I am a brown-skinned girl. As I write this, somewhere in the corner of my mind, I am glad that I am brown and not a darker shade than that. Isn’t this because of the conventional beauty standards set by society?
As a child, I often heard people calling me and other words such as kali, moti, bhains, fatso, takli, haddi, giddi, light-house, etc. I never stood up for myself, thinking it was wrong to be any of it. I always wondered who set these beauty standards and why I couldn’t fit in them?
Whom do we blame for this act of sheer folly? Now when I sit back and think, it all started when my mom said, “Don’t play too much sports; you might injure yourself and it can leave a permanent scar on your body. Scars are ugly.” She told my brother, “Study well; only then you’ll get a fair and beautiful wife in future.”
It all went wrong when only fair boys and girls were asked to pose for the school brochure; when there was only one crayon depicting the colour of skin, whereas there were 9,65,872 shades.
Dissemination of these beauty standards starts from two prominent educational institutions of a person’s life: home and school. Why is it more important to be tall, fair and beautiful/handsome than bold, intelligent and confident?
It is necessary to teach our future generations that a person can be tall, fair, and lack character and a short, dark person can have some. The character and success of a person have nothing to do with their complexion or body structure. It is important to make our future generations understand that the concept of beauty is not just limited to looks. It is important to understand that beauty lies in sweating for our team to win the match, it is in the effort, helping the needy.
Beauty is not about the size of your clothes but the size of your heart; it lies in scars and imperfection. Being kind, empathetic, humble, helping, positive, honest, grateful, humane, caring, affectionate, etc. is what is going to make them truly beautiful because this world needs more of such people.
Whom we find beautiful is the reflection of our thoughts, morals and values, let’s not limit it to the colour and structure of the body. It is more important to think beautiful than look beautiful.