When was the last time you gave yourself an honest compliment? Have you ever, even for a moment, wished that your beautiful dream about yourself pans out in real life? A little bit of tucking here or a little bit of brightening there wouldn’t be too bad? If you answer the last two questions in affirmative, you’re probably a victim of the body shaming club. Ready to turn this around on its head and make it body positivity instead?

As I write this, I’m freshly showered and drying out my hair after a rigorous session of running and cardio. The sweet ache in my legs that often follows it has stopped pestering me long ago. I feel good, inside out. The endorphins, interestingly, have fired up my mind and are insisting me to share this euphoria with my dear readers. Afterall, what better way to discuss body positivity than comparing notes and experiences!

What is Body Positivity?

Body positivity is about having the inclination and freedom to have a positive image about you. It is about the way you look as against how society’s twisted standards of assessment expect you to. Any and every physical factor, like your complexion, shape and appearance come under this umbrella.

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Fair enough, but how do others come into picture?

I’ve been on the receiving end of body shaming jabs right from my childhood. I was called चिमणी, a sparrow, since I was born underweight. I steadily kept putting on after that and became the plumpest adolescent in our entire vicinity. Friends refused to lend me their bicycles while Aunties subtly gifted me size-neutral stuff like bangles and earrings for birthdays. It didn’t help matters that compared to my fair and lovely mother I was the living embodiment of coal. People shamed me and my existence every moment of everyday. Did they think I was blind to my own flaws? Wait, can we even call them flaws?

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It’s a pity that while young children can utter from religious texts impeccably, we don’t teach them self-acceptance. Most informal names are often coined after someone’s physical trait; like Kaalu, Chotu, Moti, etc. The people we look up to for support are often the ones poking fun at our expense. While it’s mostly harmless, can one imagine the beating someone’s confidence can take with this behaviour? We eventually learn to stand up for ourselves but it’s often too late.

My Transformation and ‘The New Me’ theme for #MyFriendAlexa!

My transformation, although personal, found audience with a lot of people over time. Women often tend to put themselves on the backburner while caring for their family without breaking a sweat. Nevertheless, the fabulous beings that we are, can we not manage to spare half an hour for us in a day? It was small motivations like this that made me start with dragging my butt to the garden everyday for a jog. I learnt to tweak recipes and innovative new healthy ones. The exclusive attention delighted me no end. Would you please take a moment to look at this creative?

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This picture expresses ‘The New Me’ like nothing else. From a shy hidden subject in my earlier pictures I now rule the frame with élan. The conservative loose long sleeved salwar suits have been replaced by chic noodle strapped one-pieces. The tussled hair and the wind caressing my face are my lovely unofficial makeup artists. I’m beaming with the happiness of feeling pretty in my skin. Ok, you get the gist! 😉

In my ‘The New Me’ posts I’ll be sharing the mental, physical and emotional changes I’ve gone through with my transformation. Were physical challenges like cramps and aches deterrents for me? Did I ever feel too overwhelmed and want to give up? Am I honest with everything I share online? Importantly, do I judge people who aren’t motivated about their health like I am about mine? Join me as I decode body positivity, my transformation and lot more for you!

I am taking my blog to the next level with Blogchatter’s #MyFriendAlexa.

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41 thoughts on “Body Positivity and ‘The New Me’ #MyFriendAlexa

  1. So glad to see that you are FINALLY writing on the theme and topics I have been badgering you to write about for more than a year now! I know you’ll do a great job and so looking forward to your posts!

  2. Reminds me of my cousin who was very thin as a child and everybody said, ‘Itni patli hai!’ She put on weight as grew up and turned into an overweight girl. Then it was like, ‘Itni moti hai!’ Even her mom kept commenting on her weight and one day she said, ‘Aapne hi khila-khila kar mota kiya hai mujhe.’

    To be honest, I miss my flat tummy and flawless, spotless skin. But it’s just for me. I don’t comment on others. Sometimes to my sister when she loses a lot of weight (while I’m not able to) and to my husband when he puts on weight, just for his health and fitness. 🙂

    Uplifting article, except one thing that doesn’t go well with the essence of the article: ‘The conservative long sleeved salwar suits…’ I don’t think it’s conservative. It’s just about feeling comfortable in certain attire. 🙂

    1. That was just like me! This way or that, people can never be happy about how others look. I’m glad you don’t judge yourself or anyone, Tarang. It’s a rare thing nowadays.

      The conservative thing was to highlight my state of mind, of covering up out of insecurity and imperfection. I love wearing salwar suits.

  3. I have seen this transformation up close and personal. I know the journey quite well, and hat’s off to you for the dedication. I know you as a people’s person. But, this is your personal achievement and crown. You did this for yourself and by your own reckoning. I am so proud of you for talking about this is such a positive manner. People usually forget to draw the thin line between boasting or motivating. This is important, that whatever we do the call should be our own.

