Dr. Tanaya is a doctor and influencer, raising sexual awareness, and busting myths on sexual health. Unfortunately, she is also one of the many women in India (and frankly, across the world) who encountered body-shaming while shopping for her bridal lehenga.
Dr. Tanaya, who goes by the name Dr. Cuterus on Instagram, shared a post about the immense pressure that many brides go through before their wedding - simply to look a certain way.
She also talked about how she was body-shamed at a particular designer store, though at the same time, she also appreciated the stores that accommodated her requirements.
There is SO much pressure on people to lose weight before their wedding - I had that too. Family friends would ask why I wasn’t “dieting” before my wedding (in a span of one month lmao). Some even went out of their way to send me “slimming teas”. Bridal stores would body shame and all kinds of weird comments were thrown at me about my “double chin” and “belly showing in the lehenga haww”.
Her post, which was also picked up by Instagram pages like DietSabya and WedMeGood, has now gone viral with people sharing their own experiences of either being body shamed, or undergoing harmful diets and routines, just so they may fit the idea of beauty that society perpetuates.
But why? Why are women expected to look a certain way? Why is it that in 2021, we are still perpetuating the belief that only a particular body type and shape is beautiful?
We are grateful for women like Dr. Tanaya who chose to call out the flawed beauty standards still being perpetuated by "well-meaning" relatives, society, and even fashion brands.
But this discussion should not stop here.
Society needs to stop forcing people to look a certain way. At an age when we are fighting to stop gendering things like make-up or clothing, the least designers and retail brands can do, is be more inclusive of different body shapes and sizes.
A story by Diet Sabya revealed how many fashion brands actually charged a 'fat tax' i.e. higher charge for clothes made for plus-sized women. While a few fashion brands agreed to change their approach, this is just the start.
Fashion was never meant to be for just one body shape or type. Shopping should not be a harrowing, humiliating experience. And every girl deserves to wear what she wants on her wedding day, and every other day as well.
Women wearing what they want should not be an act of rebellion, but thanks to flawed social constructs, it has become one today. And we need more such acts of rebellion.
More importantly, we need more people like Dr. Tanaya, to raise their voices and use their social media presence to send the right message. If for no other reason than to become a voice of courage and support for other women who have gone through the same experience, like yours truly.
And while plus-sized women are not the only people being body-shamed, they are at the receiving end of it more commonly than others. As a plus-sized woman myself, being body-shamed by store owners and sales representatives, relatives and strangers, classmates and colleagues, still is a part of my reality. But it does not have to be. It should not be anyone's reality.
You can read Dr. Tanaya's wonderfully inspiring post here:
It's all about being more inclusive!