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Are Big Labels Unknowingly Encouraging Body Shaming?

Amrita Majumdar
Features writer

In popular socio-cultural setup, we celebrate certain body types and condemn others. Branding and prevalent marketing gimmicks have led us to define what is beautiful and what is not. You must be of a certain shape, size and colour to be accepted into the social order. The list to perfection is endless. Either you are too thin or too chubby, too dark or too pale, too tall or too short and so on and so forth.

So, who bears the responsibility for creating these insecurities? Is it your social upbringing or media brainwashing? It is a bit of a chicken and an egg situation. Your immediate society creates the necessary pressure by differentiating what is acceptable and what is not, but maybe their choices are governed by what is often projected in popular media.

Brands play a major role in personality imaging in modern culture. For example, when a popular fairness cream brand portrays a positive change of lifestyle after using the cream as opposed to without, it sends out a message that the right shade of skin tone is a measure of your self-worth and gets you acceptance and even admiration from your peers.

Images in print are digitally retouched to create the illusion of smoother skin, flawless body and much more. We unknowingly fall prey to these rampant marketing strategies and create the image of ‘attractive’ in our subconscious as per these advertised standards. Parallelly, we judge and ridicule those who do not fall under this bracket. Thus, begins the mission to fit into these parameters of beauty, otherwise you risk being the target of someone’s ridicule.

It is time to stop. Time to take a break. Time to celebrate the disproportions rather than the perfections. A time to love the way you are. The statutory warning on a pack of cigarette will not stop the supply of cigarettes. The demand has to stop in order for the supply to stop.

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