By Itisha Nagar, PhD:
Disclaimer: The article is a satirical piece on women, mental health, and the cosmetic industry.
It is one of the better Sunday mornings, as I settle down with a hot cup of tea, my dog by my side, and I spread open the newspaper. Although news these days is hardly distinguishable from the weekly Sunday gossip magazine, still I lunge at the magazine first.
I savour the cover story on Bollywood’s topmost actress’s life and struggles, only to land on this advertisement about ‘natural hair colour.‘ The hair colour in question is ‘ayurvedic’, ‘gentle’ and ‘extra safe’, backed by ‘cutting edge science’, and ‘recommended by doctors’. ‘Indus Valley: Ayurveda since 2500 BC’ they called it, because why not?
Apparently, the Indus valley civilization had been working on ‘cutting edge’ hair technology to discover a magical women’s hair-colour, that can also “change their worth”. They missed this part out in our history textbooks, I thought. Hmmm….stupid libtards. The coolest civilization on this planet, I can almost imagine.
It’s a Sunday; people in the Indus valley have come together at the Great Bath, at Mohenjo-Daro to apply the magical hair-colour. First, they ritually separate their hair into four sections, then they begin to apply the sacred colour at the roots, combing through the rest of the hair event, finally applying a shower cap. All of them lie down for the colour to spread from their hair to the scalp to their brain, their eyes closed, waiting for eternal self-worth to seep through their minds and bodies and then BAM!!!! An asteroid they failed to see hits the unfortunate geniuses. You see, this is how the great Indus Valley Civilization dye-ed (pun not intended).
2500 hundred years later, it’s a typical Sunday afternoon, in a household in the Indian civilization. The father is sitting reading the newspaper, while the mother is in the kitchen, and the children are hooked onto the afternoon matinee.
A dark-skinned, under-confident and an insecure woman walks into our lives through our TV screens. The poor woman is unable to get married, so naturally, her family is frustrated. She looks like she’s in dire need of anti-depressants when someone presents her something even better, a ‘fair and lovely’ cream. The advertisement then goes on to show her radical transformation. Not only does she become several shades lighter, but she also emerges as a successful, confident, and self-assured woman who now has a higher social status in the (arranged) marriage market. All because of her “whiteness.” The advertisement ends with her clinching a desirable marriage proposal (or a job proposal in the more recent ads); the camera zooms in on her “fair” and happy face. The message implied is: “Fair is lovely and dark is ugly, change your face cream and be worthy.”
But how does one create self-worth in a woman, who let’s say, is a fair damsel, not in distress? Worry not; there are all kinds of products for all kinds of deficiencies that can be created in girls and women.
We have fairer skin for tanned skins, tanned skin for fairer skins, darker hair-colour for lighter hair, lighter hair-colour for darker hair, tummy tuck for excess fat and breast enhancement for deficit fat. We also have hair removal and hair implants, make up for those who don’t want the natural look, and natural make up, for those who don’t want to look too made up.
But if you’re the “smarter” lot who goes for the ‘doctor recommended products’ only, how about doctor prescribed intimate hygiene products for the self-cleaning vagina? If all that fails, hymenoplasty for hymen regrowth is bound to leave you feeling young and worthy. As we said, we have products for all kinds of ‘deficits’.
Women, don’t you know if you felt too good, it wouldn’t be good for the economy. The market profits from self-doubt and plummets from self-worth. The economy wants you to feel like a lesser being, but wait, only so that capitalism can swoop in and save you from a fate worse than death: being ugly and unworthy.
So no, don’t listen to this. It’s because of this mindset of the millennial feminist women, who do not buy their self-worth over the counter, that the economy has gone for a toss. Go, my dear, change your hair colour and change your worth. Uplift your self-worth, uplift the economy.