I have always been aware of all that it takes for immaculate personal grooming. At times a little paranoid about it. Having been an awkward teen I had my own painful induction into what it takes to look good – epilators, glasses, hair straightening, braces – the works. The thing is you would think it would stop by the time you hit adulthood. Unfortunately, it doesn’t, especially not in the 21st century. The list of perceived shortcomings only seems to grow. How can hair have phases where it grows back? (God forbid!) Why do you have all these marks on your legs – they look ugly? Have you ever thought about breast enhancement surgery? (Seriously!!) Why don’t you have longer hair? The list goes on and somehow it’s never enough.
While a lot of guys today are more metrosexual and aware of their appearance they are still somewhat above all this. There are fewer guys running for enhancement surgeries. At the most you hear of hair transplants or perhaps a mad workout after which they go and merrily eat their butter chicken. It’s still largely women than run to cosmeticians and plastic surgeons and are trying to get their tummies tucked, breasts enlarged or vaginas tightened. Women have always been praised for their beauty and beauty is something which is now attainable.
It doesn’t matter how physically beautiful you are because there is so much choice and exposure today. You have the world’s most beautiful actresses being cheated on or ditched for younger models. It happens all around us to women we know, even to posh industrialists’ rich wives who groom themselves to the hilt and look half their age. There’s always a younger, prettier version around. There are no romantic illusions about adultery ever. It’s about gratification, the next high. It’s about choice, feeling entitled and knowing that you can have it all.
Lady Gaga just got lampooned for a little bump of a tummy and her lack of a 6 pack. It’s no surprise that as individuals we are now so worried that we will be vilified, relegated to dinosaur status, or worse forgotten about or replaced, if we don’t keep trying every method to stay young and beautiful. Botox is a done thing by the time you’re 30, lasers are applied to all possible body parts, women are freezing eggs latest by 35, and starvation diets are still the fad. I have a friend who has been in tears post motherhood because she can’t seem to lose the weight while her peer is working out 3 hours a day, and doing little else, but is now 45 kg. Remember how much flak Aishwarya Rai had to face for putting on baby weight? The most beautiful girl in the world but she stooped to imperfection! If Kareena Kapoor chooses to go straight to the gym after delivering a child I don’t blame her!
I want to look good, I want to be fit and healthy. I wish I woke up every day with my skin glowing like it does in the movies but honestly there are days I can’t keep up and it only exhausts me trying to do so. I used to have a guest in my studio who had terribly unruly hair and never did her makeup and I often used to ask her if she wanted to use our makeup crew for a touch up. She used to steadfastly refuse every time. I found it strange but now I think differently because it takes some guts to stand your ground in this beauty crazed environment where we are constantly judged and in which we all exist. The new benchmark is perfection and strangely it’s a phenomenon that leads to mass homogenisation rather than true beauty.