We all have 5 fingers- each unique in its own way.
The short & stout thumb finger, the thin & short pinky finger, the tall and lean middle finger, the extremely popular ring finger, and the foremost fore finger.
Now, stand in front of the mirror, and choose the most beautiful finger of all...
Yes. You heard us right.
Choose the most beautiful finger...
Have you picked one?
If you actually chose a finger, then this article is for you.
If you are confused about this statement, this article is for you too...
So, read on.
As a society, we have always defined beauty, and we all have our own perceptions about what's good looking, and what isn't.
A size 0 woman, a 6-pack flaunting man- these are probably widely accepted beauty standards. And, it's probably ok to have "personal" opinions on what's attractive, and what isn't.
But, does it make sense to generalise these perceptions, and impose our own standards on to the society by and large?
Let's begin with some things that we face as a society:
How often have we come across comments (read below) made with a pretentious tone, and in total ignorance of the other person's internal struggles?
"Your arms are FAT, and very masculine... Why don't you go to the gym, and reduce those flabby arms?";
"Your belly looks big; you should work on reducing the abdominal FAT...";
"You are so thin; you should GAIN some weight...How will you be able to birth a child with this weight?";
"You are so chubby; you should eat less...If you are chubby, it'll be hard to find a groom for you...";
Let's face it:
The girl whose arms look "fat" is probably strong enough to lift, and move things on her own without relying on a "man" (and, who defined the standards for a woman's arm size, anyways?);
The lady with a belly is probably going through post-partum depression, or is probably suffering from weight gain due to PCOS;
The thin girl is probably perfectly healthy, and is capable of bearing a child (by the way, who said being thin makes a woman unfit for childbirth?);
The chubby girl is probably 'chubby' owing to genetics; so, does that make her any less attractive?
Think about it.
When we crack comments on another person's appearance, we are speaking from our own perspective on what's beautiful, and what isn't; our perspective needn't be a healthy choice for the other person.
What these comments do, on the other hand, is to push otherwise normal people into a zone of insecurity, low-self-esteem, anxiety, and sometimes even depression (yes, we know that these terms are beaten and abused on social media, but, these are also true expressions of what people go through when faced with social rejection).
Let's understand the behavioral patterns of a person who is criticised on their physical appearances through a short case study.
Mihira is an 18 year old girl suffering from PCOS; she has gained weight as a consequence, and is constantly criticised by her mother for being overweight. Not only does she shy away from social meetings due to lack of confidence in her appearance, she also eats 1 meal a day. She has also enrolled herself in a gym owing to pressure from family members, and in a sense of desperation to lose some weight.
She feels tired most of the time;
She is unable to focus on her studies;
She is also running nutritional deficiencies owing to lack of sufficient nutrients in her diet;
Despite working out, she is unable to achieve her weight loss goals owing to bad food intake, and high levels of exhaustion due to stress.
So, instead of judging people by their appearances, is there a better way to move forward as a society?
We can, and we should move forward with health as a priority. And, health essentially involves not just the physical health, but, the mental health too.
Because if you are stressed, your hormones take a beating, and as a result, things inside your body are taken for a ride.
So, how can we, as a society start moving towards a health-based perception? For starters, we can practise passing some kind, and motivating comments such as those below:
Hey, you are looking strong, and so are your arms; are you improving on your lifts in the gym?
When you meet someone who is on a fat-loss journey (owing to PCOS/ other health conditions):
Are you enjoying your workouts at the gym?
Guess what, you will get there; fat-loss doesn't happen overnight...
Just because you don't see a reduction in your waist size, it doesn't mean change isn't happening; have some patience...
Being well nourished is important, and it looks like you are. Why should you diet?
Carrying oneself with confidence is what makes one truly attractive- not the size, or the frame. You are beautiful the way you are; now go, seize the world!
It's how we began.
Just like those 5 fingers, people also come in different sizes and shapes. Calling the thin person as more attractive than the other one is like saying that the ring finger is more attractive than the thumb finger.
All 5 fingers in their respective structures are equally valuable, and the only time that it'd matter is when a finger is broken- in other words, when they lose their "health"!