Photo Courtesy: Jebunnessa Chapola
Banglar Gaan O Kotha (BGOK), which is a multicultural community radio show geared towards addressing social justice, feminist, and social equality issues in Saskatoon, Canada. Moreover, BGOK aims providing various information and topics, which is geared towards the diasporic immigrant community, especially from the Indian subcontinent. The weekly Bangla radio show is hosted in Bangla as well as English to cater to numerous audiences voluntarily since last four years. You can listen to it online from any parts of the world. Click on the link http://www.cfcr.ca/onair, every Sunday Bangladesh time 10.00 pm and Saskatoon time 10.00 am.It is an informative and entertaining weekly radio program, of interest to the general.
Earlier this month, I came up with a show on body positivity. After numerous discussions on this topic with little girls in our community. My co-host: Jebunnessa Chapola and I finally presented the show on-air at CFCR.90.5 Saskatoon community radio.
Fostering a sense of body positivity is very important for women in today’s day and age, especially when popular culture and social media occupy a sizeable portion of our lives. Popular culture creates our fantasies, and social media gives us a “celebrity moment”, where we want to put up our best picture and coolest status. Often times, we girls/women spend hours gazing wistfully at the slender celebrity body of our “girl crush” actor. And dream of having a body like her and scorning ourselves for our “fat” and/or “skinny” arms and legs; having love handles instead of a six-pack abs. We avoid wearing certain dresses because of insecurity regarding certain body parts. Well, the good and the bad news is that even actress go through the same kind of insecurity like us normal girls. But, one has to remember that there is a huge difference between how actresses look on-screen versus in her real life. She has a battery of people working with her off screen along with heavy dose of technology to make her attractive on -screen. It is someone’s full-time job to decide her diet, make-up, and clean up her smallest zit with editing before her picture surges on a public platform. It looks surreal, but this entire process takes humongous resources, and is unworkable for any normal girl/woman.
Life is not about looking picture perfect, but about eating healthy, being fit, acquiring a new skill, and loving yourself by embracing your flaws. Your skin color, body type, height etc. define you. It is your pride rather than a drawback. Carving out a niche for oneself is very important. This fosters the development of feminist consciousness, which emphasises maintaining good hygiene rather than trying to look perfect for the next Facebook with the most updated makeup in pursuit of getting “likes” “loves”, and “wow”. There is nothing wrong if you feel like wearing a sleeveless dress showing your “imperfect” arms. People who genuinely love you, will do so irrespective of your size. If someone bullies you based on you “looks”, they are simply don’t deserve you. No one, even the most beautiful actresses, don’t wakes up perfect.
Women who had enough vision, talent, and leadership qualities could actually make a difference to the world; their looks never played any part in their achievements. Thus, it is important to be this woman rather than the one who sizzles the screen with her “perfect body”. The definition of “perfect” varies, and you are perfect the way you are. Be healthy, happy, and a boss. Next time, when we spend hours discussing clothes or make up, let us discuss it from artistic angle. There is always a perfect dress for a perfect body. The mind is the most beautiful organ in a woman’s body and cultivating a healthy mind is most important for women and little girls. Women are capable of great achievements; it is she rocks the cradle rules the world. A healthy mind, body, and positive attitude encourages such great achievements, not any physical attributes. So be healthy, happy, brave, and compassionate.
Host of Banglar Gaan O Kotha,
CFCR Community radio, Saskatoon and
PhD student in Sociology,
University of Saskatchewan.
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