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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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Shows like Indian Matchmaking only further the argument that women must adhere to social norms without being allowed to follow their hearts.
When Netflix announced that Indian Matchmaking (2020-present) would be renewed for a second season, many of us hoped for the makers of the show to take all the criticism they faced seriously. That is definitely not the case because the show still continues to celebrate regressive patriarchal values.
Here are a few of the gendered notions that the show propagates.
A mediocre man can give himself a 9.5/10 and call himself ‘the world’s most eligible bachelor’, but an independent and successful woman must be happy with receiving just 60-70% of what she feels she deserves.
Darlings makes some excellent points about domestic violence . For such a movie to not follow through with a resolution that won't be problematic, is disappointing.
I watched Darlings last weekend, staying on top of its release on Netflix. It was a long-awaited respite from the recent flicks. I wanted badly to jump into its praise and will praise it, for something has to be said for the powerhouse performances it is packed with. But I will not be able to in a way that I really had wanted to.
I wanted to say that this is a must-watch on domestic violence that I stand behind and a needed and nuanced social portrayal. But unfortunately, I can’t. For I found Darlings to be deeply problematic when it comes to the portrayal of domestic violence and how that should be dealt with.
Before we rush to the ‘you must be having a problem because a man was hit’ or ‘much worse happens to women’ conclusions, that is not what my issue is. I have seen the praises and criticisms, and the criticisms of criticisms. I know, from having had close associations with non-profits and activists who fight domestic violence not just in India but globally, that much worse happens to women. I have written a book with case studies and statistics on that. Neither do I have any moral qualms around violence getting tackled with violence (that will be another post some day).