Friday, February 18, 2011

Fashion Beauty Friend Friday
you aren't beautiful? it's okay!

I wanted to write a post about the entire "You Are Beautiful" thing for a while. I also found Franca's post on it and my opinion is also along the same lines. And finally, thanks to Katy Rose's this week's FBFF questions, I am prompted to write about this.

Many of you may think I am insensitive or something. Perhaps because I am not Caucasian and I may not be under much pressure to be skinny. But my body has been under scrutiny for a while and I have had body image issues during my early teen years. I am Indian and I'll tell you a little about Indian standards of beauty. Indians are basically obsessed with fairness. In advertisements, young dark women are shown to be losers who transform into overnight sensations after using a fairness cream. I have never understood this mania. And discrimination based on skin colour gets on my nerves. Just so you know, I am very fair. Besides this, the pressure to be thin also very much exists. So the scenario is not very different. India is catching up.

All I can say is, amidst such pressure to be physically attractive and ideally beautiful (re: unattainable beauty which doesn't exist), do you really need a "You Are Beautiful" campaign? Doesn't it reinforce the need to be beautiful and only beautiful? What does beauty mean, anyway? The fact is the term beauty is referred mostly with regards to person's physique. And let's face it. Every woman is not beautiful. Some are outwardly beautiful, some are inwardly beautiful, some are beautiful both inside and outside and some aren't beautiful in anyway or just selectively beautiful. I agree with Franca's definition of beauty: is something extraordinary. It's different from prettiness and attractiveness, or maybe its the pinnacle of prettiness and attractiveness. Different people and different cultures have different conceptions of what is beautiful, but to describe somebody as beautiful or as 'a beauty' highlights them as very special, and different from other, most, people. Not everyone can be beautiful, just as everyone cannot be top of the class. Beauty is, almost by definition, exclusive.
And you know what? Beauty is not important. Beauty is just an admirable, appreciated thing, that's all. Beauty doesn't define worth. And beauty isn't permanent. So why waste time fussing over it?

And that's about it. I hope people get this point. Now read my FBFF answers!

1. Since you started blogging has your image of yourself changed?
Certainly. I started blogging when I was 17. Well, my body image issues were pretty much gone by then. I was most insecure at the age of 13. I wasn't very attractive to the opposite sex back then and in high school a person's hot quotient pretty much defines his/her status. Maximum pressure is of course, on girls. I was also made fun of my looks. I was particularly ashamed of my fat nose. I'll admit, it affected me a lot. So much that if given an opportunity then, I might have undergone plastic surgery. But that was temporary. I was majorly a happy-go-lucky kid and I learnt to deal with it. Eventually, everything stopped affecting me. I didn't give a damn whether I got attention from boys or not. But I still kind of thought of myself as unattractive. The good thing was I accepted it. I just wanted to be that way. I didn't yearn for a fairy godmother anymore to shrink my nose. But when I discovered the internet and started writing, I gained a lot of knowledge. I mean, generally. I no longer think of myself as unattractive. But neither am I building castles in the air. I am not conceited or living under an impression that I possess goddess-like beauty and every man on earth should fancy me.

2. Are you self-conscious about any aspect of yourself? If so, do you go out of your way to avoid it or do you post it/talk about it anyway?
Haha..I have talked quite a lot of about my nose. And I make fun of it, myself. I give names like "capsicum nose" etc. But no, I am not self-conscious about it. I have learnt that the easiest way to stop people from laughing at you is to start laughing at yourself. That's why I ridicule the "You Are Beautiful" campaign. Why should beauty be taken so seriously? Why is beauty so compulsory that we have assure other women constantly that they are beautiful? I think people to strive to develop a fabulous personality. Anyone with a good personality is automatically attractive. It's a universal rule.

3. Based on how you are feeling now, what do you think the future holds in the evolution of your body image?
I don't know what to answer. I think I'm pretty much evolved already! But we all, especially women are inherently quite insecure regarding their looks. For men, their worth in the world is conventionally judged by wealth and for women, by their physical attractiveness. So instinctively and without realising it, we may feel momentarily insecure about our looks. It happens with me too. And it will keep happening in the future. I won't take it seriously, that's all.

4. Do you photograph yourself for your blog? If so, how do you feel about the experience when you're having your picture taken? If you choose not to post pictures of yourself, what prompted that decision?
I have so far not posted any pictures of myself in any of my blogs. That's because I'm perennially lazy to take time and click pictures of myself for outfit posts. However, I do post my pictures on Facebook.

5. What would you want every person who struggles with body image to take to heart?
Being physically beautiful is not the be all and end all of life. It's just a phase, deal with it and forget about it.

1 comment:

Mrs Bossa said...

It's interesting to read that your body issues were over by the time you hit 18 - I was blissfully unaware at that stage of my life (and that despite being a redhead!) It's actually affected me more as I've got older, partly because of comments that have been made, which have shocked me into realising people 'notice' things. As you say, I need to 'deal with it and let it go' - any day now... ;)