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Capitalism Wants Us To Hate Ourselves, Let’s Show Them The POWER In Self-love

The next time you approach a mirror all smiles, but watch your smile turn upside down as soon as you watch yourself staring back at you from that thing, feel free to stick out the proverbial finger to the mirror and walk off. Don that smile again because here’s a little secret, a really sad one- you only have to visit a cool clothes store and flock to the trial room to see positive proof that this endless produce of ever-alluring outfits don’t fit anyone properly. Nobody is 100% happy with who’s pouting back from the mirror and therefore, the frantic 140-selfies marathon to find the one that they are about 70% happy with. If you ask me (and ask me now, because I am at H&M and I cannot stand the queues at fitting rooms) I’d love to lead a march to give up on the sham and just walk around naked!

woman looking in mirror_New_Love_Times

Image source: Google, copyright-free image under Creative Commons License

Before you go ballistic on me and give me a lecture on how self-love and body positivity is picking up, I should warn you- I don’t pen anything without getting my facts straight. I only have to look at the startling figures of women around the world grappling with body image and self-esteem issues to understand how the only winner in this ‘supposed’ war between conventional beauty ideals and body positivity is capitalism. Companies have become smart enough to position themselves as liberal brands who accommodate women of all shapes, sizes, ethnicities and even tastes!

Suggested read: Things I want to tell men who indulge in makeup shaming

But here’s the grim reality, first-hand. Having spent countless shopping sprees with girlfriends whose questions vacillate between ‘does this make my a*s look big’ to ‘does this make me look like I’m wearing someone’s a*s for my breasts’ – I have been there, done that. And as much as I have tried to be comfortingly honest (whatever that is) with my girls, I have seen dozens of women flit in and out of the trial rooms, going in with a myriad clothes and an unflinching hope about all those adorable picks and walking out empty-handed, with shoulders slumped, heads down and an unmistakable sadness on their face.

belly fat_New_Love_Times

Image source: Shutterstock

And no, I’m not being preachy. I’m just as guilty. Having a body type that could easily pass off as enviable to most women, I know that I have trouble finding pants that fit my long legs, dresses that would seem to justify my tall frame and blouses that wouldn’t burst open a button to pop eyes out. But here’s the real problem. Capitalism passes off standard sizes as the norm. This one-size-fits-all viral syndrome is harmful because it makes all women (oftenatimes, myself included) think that these very clothes magically fit everyone and we are an anomaly. This downward spiral of insecurity causes us to hate that person we see in the mirror and steal a glance at the one standing alongside, secretly wishing we were as tall/curvy/thin… as the ‘normal’ ‘bi*ch’ in the adjacent mirror. If only we knew she was, in all probability, stuffing her corset or folding her drape, we’d be less anxious.

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Image source: Pixabay, under Creative Commons License

Because here’s the newsflash- as much as we could crib about our tyres of flab and feel depressed about these one-size-fits-all arbitrary measurements syndrome, we should be commiserating with those skinny ‘bi*ches’ too who are facing the same problems with ‘fitting in.’ They are striking out, just as much as we are. And while that is not meant as a consolation, it is, most certainly, a message. A very important one.

Suggested read: A letter to the modern woman of today

Capitalism has long been resting on existing patriarchal ideologies that have had a stronghold on socio-cultural coda. So it isn’t very surprising that it still propagates rigid standards of beauty, even while claiming to be accommodating of everybody. And NOW is when we need to stop. We need to stop allowing others (people or not) to dictate our parameters for self-worth. The numbers they roll out, pinned on a dress or a skirt, do not define who we are. Our self-love does. Because no matter whether these arbitrary numbers hold up our assets or not, our self-love will. So, if you will, fellow sisters, let’s turn this fitting room phenomenon into a sisterhood, a bonding experience. Fat or thin, curvy or wiry or a smorgasbord of all, let’s clear our heads of the disturbing image we tend to build in our own heads of who’s waving back from the mirror.

girls holiday_New_Love_Times

Image source: Google, copyright-free image under Creative Commons License

Let’s hold out our hand to each other, say ‘hi,’ tell each other we are beautiful the way we are, strike a conversation about how capitalism has always wanted to profit in on our conformity and break free by truly understanding each other’s plight. Maybe even  grab a plate of delicious cheesy fries and a big, fat sandwich afterward to plan that nudist revolution.

(On second thoughts, not really, because public transport in summers! Eew) 😛

Featured image source: Pixabay, under Creative Commons License

Article Name
The POWER In Self-love: Capitalism Wants Us To Hate Ourselves So Let’s Show Them Otherwise
Because self-love triumphs all!
Sejal Parikh

Sejal Parikh

"I'm a hurricane of words but YOU can choose the damage I do to you..."