March 10, 2020
How Tara Basro Helps Me Stop Hating My Own Body

I am a marathon runner, an avid swimmer. I love going to the gym. I play basketball and soccer. But, still, I hated my body.

by Maria Cellina Wijaya, MD
Lifestyle // Health and Beauty
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We all saw those pictures on Instagram or Twitter. On March 3rd, 2020 Tara Basro posted a series of pictures showing her body in its most natural form: slouching, sitting down on the floor, clearly showing all the blemishes and imperfections we all so hate in our own bodies. These pictures were accompanied with a body-positivity caption.

I had never been an activist for body positivity, one of the few reasons being: I don’t feel good about my own body, so why would I advocate for other people? I had always stayed silent, silently hating my own fat and stretch marks.

A little background story about me: I am a marathon runner. I have completed 2 half marathons and a dozen 10-km-runs. I am an avid swimmer, I love going to the gym. I play basketball and soccer.

But, still, I hated my body.

Also read: Loving My Own Body Despite Being Told the Opposite

When I saw people posts on social media, and these people being not just models, sometimes even my closest friends; I couldn’t help but always compare. If only I had arms like her, she never posts any exercises but how come she’s so thin, I wish I could eat a lot and till have a flat tumy like her. These were a few things that I was pretty sure most of us has = thought at least once in our lives.

I never saw the point in loving my body. I thought it was a scam. Instead, I overworked myself, exercised to the point of exhaustion, never enjoyed what I ate, always being picky over food. I thought the reward systems in my brain over being thin would beat whatever “loving my body” would feel like.

I had never been so wrong.

Since the beginning of time, women have always been held towards a higher standard, a perfect, Kylie Jenner body-type, with big butts and perky boobs, but skinny arms and even skinnier legs.

Another background story about me: I am a medical doctor. So I should’ve known that it is simply not naturally possible for a human’s body structure to have specific fat deposits in certain “advantageous” area of the body (namely: boobs and buttocks). I should’ve known that when you lose fat and become skinny, you lose fat everywhere: there is no such thing as “targeted” fat loss. But my heart rebeled against my brain. I still felt the envy towards those slim-thick body types, even though they had probably been medically enhanced.

I have two sisters. So I’ve seen these thought patterns happening not just to me, but to most girls. Both in their early 20s, I see them as two beautiful girls. But that seems to be what they find hard to see. All they see is their flaws, how their body is not curvy enough, or sexy enough. That’s when I started to realize, something is not right.

I started focusing on other celebrities, namely: Beyoncé. She is worshipped as this goddess of music and dance by the world. She has strong thighs, thick and sculpted which was completely proportionate to her butt. Medically, this body structure is possible. So then is it okay to have thick thighs and still be considered, attractive? Absolutely! My brain is starting to work normally again here.

Also read: Misconceptions around the #BodyPositivity Movement

And then, on March 3rd 2020, Tara Basro posted a series of pictures on Instagram and Twitter. It rewired my brain completely.

It is normal to have belly fat, it is normal to have thick thighs, it is normal to have thick arms, it is normal to have love handles, muffin top, FUPA, and various other terms that have been created and used purely just to make women hate their bodies.

Tara Basro, one of my favorite actresses, also worshipped as an icon of sex and beauty in Indonesia, is showing me that it is normal.

Now I see how different it feels when I love my body. It feels way better than when I was exercising all the time and still hating how I look. Now I enjoy nice food, I exercise to be healthy, not skinny, I can wake up on any day and look at myself in the mirror with my belly fats protruding and laugh easily because it doesn’t matter. My body brought me this far, I love my body.

Celline is 22 years old and a medical doctor from Surabaya. She has a passion for writing, running, and fighting patriarchy.