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A letter to a 3-year-old telling her, that she is beautiful. Also, that the beauty standards of the world do not matter.
A letter to a 3-year-old I met in my parlour, telling her that her that she is beautiful and that the beauty standards of the world do not matter.
I am the didi you met at the beauty parlor today. You were the little 3-year-old girl who peeped in as the hairdresser snipped through my hair. I saw you. You saw me and we broke into a smile. As I waited for a facial, you sat for a haircut.
Your mother sat next to you as the hairdresser came to you. She made a face, because she said, girls are supposed to have long silky hair. You looked confused. But then you wanted a short hair cut, like Bhaiya. I did not know you, but I knew what was happening. I jumped to say, that you are so beautiful, any hair cut will suit you. Your mother supported too. You had a short hair cut.
After your hair cut was done, I screamed with wonder, “How beautiful you looked.” So did your mother. I know, you were looking for approval. At 3, we all do. I do even at 30. You were a happy girl, as you hopped your way out with your mother.
Darling, you are beautiful. Don’t listen to the beautician, when she frowns that girls have to have long silky hair. No, darling, a girl is beautiful, with or without hair. And, you rocked in that military cut.
When a little girl sees an adult woman approving herself in the mirror, without a frown or a chuckle, she learns that approving oneself is okay.
Remember, when I got the haircut, I saw you peeping. Once my hair cut was done, I exclaimed, how good it looked. Darling, little girls learn what they see. When a little girl sees an adult woman approving herself in the mirror, without a frown or a chuckle, she learns that approving oneself is okay. We come from a society where woman’s bodies are frowned upon; we are supposed to meet unnatural standards. Today you are TOLD that your hair should have long and silky hair, tomorrow, you will be told that fairer skin makes you beautiful. Then the size of your hips and thighs will be talked about. That is how, they break us, part by part. And we hardly see women around approving themselves. That confuses little girls and they do the same to themselves.
So, I approve of myself in the mirror. And you after your hair cut. So, that you learn the first right lesson, that you are beautiful, with or without your long tresses. You are not your hips, lips, hair or anything; you are what you make yourself. Plastic surgery is on an all time rise. The market is stuffed with all kind of beauty products; it tells us softly that we are not enough. The thing is that even before we are told that we are not enough, we see women around feel that themselves and little girls pick it up and make that their own story.
Darling, I loved that happiness in your eyes, after your mother and I approved how, pretty you looked after your haircut. I almost clapped. This is the healthiest lesson, you will ever learn that you are enough, that you are beautiful.
You walked out, with the brightest smile, hopping your way to your home, dying to show your brother, that you got the same cut and looked wonderful too.
You walked out, with the brightest smile, hopping your way to your home, dying to show your brother, that you got the same cut and looked wonderful too. That’s what every girl should know. That’s what every woman should tell herself I the mirror, because somewhere a three year old is peeping and learning. Children learn exactly what they see. And even in adult life, they replicate those patterns.
Darling heart, I hope you always know that you are beautiful. Being fat or thin is not a shame; being dishonest or stealing is a shame. Those are the qualities, we need to grow.
As, you grow up as a confident girl, I hope, Darling, that some 20 years down the line, you approve of what you see in the mirror, because a 3 year old is watching somewhere. Also, don’t forget to cheer her new haircut. At, the end of the day, life comes in full circle.
You are beautiful.
A painted, dented woman.
P.S: You are made of the stars and the moons and the Suns. Let no one ever tell you otherwise. You are enough.
Cover image via Shutterstock
Proud Indian. Senior Writer at Women's Web. Columnist. Book Reviewer. Street Theatre - Aatish. Dreamer. Workaholic. read more...
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It is easy to give in to patriarchal expectations from a married woman and lose your self in a marriage, but the path to happiness is in keeping your independence.
Marriage is often described as the joining of two individuals’ bodies, minds, and souls. Upon getting married, you are expected to share everything with your partner, including time, money, and all other aspects of life. Your life should revolve around your spouse from beginning to end.
But is it necessary to spend every waking moment with the spouse? Are you not supposed to have a life apart from your spouse? And do these rules apply only to women or men as well?
Although both men and women may face this situation, women are generally expected to give up everything once they get married. Despite progress in several areas, expecting women to abandon their interests, passions, and friendships to align their lives with those of their spouses is still considered the norm.
The rising numbers of single women choosing this life shout out clear and loud that patriarchy and sexism will no longer break or chain us.
Another book on singlehood? It seems to be the season for books on the joys and freedom of being single. But Demystifying and Dignifying Singlehood: Life Journeys of Single Women Across the Globe by Uma Jain is different. The book does not glorify or glamourise the lives of single women in any way. These are real stories – with the good, the bad and the ugly, all there.
The book tells the stories of 15 single women across the world. A feeling of deep understanding and empathy fills you as you read the book and understand the challenges faced by the women who are single – by choice or chance. Some of the women chose to be single because they faced discrimination and even abuse as girl children. Some others had abusive marriages and sought divorce.
The tag line ‘Crafting pathways on rough terrains’ on the cover page is enough to tell you that this is a serious take on the issue of singlehood. If it focuses more on the rough than the smooth, that has been the reality for the 15 women.
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