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We aren't supposed to have a certain type of body, skin colour or height because that's the rule of nature or at least genetics.
Humans for ages have been judged on the basis of social standards of “beauty”. While it’s true for people regardless of their gender, race and nationality, I’ll mostly focus on young Indian women here.
The idea of diversity in a country which not only practices but also celebrates the very foundation of, lacks in the terms of social judgement of “looks”.
There’s a certain colour, size or shape your body must possess to be qualified as what our society considers to be “beautiful”. These expectations and ideals can vary across nations and from one individual to another.
These gross judgemental idealistic expectations for women (as being focused on this article; not indicative of insensitivity towards other members of our society) are not only thrown around by men, but also by women themselves.
Shockingly (also not), from a very young age we are made aware of our features which are desirable and also the ones which aren’t.
We aren’t only expected to accept these flaws and grow with them, but also to not raise concerns over these judgemental ideals proposed day-to-day by other people.
As if these features are staples of looks, talents and intelligence all at once. It’s degrading to be judged by features of our body we have been made so conscious about, to feel guilty about it.
Why? Because one was born with it. As if having a pretty face or desirable body is a trophy you are born with and can flaunt around for the rest of your life.
Everyone has insecurities. Some people’s insecurities aren’t as evident as others. That doesn’t mean that they don’t exist.
If we aren’t spoon-fed with the very ideals which have been passed down from generations, will these insecurities be any or very different, or dare I say non-existent?
This is what is so wrong about these “idealistic expectations” of beauty.
These expectations are not features you can acquire, but can practically only aim for. We aren’t supposed to have a certain type of body, skin colour or height because that’s the rule of nature or at least genetics.
Variation amongst sexually reproducing individuals (as in us, humans) is inevitable.
Variation is varying degrees of differences from one individual to another. These “differences” are supposed to be celebrated and not mourned about.
Nobody has the right to make you feel bad about what you stand for. Beauty (noun) (beau·ty|\ ˈbyü-tēis) is the quality or aggregate of qualities in a person or thing that gives pleasure to the senses or pleasurably exalts the mind or spirit.
It’s not a condition, but a quality. Embrace the qualities which sets you apart from others and make you.
Don’t be ashamed of your differences just because it’s hard for others to accept or appreciate. Your differences matter, your body matters, your beauty matters.
Image source: Elektravk via Getty Images, free on CanvaPro
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There are many mountains I need to climb just to be, just to live my life, just to have my say... because they are mountains you've built to oppress women.
Trigger Warning: This deals with various kinds of violence against women including rape, and may be triggering for survivors.
I haven’t climbed a literal mountain yet
Was busy with the metaphorical ones – born a woman
Fighting for the air that should have come free
And I am one of the privileged ones, I realize that
Yet, if I get passionate, just like you do
I will pay for it – with burden, shame, – and possibly a life to carry
So, my mountains are the laws you overturn
My mountains are the empty shelves where there should have been pills
When people picked my dadi to place her on the floor, the sheet on why she lay tore. The caretaker came to me and said, ‘Just because you touched her, one of the men carrying her lost his balance.’
The death of my grandmother shattered me. We shared a special bond – she made me feel like I was the best in the world, perfect in every respect.
Apart from losing a person who I loved, her death was also a rude awakening for me about the discrimination women face when it comes to performing the last rites of their loved ones.
On January 23 this year, I lost my 95 year old grandmother (dadi) Nirmala Devi to cardiac arrest. She was that one person who unabashedly praised me. The evening before her death she praised the tea I had made and said that I make better tea than my brother (my brother and I are always competing about who makes the best chai).
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