Hush The Shush: Dr Cuterus on the shame that’s not ours to carry

Shachi Lavingia
New Update

Dr. Tanaya aka Cuterus talks about the shame around female bodies and the role the media plays in helping women accept their bodies.

We live in a society that thrives on women struggling with self-love, acceptance, and self-confidence because we’re constantly made to feel ashamed for existing as we are. Hairy bodies, uneven skin tones, frizzy hair, acne, small boobs, hell even big boobs - ads, magazines, and the aunty next door doesn’t fail to make us feel insecure about these ridiculously normal parts of us. 

Before we know it, our self-worth is being defined by how thick our thighs are and whether or not we pluck our chin hair. After years of countless unwanted opinions that cover even our little toe, their shame becomes that clingy friend of ours who we can’t get rid of. Isn’t that what works for the economy? Monetizing on our insecurities by making us feel worthless?

To understand this better, we spoke to Dr. Tanaya Narendra about the content she creates on Instagram, myths that she busts on the regular, and the role that media plays in how a woman feels about herself.


Also Read - The hidden flow: Examining Bollywood's hush-hush approach to periods

Here's what she had to share:

A lot of your content on IG is about busting myths surrounding our bodies. What was your motive behind creating this content? Was it only about awareness? 

I think it stemmed from a place of seeing rampant misinformation about our bodies, especially female bodies online, along with very targeted marketing strategies that focused on making people insecure about their bodies. I was annoyed, I was fed up, so I thought that since I have the expertise, why don’t I talk more about this? And then Dr. Cuterus was born.

What are some of the most common myths you get asked? Could you bust them for us?

Why are my genitals so dark? This is completely normal. Our genital area becomes darker due to the effect of hormones at puberty. You don’t need to lighten or whiten your genitals - this is a sign of maturity! How can I grow the size of my breasts/penis? Unless you’re getting surgery, all the enlargement creams, lotions, pills are nonsense. You can’t possibly increase the size of any organ by massaging it.

How to fix sagging breasts?

If you have medium to large breasts, sagging is very natural and normal. This is due to gravity. You don’t need to “fix” this and there is nothing wrong with you if your breasts droop.

Do you think this shame surrounding our bodies stems from a lack of awareness and society's idea of 'perfect'? Is it responsible for tons of insecurities about how we look, smell, and appear, in your opinion?

It’s a complex mix of marketing normal aspects of our body as “flaws”, not understanding what is normal, and unrealistic representations in media. The relentless use of filters and editing doesn’t help either.

How important is unlearning this shame for our journey of self-love and self-acceptance?

Oh gosh so much! I eat really well and get a lot of exercise, but still struggle to lose weight. In any other scenario, I would be freaking out about my inability to achieve a svelte figure, but because I understand that a) you don’t have to be thin to be healthy or good looking, b) weight and body size is a complex thing, and there are SO many factors involved that work behind the scenes, c) I now know the incredible amount of money that works in making people insecure about their bodies so they buy useless products. It’s all a money-making gimmick. Learning about these things helped me and so many others in loving and appreciating our very normal, very “flawed” selves.

Advertising and beauty industries thrive on our insecurities by first causing them and then capitalizing on them. How can one break this chain? 

Stop giving them money. Just stop. Money is the biggest vote, in this day and age. Educate more people about this and stop buying these nonsense products. These two small steps will create the revolution we want. 

Have you seen a change happening through the content you share?

Oh absolutely. We’ve had thousands of women vaccinated against HPV, a virus known for causing cancer of the cervix and other diseases. Legitimately thousands of people have converted to using a menstrual cup and are helping reduce the environmental burden of sanitary product waste. The other day, a long-time follower DM’d me to let me know that she mentioned the cervical cancer vaccine to another friend, who went to the doctor to get vaccinated, only to find out that she has Stage 1 cervical cancer. Because she was diagnosed so early, she can start treatment and continue a hopefully long and healthy life. I mean, isn’t that incredible?!

For more creator-related content follow us at @socialketchup

Dr Tanya aka Dr Cuterus Cuterus shame around female bodies