Beauty is something which more often than not is related to women. Being beautiful often feels like an obligation as a woman. In fact, society has set the criteria that a woman should fit in to be called beautiful. She has to be hot, has to be sexy, has to have a great sense of style, has to be of certain skin tone, has to be thin and what not. All women are supposed to fit or try to fit that mold. She can be a scientist, singer, actor, dancer, athlete or whatsoever she has a talent for, but still, she is supposed to strive to be called beautiful. The pressure is so much that lots of women become kind of obsessed to look beautiful. But the fact is every women is beautiful.
Talking particularly of our beautiful country which is known for its diversity of cultures, we conform to one ideal for beauty- fair skin tone. ‘Dhoop mein mat jao, kali ho jaogi’, ‘chai mat piyo rangat sanwali ho jaegi’, ‘haldi besan lagao,rang nikhar jaega’, ‘fairness cream use kiya karo’, ‘itni kali ladki se kaun shadi karega’, ‘pregnancy mein coffee peene se bachcha kala paida hoga’, you must have heard these phrases. We even have gross incidences of girls being rejected for marriage because of their looks. women freak out if they get a pimple, pigmentation or anything that makes them look any less beautiful. As a result, we have an evergoing industry of fairness products, our screens are flooded with advertisements of products claiming to make you fairer than ever. Cosmetic surgeries to get that beautiful face are no longer that uncommon.
Doesn’t it make you think about what is a beauty? Does good height, superb figure, stylish clothes, fair skin tone etc should actually be the criteria to call someone beautiful?
No, not at all. These are the standards of prettiness and not beauty. The pressure put on women about looks is totally absurd. Not everyone has to look like a Poo from K3G. Being beautiful is not only about being pretty. A pretty smile or a sexy body doesn’t make one beautiful…it is the mind, the overall personality that makes one beautiful. Beauty is more about your heart, your inner self. It is who you are as a woman, as a person and as a human being that makes you more or less beautiful.
Expecting a girl to fit into societal standards of beauty reflects the sexist and patriarchal mindset of people. I am not saying that one should not try to look good or should not focus on one’s appearance. The point that I am trying to make does as you please and not to get validation from others. Hit that gym, join that grooming class, wear these shorts, drape that hijab…do what you want to, not what others expect you to. An ethnic dress doesn’t make you an aunty or behenji and that short dress doesn’t reflect your progressiveness. Its the strength of your character, the progressiveness of your thoughts, your concern for humanity, your love for yourself…that makes you beautiful.
A little girl playing with mud is beautiful, a heavily pregnant woman is beautiful, a chubby teen girl is beautiful, a granny with wrinkled face is beautiful, a woman with PCOD weight is beautiful, a woman diagnosed with thyroid is beautiful, a bald Sonali Bendre is beautiful, a tanned Sania Mirza is beautiful, a Kalpana Chawla is beautiful, Talent of Deepika’s acting is beautiful, expressions of Kareena is beautiful, a P T Usha is beautiful, a Mary Kom is beautiful…..I am beautiful, you’re beautiful… Every single woman out there is beautiful.