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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 live a life full of purpose and happiness. After a deeply personal journey, Supriya published her first book, A Piece read more...
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Mostly Normal is a book of innocence, longing, filial love, angst and acceptance, encapsulating a gamut of human emotions within its lightweight edifice. The book touches the human heart and will stay with you.
Some books enthral you till the last page, and then there are those that you stop reading after turning a few pages. Some books are a one-time read, while you carry some books with you long after you have read them. Then, once in a while, a book hits you so close to home that you find it difficult to slot into any category.
I will put Priyadeep Kaur’s Mostly Normal (BookSoul Reads, 2022) in this last bracket.
At a little less than hundred pages, Mostly Normal is a testimony of the power of words to inspire, irrespective of their length.
Most women do not get to live their lives the way they want, on their own terms. So why should they be tied down in their old age?
Every morning, while dropping the kids at the bus stop, I find a grandfather waiting with his granddaughter. I see him again when I fetch the kids. This has been the pattern for the last few years.
He is seen actively participating in his granddaughter’s activities, from morning and evening walks to attending her parent-teachers meeting, sending her for extracurricular activities to even planning her birthday party. He is admired by all. He is appreciated for making himself useful in his old age. People rave that the doting grandfather is doing his duty towards his children and grandchildren. The much-admired grandfather is also a widower, having lost his wife years ago to chronic disease. It’s also to be noted that both his son and daughter-in-law are working parents.
Every day, the onlookers appreciate his sense of duty and dedication. They say that this is how the elderly should keep themselves occupied. They should bring up their grandchildren while their children go off to work.
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