HYDERABAD: It’s 2022, and people are accepting their real, unique selves over wanting to try and fit into society’s evil standards of beauty and perfection. As a result, we find out if shapewear is losing takers in the city. Body positivity influencers and models speak to CE about growing acceptance of one’s own body and ditching corsets, control camisoles, long legs, waist cinchers, and gusset closures, etc., to embrace what they look and feel like.
According to city-based model Sowmya Thanam, the number of people looking to shapewear to “correct” themselves has gone down. “While that’s a welcome change, there’s still a long way to go. It’s not a huge number, the margin is still small. But any change is still good,” she says.
On what has helped contribute to this, she says, “Growing acceptance of people being themselves, many genuinely not giving two hoots about what others have to say about their clothing, and pop culture — have all worked to make people confident in their skin. People no longer mind looking out of the normal, so-called standards of beauty.”
Actor Shreya Navile, best known for her role in the hit series Parampara, says, “In 2022, shapewear is a thing of the past. I remember how my mom used shapewear before and even she doesn’t care anymore. People are no longer desperate to cling on to such toxic standards. Today, clothes are being made for different body types to flatter you. So, shapewear isn’t always necessary today to complement the clothes that you are wearing. There’s a lot of individualistic styles out there that make you want to embrace your curves. Also, shapewear is very uncomfortable and unhealthy, I wore one in high school and couldn’t breathe!”
Fashion has cultivated this image of striving to be perfect, we’ve been taught that perfection is a slim body, a fair face, sharp features and what many like to call ‘modelesque’, but it’s changing today, says Shreya. “Fashion is thankfully craving new faces and bodies. I’m here in New York being hired to model for some well-known and celebrated brands, because of what I look like and not despite.
Fashion catches up with the now — we’re tired of being inspired by unrealistic and unhealthy body aspirations. Especially as South Asian women and men — we’re not built like the people in the West, and for us to create and surround our goals around someone who is even like us. It takes away from our own beauty, we have so much to offer just as we are, and the fashion industry in India is beginning to realise that.”
But body image issues are real and there needs to be a right way to approach and deal with them. Sowmya says, “Schools and homes can be a great way to channel such positivity about being beautiful when different. It’s important that a child be told during his/her formative years, so they know they don’t have to believe what they’re told when they grow up.”