If you are working hard to achieve size zero figure like your favourite actress, then will be shocked to know that size zero is passé.
According to one of a High School Health & Physical Education textbook, 36-24-36 is considered as best shape for females. “That is why in Miss World or Miss Universe competitions, such type of shape is also taken into consideration,” states this textbook. The book further goes on to talk about how difficult it is to get the perfect figure. “To get a perfect shape of 36”, 24”, 36” is not a bed of roses, it can only be achieved with help of sports participation.”
Why should a book whose subject is health, sports, & physical fitness talk about some perfect body size in con the ext of beauty queens? In fact, this figure promoted by Miss Universe 2017 is far from the perfect body size recommended by this textbook.
There is an entire chapter in book dedicated to Women and Sports. A closer look at those chapter reveals some interesting facts about women’s bodies that authors of the book want to convey:
The textbook states, “Many women and girls are not aware and alert about their size. Some are not conscious about the maintenance of their figures.”
While discourse is about women and their participation in sports, the way this book talks about women’s bodies and how they do nothing to achieve that perfect figure is surprising. That’s body shaming right there.
The chapter also conveys a general sense of gloom about the condition of women in sports. Instead of talking about the achievements of women in sports despite all odds, it talks about the problems and challenges they face in a way that is discouraging.
The chapter reeks of sexism—while teaching women how they should look at themselves and their bodies, it also emphasises that women are better off playing sports that make them look feminine and that more “masculine” sports make them less appealing. The book states, “Recent results suggest that female athletes competing in various sports viewed as masculine were rated as less likeable than those competing in feminine sports. Indeed, sports is traditionally considered a masculine activity. When women enter the male domain of sports, tensions rise. This can be seen in media discourse on women’s sports.”
While the book talks about the challenges women face, it refrains from claiming that women face discrimination. “Most probably, there is discrimination between men and women in the field of sports.” The usage of “most probably” shows the patriarchy and bias women face in all fields and on all fronts.
A textbook for senior students that makes discrimination a “probable” shows how deep sexism and patriarchy have penetrated. If such textbooks are being approved for the curriculum, then how will education uplift the female students and help them overcome the challenges the book does not stop harping about?