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Why does being married mean that I can no longer have fun or want to look good? Is the sole purpose of a woman’s looks to ‘catch’ a man?
Having lived in a cosmopolitan city all my life and studied throughout in co educational institutes I never thought of myself as any different from my male counterparts or ever felt conscious of being a girl. Also being in a family where what we thought was given far more importance than what we wore or how we looked, really helped in taking away the focus from superficial things.
But all that was to change once I got married. I still remember the first time it happened. I had uploaded my picture on Facebook which was like the usual stuff that I always posted -me smiling in some random place. The picture got its fair share of likes and comments, but hidden beneath multiple comments was this unusual message for me-“Hey stop posting such pics now… you are married!”
Huh? What was that supposed to mean? Yes, I was married but not dead! I still went out, had fun and clicked pictures. Why should it suddenly bother anyone?
And then it dawned on me, the person wanted to not so subtly suggest that now that I was off the shelf in the marriage market, it was no use posting such pics to get attention. But who the hell was posting for that purpose in the first place anyway?
I do not entirely blame that person because it is the popular culture which makes us believe that a woman needs to be beautiful only so that she can attract the opposite gender and feel better about herself over her victory. And once she’s got her catch, she should crawl into oblivion. Can we just move over the idea that the sole aim of a woman’s life is to be attractive to a man?
Pick up any advertisement for any random product and the basic theme would be – a woman doing something to get the attention of a man. Right from a fairness cream to tea, salt or biscuit. In fact some advertisements for products meant strictly for men also show women sticking to a man after he has used that product like bees to honey. High time somebody told the advertisers that a woman may want to use a soap simply because she likes it and not to impress anyone, leave alone a man. I guess they would do better business that way.
Coming back to my story, not that anything has been able to stop me from doing what I want to do but the second time it happened it kind of bowled me over. This time, I was in my last stage of pregnancy and was quite comfortable in my new skin. Until, one of my relatives remarked that from henceforth I no more needed to give attention to personal grooming and shouldn’t worry much about my greying hair or expanding waistline as now I would cease to be a girl and be a full grown woman!
Well if the first person had assumed that I was dead after marriage this person had just buried me. So now as a mother I was supposed to write myself off and surrender to fate.
I just cannot wrap my head around the the fact that people think they are complimenting you by saying “You don’t look married!” I still have not figured out how a married woman or a mom should look? Should they completely erase themselves out to fit in the expectations of other people? What is so threatening about a woman who chooses to hold on to her individuality and expresses it through the clothes she wears and the way she looks. Ironically the question is the answer here.
In other counties, where women are encouraged to be physically fit and active not just to look good but to maintain robust health. India is perhaps the only country where a woman who is dedicated to physical fitness or I hate to use this word but maintains herself is often tagged as an old horse trying to be young. No wonder, women discover ailments such as breast cancer and arthritis much later in life because they have been conditioned to believe that they come last, sometimes never.
I, on my part in the meanwhile, have been holding on to my self and refuse to be someone I am not while telling the world that I don’t dress up to steal other men from their wives or girlfriends.
‘Cos frankly my dear, I don’t give a damn!
Image source: woman taking a selfie by Shutterstock.
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