Have you ever heard ‘Hairy and Beautiful’? Chances are zero as that is not a beauty standard that women have to live up to. What we are told instead is ‘How to turn yourself into a hairless ideal’. It sounds harsh not just in words, but on our body too when heated wax hits our skin in order for those untidy body hairs to peel out like a banana's peel. Every month those moments of pain, even though it feels like a choice. But is flawless skin a choice or subconscious acceptance that it's the way it should be?
Women have body hair, which might or might not have the same volume as men, but they do. However, smoother than butter skin is shown in advertisements to build a cloud in everyone's mind, of how it should be. So why does everyone out there pretending that they have to follow this norm?
The internet is full of options telling you how to get rid of that unwanted hair. Instagram influencers tell their followers about the secret behind their smooth skin. Celebrities promote thousands of brands that help you to get that smooth skin as butter. Last but not least you try all of it to get that shiny, smooth skin without a single hair on it. Guess what: You, me, and millions of people like us just created a 4 billion dollar industry worldwide.
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'Bhallu jasie dikh rhi h' 'wax nahi toh shave hi kr leti' 'you're so bold, huh, showing underarms hair' and other such comments are aimed at women who dare to not follow the norm. It is as if, society is de-meaning women to make choices about their own bodies. Further subconsciously letting them aware that it's society's right to make choices about the body that women own.
When each one of us loops ourselves on this circle of beauty standards, there is just one thing we forget to do. That is 'Question'. You do not question, how your natural body hair becomes unwanted? How can men have that unwanted hair but you can’t? Who will benefit from that hot wax dripping on your body? How will that cute little razor increase your self-esteem? We do all that is told in the hope that those minutes of UNWANTED pain will turn you into ‘A Hairless Ideal’. Why is that the ideal anyway?
There is an imminent need to stop oppressing women on the namesake account that it is UNWANTED or UNHYGIENIC. Because if smooth skin is what we all prefer then how come men do not possess the need to get one for themselves.
It is to each his own. There cannot be one idea of being perfect it is the different colours that add dimensions. Such unidimensional beauty standards need to retire now. They are social constructs which have existed because no one has called them out. Let's be comfortable in our own skin. Beauty is not in flawless skin it lies within you.
Views expressed are the author’s own.
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