Would it be wrong to say that the idea of beauty is a shape shifter, given that it changes with the eye of the beholder? But good or bad, certain ground rules tend to stay, so ‘beauty’ is still not weirdly exclusive to contemporary times nor is it unrelatable. But on the flip side, it’s time certain orthodox concepts of beauty leave the station.
Even when trend like #bodypositive, #honormycurves and #nomakeup blow up online, the bulk of the world’s population still finds girls with idealised bodies more attractive than girls with different body types. Simply ask ‘the pretty ones’ in your gang if they get asked out more than the others. Please take no offense, it’s simply something I’ve always observed.
Now, one may cut me off right here saying there are more critical issues to be talking about, like the life of Syrian refugees, or the separation of families in the US, or the dangers women face right here in our country. These are important because the right to a safe and healthy life is unquestionably supreme to everything else. But coming back to beauty, I cannot assert more strongly how many young adults fight low self-esteem rooting from the lack of confidence in just their physical appearance.
As kids, we care zero about others’ opinions and go about doing what we love no matter whoever we piss off. But as we grow, we start to care more, which is indeed necessary for personal growth and discipline, but we battle to set the limit where we should just stop caring about one’s own public image. It’s not just about the looks; kids, both boys and girls alike, grow up seeing the glorified standards set by their peers’ looks, to fashion brands, to what success should look like. While the the media’s effect and its allied forces are aplenty, for a separate discussion I’d like to keep my thoughts on just how certain mindsets about feminine beauty remain unchanged. (I leave the masculine counterpart of this discussion to another creative writer).
Now back here in Kerala (and in several other parts of India), even when brave girls somehow realise that they only need confidence and originality to be themselves in a world that constantly tries to change them, they face a crappy situation when they reach the so called “age” for marriage. Even now, when brown girls top the international beauty pageants, at the end of the day, families are looking for the ‘ideal’ female beauty for their boys—fair (or at least of the fairer shades of brown), great hair, and a face that appeals to four out of five people at first sight. I am not exaggerating here. I wish I were. I admit that things are changing, just not at the rate we expect. And that’s not okay.
It also ticks me off how some girls make a big fuss on social media when a zit breaks out on their foreheads or chins! May be all they’re trying to do is tell others that they too are imperfect but it’s definitely not sending the right message. And I’d like to just put this out there.
You don’t wish for the outside of an apple be like an orange’s, or that an SUV must have the body of a sedan! You were born to own the whole package that you are. Love yourself without limits. Don’t give up that confidence you had as a 3-year-old. Love to, dare to, and live to be you.