What’s your definition of body positivity?
What’s your definition of body positivity?

HT Brunch Sunday Debate: Body positivity with an *

An HT Brunch reader calls out our fashion columnist, alleges she’s fanning prejudice. Our writer responds
By Malini Badoni and Ami Patel
UPDATED ON MAY 09, 2021 07:37 AM IST

“One needn’t suit someone’s inferiority complex!”

By Malini Badoni

According to Malini, if you cover up the way you look, you will attract a person who will expect you to do that all the time
According to Malini, if you cover up the way you look, you will attract a person who will expect you to do that all the time

To the Editor, HT Brunch:

In the Brunch edition dated April 25, I read Sunita Sharma’s question to fashion stylist Ami Patel with interest. But it didn’t make me happy.

The girl from Mumbai said she was 6’1” and had a complex about her height. “My dates seem overwhelmed by how tall I am,” she said. “How do I make sure I don’t tower over them?”

Ami, instead of admonishing her fears, you advised Sunita to avoid skinny jeans and wear midi skirts to cut height. But never once did you tell her to own her body.

Sunita, here are my two cents: you don’t need to “cut down” your size to suit someone’s inferiority complex! You will just end up attracting a person who will expect you to do that all the time. Instead, embrace your wonderful height, stand as tall as you are meant to be. If you want to wear heels, wear them! If you want a high ponytail, swish it!  Be what you are, and don’t compromise on the things you like. Sooner or later, you’ll find someone who loves you just the way you are.

“She’s over six feet tall and carries every inch with pride. Instead of trying to shrink when faced with insecure men in the office, she shows up in bloodred shoes with heels as sharp as army knives and the height of Cuban cigars. She’s a comic-book artist’s fantasy — no one dominates a room the way she does. Or a party.”

Bear Town, Fredrik Bachman

I had read this once upon a time, sending it for you.

Lots of love,

Malini Badoni

Malini Badoni is a Delhi-based homemaker, who took offence to HT Brunch publishing advice on how a tall girl can appear less intimidating, in the issue dated April 25, 2021.

“Fashion can be used as a tool to play with body proportions”

By Ami Patel

Ami says it’s not her place to question why a person wants to change the way they want to appear
Ami says it’s not her place to question why a person wants to change the way they want to appear

Dear Malini:

Being a fashion stylist, people turn to me on style advice on how to look taller, shorter, thinner, more filled out and many other issues they might face. I respect that person’s choice and give them tips.

Of course, it’s wonderful to have everyone happy with their body type exactly as they are, however, it is not my place to tell them why they want to look a certain way. It’s each person’s prerogative and the reason behind it is not my place to judge. I was not asked “that my boyfriend wants me to look shorter so what should I do?” I was asked “how can I not look so tall”. On this forum, we are not here to judge why people want to look a particular way, but if they request us to advice, the reasons are theirs and we respect their reasons.

Each person should be happy with their individual body type. However, fashion can be used as a tool to increase one’s self-confidence and play with proportions. If that makes someone feel good about themselves, seeking advice on that is perfectly fine. 

Yours in fashion,

Ami Patel

Ami Patel is a celebrity fashion stylist and image consultant , who wrote back saying fashion can sometimes be used as a tool to cover insecurities. Let’s not judge personal complexes!

From HT Brunch, May 9, 2021

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