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Hair And The Length Of My Self-worth

Society sets impossible beauty standards that women sometimes can never unlearn. 

Society sets impossible beauty standards that women sometimes can never unlearn. 

It has been implanted in our thoughts,
That girls have long hair on their heads,
And are frog-like hairless everywhere else

And the hairiest of the lot like me and you
Have been waxing diligently since eighteen or before
With slogans like-
“We shall brave the pain!”
“We shall be girls yet!” proclaimed.

Like it is tradition, like it is culture,
We forget to question the sanity of it all!

When someone is plucking my upper lip-
Like they are pricking each of my thousand follicles with a needle:
Or dripping hot wax on me and ripping it off,
Like they would RIP off feathers from a dead chicken,

I focus on telling myself-
How one day I shall have to face labor pain;
And then this shall then be nothing in comparison-
(I forget through it all that that I am done-
Had those two kids and c-sections!)

With the beauty parlors laid to rest
By lock-downs and threat of viruses,
I dig up my neighbor’s grandmother’s remedy-
For this nationwide ailment we face,
Turmeric paste that naturally leaves me yellowed everywhere,
And when it’s results are not quick enough,
A tryst with chemical pastes, that makes
The hair that once was a jungle, grow thicker, grow faster,
And then some disasters with blades and cold wax:

That is left halfway.

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I bow to those who have managed to knife their tattoos,
Part the shadows to see that hair where(ever) it grows is natural

But, wait!
For all my rants and foot-stomping
At these tribalistic modern beliefs:

I know I shall feel ‘clean’
Only when I have taken off all this hair off-a-me
For I lost the plot, to the brainwashing lot,
Long before I was born with woman parts,

When it was implanted in my thoughts
That girls have long hair on their heads
And are frog-like hairless everywhere else.

First published here.

Image source: Pexels


About the Author

Namratha Varadharajan

Namratha is a poet and curator of Soul Craft Poetry workshops. She is a feminist in theory, a mommy disguised as a writer, or maybe the other way around. read more...

3 Posts | 3,440 Views

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