Body shaming is a concern that is widely discussed across the world.
In recent past several celebrities have condemned body shaming - shaming of a person based on their looks. Highlighting the same issue, 22-year-old Delhi-based Naina Kataria has penned a poem titled ‘When A Man Tells Me I’m Beautiful’. Published on her Facebook blog Infinite Entropy and her Instagram account, the poem has become viral with around 9,000 shares and 40,000 likes.
What made her write this poem was an incident at a cinema hall. “I was watching a movie with a friend when a commercial on women’s razors was played. The ad, featuring a famous celebrity, endorsed the idea of a woman having smooth, hair free legs. It was then that I decided to write a poem on body shaming,” she says.
Recounting her own experiences of being body shamed, Kataria says, “Till I was a teenager I was rejected for not threading my upper lips and eyebrows. But as soon as I got waxing and threading done, people started complimenting me. Now when men tell me that I look beautiful, I wonder if they would say this if I was a hairy woman?”
Her poem has struck a chord with countless women on internet, especially due to lines such as: ‘He doesn’t know of the world that tells you to be yourself and sells you a fair and lovely shade card’, and ‘He doesn’t know of the hot wax and the laser whose only purpose is to replace your innocent skin with its own brand of womanhood’.
She has earlier written poems on topics such as slut shaming and women’s sexuality. “I want people to understand that society should not impose its notions on girls. My poems are my attempt to reach out to girls who feel outcast because they don’t look a certain way or don’t do certain things,” says Kataria.
Women, in different parts of the world, have shared her poem and have even come forward to share their own stories with her. The poetess, however, says, “My idea was not to start an activism. This is something I very strongly feel about and just wanted to tell people that there is nothing wrong if different people have different definitions of beauty.”
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