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These Beauty Ideals Are (Literally) Killing Us!

Posted: June 23, 2015

In this post the writer rightly describes how these manufactured beauty ideals and our rush to fit in, is killing us.

I opened a popular national daily on the morning of 7th June as I sipped my morning cuppa. And there on a corner, I glimpsed a news snapshot, “Actress dies of liposuction casualties”. Aarthi Agarwal, the Indian actress, was only 31 when she became a victim of our twisted beauty ideals. Was she obese? No, she was just a bit overweight, enough perhaps for the glamour industry to cast her aside. In trying to conform to the twisted beauty ideals of our times, she lost her life.

This is not an isolated incident. Thousands of people succumb to death and complications every year, trying to ‘fit in’. They starve themselves, undergo painful cosmetic procedures, and spend millions on beauty products. They do it because our lives are filled with messages telling us that our jobs, social lives, families, and any successful or happy event become more meaningful when we look better – fairer, thinner, with flawless skin, luscious hair and pouty lips.

Does life become more meaningful when we look better – fairer, thinner, with flawless skin, luscious hair and pouty lips.

Even today, if I have to go for an important meeting, more than my preparation, my mother is bothered about how I look. Looking better can apparently transcend any hurdles in your path! It bugs me when the salon lady asks me if I’d like to bleach my face – I like my skin color, thank you so much! Recently even in the workplace, we were questioned about our body image – do we look good in the mirror? If not, do something about it. Stop it for god’s sake!

And whose ideals are these anyways? Fashion houses that make clothes to fit a stick? Movies, where actors get paid to maintain the body and have teams of personal trainers and dietitians making it happen for them? Why is fitness equated with body weight and thigh gap?

It appalls me when I see little kids with heels and lipsticks and bags tottering about like Barbies.

This cancerous idea of beauty is just not restricted to adults. It appalls me when I see little kids with heels and lipsticks and bags tottering about like Barbies. How are they supposed to run around, roll in the mud, climb trees and chase butterflies? Let them be kids, they will anyway spend the rest of their lives conforming to the good looking brigade.

Is it sounding like a rant of a thoroughly disgusted woman who just wants to eat what she wants, when she wants, in peace? Perhaps. To tell you the truth, I love to eat and I’m not a fitness junkie either. But I do know the difference between healthy and not healthy. I have nothing against makeup or dressing up, and I do it when I step out of the house. My fight is with the people who decide my worth solely based on how I look. I hate comments that insinuate that my career success is based on my cleavage. I detest the snide remarks on my weight. When I refuse to judge people based on their looks, color, clothes and hairstyles; I just ask that they extend me the same courtesy.

I refuse to be a casualty of this rat race. Do you?

Woman’s body with a measure tape image via Shutterstock

Supriya is a single mom, entrepreneur, marketer, editor, author, and facilitator – on the quest to

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1 Comment

  1. So beautifully described! This entire charade of good looks perpetuated by the media and film industry is preventing many to look beneath the skin. To look for inner virtues such as kindness, love, empathy, and a beautiful mind. It’s so sad that the quest for better looks make us forget to enjoy life’s beautiful moments and live a more meaningful life. But as long as there are some people who think differently, I believe there’s still hope! 🙂

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