Beauty is more in your mind – if you think you are beautiful, you are, and will appear beautiful to everyone! Beautiful in every size!
Size does matter. A sudden increase in height in the early teens, accompanied by an absolutely thin bone structure earned Joy the nickname of ‘lambu patli‘ in her school. This led Joy to tend to slouch and bend at her waist, giving her a hunchbacked look.
She was ashamed of her body for it separated her from her friends as being abnormal. Every day Joy stood in front of the mirror and tried hard to find the beauty her mother told her she has. All she saw was a tall, lanky girl with stooped shoulders, lacking confidence. Anything she wore looked like a dress that has been hung up high.
Joy was never selected in the group dance for the cultural show as she spoiled the harmony of heights. She was placed among senior students with similar height for sports events, eventually creating in her a hatred for sports itself. At home too, one day she even wanted to pour hot tea on a guest’s head instead of serving it to him when he showed his surprise by saying to her father, “Aapko dekhke koi nehi kahega ki aapki aisi paahaad (mountain) jaisi beti hai.”
Joy’s parents tried their best to build her confidence despite all odds. Having a tall daughter was not easy for them too. The stores didn’t have ready-made dresses in her size, nor could they find even her size of uniform shoes to school. Joy wore her canvas shoes to school – the tall and lanky girl who wore the canvas shoes to school.
All this changed with Ms. Sushmita Sen winning the Miss Universe title and for the first time Joy saw height as an asset rather than a matter of shame. It was the time when she stepped into the city life away from the safe premises of her home and stayed in the hostel for her studies.
Sushmita Sen and Aishwarya Rai did change the outlook of many people to a great extent. For Joy, the comments turned to compliments and with the new surge of confidence, she stood tall and straight. She felt good about herself though she still could not find shoes of her choice nor could she buy a pair of trousers that fit her unending legs. Yet what mattered to her the most was that she was comfortable with herself. Added to that was her realization that she was more than her tall frame and apparel. She was recognized for what she was.
Joy’s experience of having a strange body made her humble and she had friends who were ‘beautiful in every size‘. Moreover, she realized that her height was much more than just her appearance. In fact, her height helped her to redefine beauty. Her beauty was in the smile of that small boy on the street whose kite she freed from the branches of the tree. She felt beautiful when her long hands rescued a drowning kitten being washed away in the rain storm. She found beauty even on petty things like finding the spice bottle from the top shelf of the kitchen cabinet for her mother. Her short friends could hold her arms for support when unable to reach the bar above in a crowded bus. Joy’s discovery of height-leading happiness and beauty found new dimension with time.
The myth of oversize not being beautiful was totally shattered for Joy when she entered the most exciting phase of her life – pregnancy. A tall girl herself married to another tall person, the new life jumping in her belly was bound to be big making her look like she was carrying twins.
The woe of clothes was a part of Joy’s life forever. With pregnancy, it was an SOS situation. Clad in giant T-shirts and trousers hanging just over her ankle, Joy carried herself with such ease that she looked nothing but beautiful. Her beauty enhanced with every ounce she gained. And later, Joy’s son loved it when she gave him a group hug with his two favorite equal sized soft toys. She could pluck the fruit from the tall tree for him and he could reach to touch that flower on the high branch sitting on her shoulder. And, yes her long hand could reach out for the towel while holding her running toddler after his bath.
Looking back to her journey, Joy felt that God made her go through the troubles of having a tall frame to teach her some beautiful lessons in life. ‘Beauty lies in the eyes of the beholder.’ True. But beauty also lies in the mind of the self. What you think about yourself and your appearance goes a long way in creating the physical identity that you present to the world.
Tall or short, fat or thin, fair or dark – it is you who decides what comes first, who maketh whom. The magnanimity of the elephant is in its size and so is the strength of an ant. The beauty comes from within you and it is up to you, how wonderfully you can portray it in your appearance. Be the beauty you are born to be – free size.
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