    1. I feel so proud and happy after reading your comment, D! The journey has been tough and I’ve had precious little motivation other than my own most of the time. I know it can be challenging to keep going and am hoping that my experience can make people realise the rewards of it!

  4. I’m so glad I’m reading this ..another victim of body shaming you can say..will learn from you along the way ..kudos for writing on this topic ..looking forward to your posts

  5. You are one gorgeous new you! And you have so rightly pointed out, people will never stop fake-bothering, so going all the way to accepting ourselves and being body positive is the best antidote 😊👍 Absolutely loved this!

  6. Kuch toh log kahenge, logo ka kaam hai kehna…
    kehne do isi ka naam hai duniya…

    Love the positive new you, but why say new…
    it’s just who you are, the real you, who is just getting shinier with time and age.
    Who’s feeling prettier and proud of her new found love for self.

  7. Loved this post. Actually we women, are our biggest personal critique. We have to be kind to ourselves. Society is very harsh but we have to be confident enough to feel that I am great the way I am. Because how can you improve on perfection 😋

  8. An honest post, Varsh. And extremely motivating. Could relate with a lot you said. I too have been at the receiving end of body shaming, for my height of all things (too tall).

  9. You look fab!

    True those body shaming might be silly for the ones saying but it breaks down self esteem and confidence. Been there too! Over the period, I picked myself up and accepted for who I am.

  10. Good you are writing about your transformation. It will be inspiring for many. Body positivity is very important and sometimes it takes us time to realise it.

  11. This is one positive & feel good post that has motivated me to take up health in a more serious way which I have been neglecting for quite sometime. Thanks for the power boost & yes, people always keep saying something or the other. Thanks for sharing this series. will look forward to reading more from you.

  12. Body shaming is becoming a big concerns to many. I am so glad that you didn’t let yourself go in a shell. Instead you came out of it as a winner. kudos to you!!

  13. You are truly an inspirational person Varsha and I had read and seen this journey closely since last few months. Looking forward to reading your amazing posts. All the best for Alexa.

  14. Accepting yourself in the positive way is the kickstart of brighten days and thoughts. I have recently started reading your posts about food and your transformation, after reading few one thing I am very much sure about that you are giving a hope by being an inspiration for all the souls whom confidence has been killed by the so called society on the name of body shaming.

  15. I’ve seen some of your fitness posts and healthy recipes, Varsha. You are amazing and am glad you are talking about this more 🙂

  16. Congratulations on your transformation. Self acceptance and positive body image is something no one teaches anyone but this needs to be addressed especially for younger generation.

  17. Wow looking forward to more of your blogs on this theme. I like being slim because I have always been that way since I was young. I’m very uncomfortable and cranky when I get a tummy.

  18. Your post will connect with every women I guess. I was super skinny in school n college days that I use to be called “akal pidit” – suffering from a femine. N after my 2 kids I’m the opposite of that and the reactions I get frm people is like oh my god… did I do a crime that I gained weight. Thought I miss my old self and also working towards getting better but I am what I am. While I dont love my body the way it is but its mine n I still appriciate it.

  19. To love yourself sounds like we are being so selfish. Since when did ‘wanting to feel good about ourselves’ feel like we need to be on a guilt-trip for that. Looking forward to hearing more from you on a thoughtful and mindful topic such as this one.

  20. I loved your transformation journey. And you explained very well about body positivity. It is so important to learn about how to comment on other’s body shape and size.

  21. I was a skinny girl while I was in school and college and was always called kandi. But then after job, marriage and kid, my body is no longer the same. But I believe that one should healthy and fit rather than being conscious of body size. Looking forward to this series.

  22. Your transformation is gradual and you have worked towards it. Coming to body positivity if you are fit and have flexibility in the body then no size matters. Plus dressing has not to do with the body shape it is about the attitude towards it that matters.

  23. Ha ha! I laughed when I read your questions at the beginning of the blog. I still keep imagining getting rid of my muffin top! But have also accepted that nothing is really happening in that front! I used to be really thin, and despite being called chhoti etc, loved my small size! It has taken much longer to accept this current body!

  24. Body shaming should be seen as a big problem as it alters the self confidence to a very different level, but it is even more important to learn acceptance. It is a great post. Thanks for writing.

  25. You look absolutely gorgeous in your photo! And as someone who has been at the receiving end of body shaming, I remember last year during therapy I said, “I don’t know when my body and I stopped being friends.” It was a powerful thing to acknowledge and I’m in a better place now. More power to you Varsha!

  26. You are looking very beautiful!! I am overweight and struggling to shed few pounds not because I don’t like the way I am but I feel it affects health in many ways.

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