36-24-36...astonishing figures...and somewhat of a holy grail! If you struggle to fit into a size zero, know this — the struggle is real for every girl and woman who has inherited even the slightest fragment of the Bengali genome. Put the indulgence for ice-cream into the equation; add the lethargy for that gym regimen and you know the reason why.
So is it truly unattainable?
Not the least bit!
'Body image' is possibly the biggest money making commodity the world has ever known. A picture perfect female never hurt any TVC that made it on air; from promotions for the perfect red lipstick to advertisements selling men's perfumes.
On the pages of magazines, models are as flawless as the images of a Greek goddess. Their facial features sharp and symmetrical. Neat hair, a picture perfect torso, and youthfulness unmatched by any person you have ever known in real life; images so refined and ethereal that they look good in almost anything they don. One simply cannot stop questioning our own senses — is it real? 'Maybe she's born with it' is not only a catchy tagline but also something every picture in every magazine, billboard and TVC wants us to believe.
One can simply choose to ignore the misogyny, but no matter how much we claim to be immune to such objectification, notions like these have made an impression on our collective minds. The message conveyed through these commercials and the supposed 'body to die for' is creating a false perception, often having devastating psychological and social consequences.
So, how does one break away from this paradox? Perhaps there is no paradox because there is more to fashion and style than looking picture-perfect. One can either embrace the god-given characteristics and flaunt an image that comes naturally or engage in an often fruitless struggle to fit into that illusive size.
If we look back at the annals of fashion, one will have to agree that the retail industry has not been very accommodating to the needs of the plus size clientele — it was either the body hugging attires one size too small, or something outrageously baggy; no loud colours; no patterns; no horizontal stripes. It was a seemingly endless list of don'ts. In the local scene the trusted 'dorjee' who came to our rescue because he can magically create or replicate almost any design, and that too in the right size!
Forget trends. And probably that is the key. Play with your wardrobe to make your attractive features shine. Pick something that flatters your body. The options are seemingly endless.
Free your mind and de-clutter the notions of the INs and OUTs of fashion. The only attitude that matters is being proud of who you are!
Photo: Sazzad Ibne Sayed
Model: Shahana Huda and Nayantara
Make-up: Farzana Shakil’s Makeover Salon