I came across the blog of an interesting lady Rohina (who blogs at http://nerdydevi.wordpress.com/) through that of my friend Anannya (who blogs at ODDS AND ENDS). Rohina has taken up a unique project in her blog called THE UN-FAIR PROJECT. Check out the three posts she had done till now where she had featured some very gorgeous & beautiful ladies – Part 1, Part 2 and Part 3.
I cannot say for the rest of the world, but in and around me I have seen many a times people considering only women with fair skin, good height, sharp features, long silky hair – to be a beautiful one. Anyone who does not have all of them is said to have a ‘weakness’. And then there are innumerable brands & their products to make one feel worse about their ‘imperfections’ as per the standard norms of the society. And hence, girls & women end up spending hundreds & hundreds on them to change something about them which is actually natural. Some makers have even ‘invented’ products to lighten underarms & private areas, God help us!! And they are seen happily marching to their banks. 😡
Growing up as the fairest one out of the three sisters, I have seen a lot of these things from close quarters. My elder sister falls in the un-fair category & since she was a kid she was conscious about it (in reality, she was made to). She used to pester Maa about the things she should do or put on her face to ‘improve’ her skin tone. Then there were those pesky neighbours & relatives to add fuel to the fire by telling her that actually she had been picked from the road and not my real sister. Though it was a joke for them, it affected her in real. As a kid she could not do anything about it and so cried her heart out but as she grew older and had access to money, she started buying those fairness creams and applying them secretly. One day Maa found it out and there was a lot of hue & cry. With time she became so sensitive about her skin tone that she either got agitated or started crying whenever this topic came up. All well-meant suggestions or advice fell on deaf ears. What affected me during those days was that due to no fault of hers she had to suffer all this. She had better skin, hair, eyes and features than me but then all of these got sidelined in the colour-war. And me being fairer (I have curly difficult-to-manage hair, super-sensitive & allergic skin), I felt kind of uneasy whenever she was crying. Over the years, maturity brought along peace for her & all these have changed and now she longer bothers about her skin tone anymore. Even I had my own body-issues as a teenager. I was ashamed & uncomfortable about my curly hair when most of my friends had straight hair. I pulled it and tied a ponytail all the time. I wanted to experiment with my hair, but was afraid to do so. But after my PG I made peace with what I have and started to look for ways to style & care for my curly hair. Now I have people complimenting on my natural curls; some even go to the extent of saying that they envy me for my hair. I am not saying I do not have hair-woes but I have definitely accepted the way things are. And this has brought me peace. 🙂
The points I want to make here is that why do someone have to suffer this trauma just for the way he/she is born as or because one does not fit the standards as per commercials norms. Media – print or electronic, movies – everywhere they seem to be projecting the perfect Barbie look – long hair, wide eyes, flawless features and most importantly fair skin. When will people realize that the products available in the market to achieve the perfect levels of beauty are actually marketing gimmicks, ways to mint money by the makers? They first create the thirst and then provide the drink and all of us are ready to jump in the well without thinking about the effects. It is high time for people to realize that all these products do not work and many of them are made with toxic and possibly carcinogenic ingredients.
Personally, I believe in a healthy body, irrespective of the shape, size, weight, height or colour. It is time for us to be comfortable, happy & confident with what we are born with and make efforts to keep our body disease-free to enjoy a beautiful life.
And as the popular saying goes, ‘If you feel that you are beautiful, you are’.