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Learning To Rock Self-Acceptance, The Ashley Graham Way

#BeautyBeyondSize

09/03/2017 12:40 PM IST | Updated 10/03/2017 1:55 PM IST
D Dipasupil via Getty Images

Recently, I have been very drawn to model Ashley Graham's Instagram posts. She is an incredibly sultry woman with a gorgeous face and one who truly owns her "plus size" body. She made history by being the first voluptuous woman to be on the cover of Sports Illustrated magazine, which is an uber big deal considering the bevy of fit waifs that are normally featured. She also recently walked for Michael Kors' Autumn Winter show at New York Fashion Week, famously exchanging notes on how to walk with the star model of the hour Bella Hadid.

Going through Ashley Graham's posts and news got me thinking of how incredible it is just to embrace oneself for who one really is!

Weight, for an adolescent Indian girl, has always been an issue. Even if you're not personally challenged by being overweight or underweight or just right—weight is something that society seems to enjoy discussing. Especially those social aunties who gawk with their overdone mascara eyes and jaw drop at your freshman 15 pounds or those who never fail to comment if you are underweight with the much heard tagline "Beta, eat something." It seems as though people always want you to be a different version of you just so that they can have something to talk to you about. How about just accepting who you are and celebrating what you do? Now there's a novel thought.

I'm no stranger to weight issues and a recent fracture to my foot has limited my normal exercise routine. I also changed my chef/sommelier "eat everything desirable" diet to a pescatarian (but mostly vegetarian) one. I have noticed that being largely vegetarian makes your carbohydrate intake slightly higher, which in turn has landed me a few extra kilos.

Being on the brink of launching my own fashion label and being rather active in the fashion scene in India I have always tried to maintain a certain personal goal of what I should be. Never limiting myself too much, might I add, but of late that has gone for a toss, and I couldn't help noticing how these few extra pounds completely altered my mood and behaviour. I was obsessed by the scale and suddenly I transformed into a different person, one shackled by the power of my own mind. Going through Ashley Graham's posts and news got me thinking of how incredible it is just to embrace oneself for who one really is! Then I began to realise that although society does dictate a certain standard of what you should look like, I've really got to accept myself for who I am. Don't get me wrong—Ashley Graham still goes to the gym and works on her "curvy" body so it looks its optimal best in all her stellar photos shoots. Also when I am physically able to I will get back into a lifestyle that is healthier, but it's so liberating just to feel like there's someone else out there making waves for just being herself. I feel it's something we should pay more attention to in the now. I've never been one to conform to societal pressure and have taken pleasure in doing things differently always, so why not on this front too?

I have made it a conscious decision to just accept my body and allow my mind to be okay with that.

As for the fashion scene in India, it's pretty neat to be friends with women who truly embrace themselves. Somehow their creative sartorial flare is just heightened by the fact that they are not average skinny minnies. It makes for such a wonderfully colourful life when you're not plagued with thoughts of how you don't feel good about yourself.

I have made it a conscious decision to just accept my body and allow my mind to be okay with that. So far it's made me a lot happier and joyful and I do hope that by reading this article you can experience that too. Let me make this clear though—this is no way a clean chit to binge yourself to oblivion; rather this is a healthy way of understanding yourself.

Aishwarya Nair

A few tricks that I normally use that work well for me are giving up gluten, dairy and refined sugar. I have actually even created a health food brand with delicious snacks based on the mindful and balanced eating concept, called AMAI, is now available on Scootsy. We live such excessive lives nowadays with food, binge-watching shows and constantly engaging in social media... the old adage rings truer than ever: Everything in moderation—including moderation!

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