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Media and advertisements often depict a specific type of woman as the ideal, reinforcing stereotypes and marginalizing those who do not fit the mold.
Photo by Hassan Khan on Unsplash
Has someone told you, “You don’t look your age?” Whether it’s intended as a compliment or not, this statement reflects a misguided belief; in reality it is actually ageist. It implies that looking younger is a desirable standard, while neglecting the beauty and accomplishments that come with aging.
Ageism is a widely prevalent issue, and it’s important that nobody feels the need to appear younger than they are just to be accepted by others. Stereotypes, ageism, and the lack of authentic representation of women have distorted our perception of what age should look like. However, there is no right or wrong way to look a certain age. The appearance reflects one’s age because that’s what it looks like for her to be at that age.
Grey hair, wrinkles, and other signs of aging can be beautiful and should not diminish a person’s relevance, abilities, or worth. Age should not limit someone’s ability to run marathons, succeed in business, wear fashionable clothing, or demonstrate intelligence. Grey hair and wrinkles are natural parts of life, and waking up each morning is a blessing in itself.
I came across the campaign #ILookMyAge on LinkedIn by Centre for Ageing Better. I was not only impressed with it but also was heartening to see women from around the globe challenging the stereotype of ageism. They proudly stated their age and were happy the way they looked. Finally it was a feeling of shattering the stereotypes of how women should look.
It is their groundbreaking project, ‘Ending the Age of Invisibility’ by The Bias Cut, revolves around authentic and celebratory representation of women aged 50 and above. They aim to challenge ageism and redefine what it means to “look one’s age.” To celebrate, they are inviting everyone to proudly state their age and proclaim, “I look my age.” With an intention to reclaim the definition of age, redefining what it means to “look one’s age.”
In today’s society that is driven by media (all kinds especially social media); women are bombarded with stereotypes that dictate how they should look, behave, and present themselves. Women are constantly exposed to images of flawless, young, and conventionally attractive models, which set unrealistic beauty standards. These have detrimental effects of such unattainable expectations and encourage women to challenge and redefine the concept of beauty on their own terms.
Media and advertising often perpetuate the notion that youthfulness is the epitome of beauty. From skincare products promising to erase wrinkles to hair dyes claiming to cover up gray, the message is clear: aging is undesirable, and women must strive to maintain a youthful appearance at all costs. This pressure can lead to self-doubt, anxiety, and even self-esteem issues, as women feel inadequate for not meeting these unrealistic standards.
Another aspect of the beauty standards imposed is the emphasis on physical perfection. Models with flawless skin, hourglass figures, and symmetrical features dominate the media landscape, creating an unattainable ideal that leaves many women feeling insecure about their own bodies. The constant pursuit of this narrow definition of beauty can result in unhealthy behaviors, such as extreme dieting or undergoing risky cosmetic procedures.
Media and advertisements often depict a specific type of woman as the ideal, reinforcing stereotypes and marginalizing those who do not fit the mold. Whether it’s the portrayal of a thin, white, and able-bodied woman as the standard of beauty or the lack of representation for diverse body types, races, ages, and abilities, the message is clear: if you don’t fit into this predetermined category, you’re not beautiful or worthy. This narrow representation not only erases the diversity of women’s experiences but also perpetuates discrimination and exclusion.
It’s time to:
Women need to redefine beauty on their own terms and break free from the shackles of unrealistic expectations. It’s time to celebrate and embrace our uniqueness, because every woman is beautiful in her own way.
Laxmi Todiwan - Founder Indian Women in Hospitality. She is a Professor, Corporate Trainer, Motivational Speaker and a Blogger. An award winning hospitality professional with a career spanning over two decades; people engagement, training and development read more...
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Does Ranbir Kapoor expressing his preferences about Alia using lipstick really make him a toxic husband?
Sometime back, a video of Alia Bhatt with Vogue went viral where she shares her go-to make-up routine and her unique way to apply lipstick. It went viral not for the quirkiness but because she said that after applying the lipstick, she “rubs it off” because her then boyfriend and now husband – Ranbir Kapoor likes her natural lip colour and asks her to “wipe it off”, whenever they are out on a date night.
Netizens had gone crazy over this video, calling RK toxic and not respecting AB’s choice to wear makeup. I saw the video a couple of times to understand the reason behind the uproar but I failed to understand it. I read many comments and saw people saying that asking your partner or dictating terms on how they should wear makeup is a major sign to leave the person.
Modesty or humility is viewed as the hallmark of a well-brought-up girl, which makes it hard for us to be open to any real compliments without feeling like an imposter.
Why is accepting that compliment so hard?
Colleagues: Have you lost weight? You look good!
She (who has spent months doing Keto and weights): It’s the dress that’s making me look thinner!
Guests: Your house is so beautiful and neat!
She (who spent the last five hours mopping and polishing): It could be tidier; there is just so much dust.
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