Too fat, too thin, too short, too tall, too fair, too dusky; social standards imply that beauty lies in being anything but you! The aunties in the neighborhood will always judge you by the size of your breasts or the length of your hair because if these are not as per the standards, then how will you find the right dulha? And mind you, your goal in life is to search for that “perfect” groom, who cares about career and passion?
In an era when women are challenging one social obstacle after another, the matrimonials in national newspapers still read “fair and tall girls, who know how to cook, needed.” We still fail to look beyond what is visible. Physical appearance is just a mask that covers the soul, but alas! This reality is lost on the majority of people. Isn’t being pretty overrated? And what exactly is “pretty” after all? Beauty is a subjective concept. What might please my eyes, may not look nice to you, which is fair. Then why are we inclined towards adhering to the same beauty standards for everybody around us? Why must we all abide by one single set of norms of beauty for every woman and even man?
In an era where women are challenging one social obstacle after another, the matrimonials in national newspapers still read “fair and tall girls, who know how to cook, needed.”
This incessant addiction to looking “beautiful”, has given serious mental health issues to many. Low self-esteem, lack of confidence, depression, and anxiety are common among those who are not happy with how they look. The beauty norms that were once set by our ancestors, are in a way being promoted by the most impactful platform these days, that is, social media. We need likes to ascertain how good we look. Many envy the physical attributes of actors and admire them, that too, not because of their skills on screen but their looks. We need to learn to be comfortable in our skin. Those imperfections that you’ve been cribbing about make you, you.
The gyms and beauty parlours are two of the most flourishing businesses these days. Why, you ask? Because we’re too insecure about our own bodies and thus are on an eternal journey to become what we are not.
The beauty standards are different for different areas. While in the West, thin girls are deemed to be more attractive, in the African country of Mauritania, girls are force-fed, as for them, the healthier the woman is, the more viable she is for marriage. Iran apparently has this weird trend where nose jobs are not only meant to make one look more pleasing but reflects on the wealth one possesses as well. So men and women alike are seen wearing a bandage on their nose as a status symbol. American women get an artificial tan, as it makes them look more appealing.
We need to learn to be comfortable in our skin. Those imperfections that you’ve been cribbing about make you, you.
Where are we heading with these beauty norms? If we don’t know how to love ourselves, nobody would ever be able to love us. So, there’s nothing wrong with being too fat, too thin, too short, too tall, too fair, too dusky. It’s okay to have a bulging tummy or hair somewhat curly. That pimple can never affect the contagious smile you have, unless you let it. Start embracing your blemishes and life would seem so much happier and better!
Saavriti is an intern with SheThePeople.TV. The views expressed are the author’s own.