Looks like people in this country can’t let women succeed professionally, without belittling all their achievements and by shifting the spotlight to their physical appearance. So, when pictures of female candidates contesting in Pakistan’s general elections began doing rounds on the social media, some began comparing them to Indian female politicians.
It has now come to the point, where even politicians are not immune to our beauty standards, then it’s time we began to introspect our priorities, political or otherwise.
Do people desire handsome male politicians?
Why is it that the beauty of women is the prime criterion in every possible situation? From politics to the silver screen to their personal kitchens, all many Indian men want is a beautiful face. It is assumed that a beautiful woman will make into a good wife, actor or employee. Or is it that women’s beauty makes all their other faults invisible or pardonable?
- Photographs of female candidates from Pakistan’s general elections are doing rounds on social media.
- Some people are using them to shame female politicians in our country.
- Do these people judge male politicians in our country on the basis of their physical appearance as well?
- It goes on to prove that Indians women in all walks of life get judged on their beauty, and not on their talent or capabilities.
My only question is, do people judge men on the basis of their physical appearance as well? Would they vote for a male politician because he is handsome? Would they pardon bad governance because hey, he is so gorgeous to look at, let’s ignore that he cannot do justice to our mandate?
But when it comes to female candidates, she must be beautiful. There are many plagues which plight our political class. Sexism is one of them. It isn’t beauty; female politicians are considered unworthy of vote by many due to their gender. But even when a woman who sits perfectly in our irrational beauty standards, compete in elections, what do you think will happen?
The focus will be on her physical appearance, and not her political agenda. Social media will be flooded with her pictures. She will be lusted after or adored just because of her features. Not many care for what she stands for. Which is evident from people’s reaction to the photographs of these Pakistani candidates. No one knows a squat about their agendas. No one cares about their politics. All people are gushing over is their looks.
People are using their photographs to shame seasoned Indian female politicians, but that doesn’t matter to these people.
This speaks volumes about our approach as a country towards both women and politics. We judge political candidates on the basis of all irrelevant parameters like physical appearance, opinion on caste and religion, personal choices, etc. Everything except their ability to govern well. Women get judged for every job profile on just one criterion-physical appearance. This sexist mentality may one day cost us a lot. While people will be busy ogling at a “gorgeous candidate” they may end up turning their backs to a very worthy one.
Pic credit- iKNOW Politics
Yamini Pustake Bhalerao is a writer with the SheThePeople team, in the Opinions section. The views expressed are the author’s own.