How I Aced The Art Of Accepting My Thighs, Curves And Everything In Between

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Accepting my thighs as they were—cellulite-filled, often chafed and without a thigh gap in sight—naturally wasn't easy growing up. But then something happened.

Like so many young women across the world, my mind was programmed to hate my thighs. Every glossy I ever read, every movie I ever saw and every female superhero I ever looked up to had the perfect body. It also didn't help that movies and soap operas still heavily featured skinny girls "blessed" with the body of a Victoria's Secret model. Accepting my thighs as they were--cellulite-filled, often chafed and without a thigh gap--naturally wasn't easy growing up.

But I got thighs.

The kind that were dimpled in their appearance, often chafed and jiggled every time I walked. They weren't going to change unless I exhausted myself with a seven-day cardio routine and survived only on salads.

And no matter how many Mondays I tried to start this routine, my plans never materialised. 

Why accepting my thighs was tough! 

I would come home from college and start fanning thighs because they stung so bad. I remember once my mum handed over a jar of coconut oil to soothe the pain. And while I used her home-remedy the only thought that kept popping into my head was how much I hated those skinny long-legged girls with thigh gaps.

So after years of chaffed legs--which by the way changed the colour of my thighs--I switched to loose-fitted clothes. I had anyway been walking slightly wonky, thanks to years of never-healing chaffed thighs. So it seemed like a natural choice. Athleisure was my jam. 

After a few years came jeggings and hip-hop. They were probably the best thing that ever happened to our generation.

Thanks to pop culture (and Beyonce and J.Lo), accepting my thighs as they are has become the new normal. In fact, having thighs was now considered cool.  Everybody wanted a booty and curves. Gyms lured women with their "boot(y)camps," fashion houses began catering to the curvy lot and mainstream glossies that in the 2000s focussed on skinny girls began accepting colour and size.

The sudden change in the idea of fashion (where real women were the end consumers) helped me see what I hadn't in so many years. Having curves wasn't anything to be ashamed of. Yes, I will admit, I was self-conscious, especially when I went out shopping. I often compared my body to those I thought were "perfect." 

I still do sometimes. 

But the fact that jiggle is now acceptable makes me feel slightly better. Instagram and Twitter are filled with before and after images where women proudly put their cellulite on display. It reminds of how Americans recently discovered what they now call "turmeric latte!" Indians have been drinking turmeric milk for its healing purposes for centuries now. 

To how accepting my thighs became easy 

So what is the new way of looking at things now, was normal for many. I had clearly forgotten that I was born into a country where curves were synonymous with being bountiful.

A girl with curves came from a 'khaata-peeta ghar' meaning a rich and well-off home. I was born in a country where Goddesses are painted and idolised as real women with curves. They are beautiful, graceful and ample.      

So when did my idea of beauty become so skewed?  

Well, the good news is that while about two years back, 'frumpy' was my favourite dress code. That has changed today.

I now accept and love my body- thighs and curves and everything on me. And this love prompted me to take better care of my health. I started working out, lost a few kilos and am in a much healthier place- physically and mentally. 

My thighs still thunder but they are stronger than ever before. They help me squat, kick heavy bags during my workout, run and jog. And am not alone. I now have a sisterhood of thighs, all of whom know the true meaning of loving yourself despite the bruises and the many stings.   

(Feature & lead image courtesy: Pxhere)

Written by

Deepshikha Punj