. But, wait a second. What is that you see in the mirror? It’s a food belly! Hey, you can’t wear something else. So, you open the drawer and take out that dreaded piece of clothing- TUMMYTUCKER! You know it won’t be a comfortable night but you still wear the TT. You take one last glance in the mirror before you leave and darn yes, everything looks just fine. The belly is in, phew. You just wish those arms were a little toned. But, we all know the reality of the night that follows. That tummy tucker just grabs onto you, suffocates you just like an ex-boyfriend. The thick material in combination with the sweat just makes you want to rip that tucker off from your body. But, you can’t. You spend the night in extreme discomfort, don’t really groove to the tracks of the DJ and don’t even sit properly. You finally exhale a sigh of relief when you get back home and throw that tummy tucker away in some dark corner of your cupboard. Why do we women do this to ourselves?
So, the question is: Why did you wear that Tummy Tucker?
Why do women still wear uncomfortable clothing while we as a generation are simultaneously trying to break away from gendered stereotypes? That thong that sticks on to your butts, those underwired bras that don’t let you breathe all day long, and the corset, just talking about it, makes my body ache.
And yet every time we step out, we resort to one of these solutions to make our ‘imperfect’ bodies look ‘perfect’. The answer is simple- conditioning. From television screens to our Instagram feeds, we are surrounded by women who look a certain way, making us believe that beauty comes in certain colours and dimensions. We are conditioned to think we look good only if we sport a size 24 waist below a size 36 bust. We constantly struggle to achieve a flat tummy and those perfect perky breasts but most of the times fail to achieve it. The astonishing part is that we know these are unrealistic body standards but we still let these dictate our life choices.
Flip some pages of history and you will learn that women have always been supposed to succumb to certain body standards. Read about the horrors of wearing corsets that women of the Victorian era in Britain had to face. To achieve the perfect hourglass figure, these women would wear the stiff corsets all day long and would often suffer from backaches, spine injuries. The practice of foot binding in China, ever heard of that? Girls were not supposed to have a foot size above 4 and hence their feet were tied with ropes so that didn’t grow. Small feet meant more marriage proposals even if it came at the cost of feet bleeding and bones breaking. So, it’s going to take a lot of time to erase the years of social conditioning before a woman’s body achieves it’s much deserved freedom.
Don’t you dream of a world where we women can just be at peace with our bodies? With our tummies at ease, breasts free from the shackles of underwire, every woman deserves to be happy in her own skin. And how do we get there, you ask? By making a conscious effort to accept each other, not criticize ours and others’ bodies and the choices they make. Remember, you live in your body and it deserves love. Your love and nobody else’s.
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