The obsession with looks and fashion that today’s teens and even younger children have as a result of media exposure is a sad trend, taking away their carefree childhood.
In a world which is obsessed with fashion, the importance of looks has gained ridiculous proportions. A girl’s looks, skin colour, or figure seems to define her career, relationships and the general life’s direction as compared to her intelligence or attitude.
I read a horrifying article in a national magazine recently about teenage girls willing to go under the knife and get plastic surgery done, to improve their figure. Today, Anorexia is a serious and widespread disorder among the young population of the country. The stick thin models splashed across fashion magazine or on the ramp are inspirational for these young girls. It is scary to realise that these kids are ready to starve themselves and push their bodies to its limit to achieve the ideal ‘size zero’ number.
Various cosmetic companies are minting money by pushing new wonder creams ads. These creams are supposed to make our skin glow while removing all blemishes from it. Definitely, hard to believe. There is also a rising demand for branded clothes and accessories amongst the young crowd.
In most households, today there is double income and hence high purchasing power. To compensate for the guilt of spending less time with their kids, parents tend to overdo and bow in to unreasonable demands of kids, compounding the problem.
Decades after independence we are still hung over the ‘fair complexion‘. A certain fairness cream in India is the highest selling cosmetic brand. Their previous ads belonged to dark ages, where a girl was rejected for marriage, jobs or generally better prospects in life because of her skin color. Though they have improved the quality of the ads now, it still harps on how having a lighter shade of skin will smooth your way. Hence, a girl’s intelligence or hard work will not contribute to her success if she is dusky.
Our Indian serials and movies are also replete with examples of beauty as an essential ingredient for success in love. In fact overweight or dark girls are deliberately used as comedians or vamps, once again pushing it on impressionable minds that to be desirable they need to conform to certain guidelines.
It is atrocious that beauty which is only skin deep is given so much importance. Beauty is subjective and there is no universal definition of the same. I have always believed that it is important to dress well and feel good. It gives one’s self-esteem a boost and presents a confident persona to the world. It is also an attribute that changes with age and hence one should not get too attached to it.
Children need to remain children. Their innocence retained, their wonder years untouched by the cravings of a high-class lifestyle. Too much exposure at too small an age may be the reason for this unhealthy obsession for looks. They need to be reminded that if an individual develops internal beauty then the external core is bound to glow and no cream, cosmetics or makeup can compete with that.
Image source: pixabay
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