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Recently a young girl in Mysore, killed herself due to the fear of not being accepted. When will the beauty norms imposed on girls by the society stop?
Fair, thin, tall and long hair are the criteria of beauty in our society since its inception. It has been accepted and ruthlessly followed by the majority. But the question over here is, can beauty be measured? Can beauty be restricted to a certain criterion? And is it the ‘socially accepted beauty’ alone that makes us beautiful?
According to recent news a girl in Mysore allegedly jumped into a river and killed herself because she was unable to bear the fallout of a troublesome hair-straightening experiment. According to sources the girl after getting her hair straightened started suffering severe hair fall and feared that she would soon go bald. Apparently, this fear of being made fun of and the feeling of not being accepted made her feel dejected.
The idea of ‘log kya kahenge‘ made her feel restricted and dread the thought of going bald which allegedly, led to her killing herself.
The above incident shows that how the feeling of non-acceptance forced a girl to take a severe step. Also, many young women do try different ways to just fit into the ideal norms of beauty. Teenage girls because of this suffer due to low self-esteem and try extreme methods which include using bleach creams and makeup products at a very young age because of the idea that only fair is lovely.
This indeed fuels a huge business of skin lightening creams in India. They force people to believe that being dark skinned is a matter of shame and having a fairer and lighter skin makes you a better version of yourself. Apart from this, to fit into an ideal body type or to get thin, girls restrict their diet and go through anorexia or various other eating disorders. This whole struggle for fitting into the false norms of beauty and comforting the society is leading to self-harm and even suicide as seen in the case of the girl from Mysore.
Since childhood, girls are told to maintain their self, we are asked to look ‘proper’. “Don’t go out in the sun or else you’ll turn dark. Don’t drink a lot of tea or else you’ll turn dark. Use fairness creams because no one like dark girls. Take care of your hair, don’t cut it too short, you’re not a guy. Lose weight because beautiful girls are thin, not curvy or fat”, etc.
All these comments are not new for any girl, who has been living in the narrow-mined Indian society. Our society for many years has made the criterion for girls to look ‘beautiful’ and in its constant efforts to make them succumb and making them forcefully fit into those criterion has led us to a point where these criterion has become a factor of acceptance. That’s highly depressing.
Although we live in a world full of new diverse fashion trends, our society still hasn’t grown up or have opened much to the new world of fashion. Fairness creams that oblige you to look fair to get accepted and the ideology of “jo gori nahi vo chori nahi” is very much prevalent. Trends like – get slim in a week, get long hair in a week, get fair in a week still exist and girls are forced to believe and follow them adhering to the fixed mentality of the society.
We, as an integral part of this society, can do a lot to bring about a change. By not judging people and by accepting everyone as they are can help in building up their self-esteem. We need to be accepting of the fact that beauty lies in diversity. We must stop measuring beauty under certainly fixed norms. Society needs to stop depicting beauty as skinny waistlines, big muscles, fair skin, full lips, large breasts and six-pack abs instead we need to teach our children the fact that true beauty originates from the inside.
Image Source – Unsplash
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