Who am I ?
How do I perceive myself?
Young, beautiful, bold, confident, and pretty.
That’s what I think I am.
What does society think of my perceived beauty?
It said hold on young lady you have spectacles, you have curly hair and YOU ARE FAT oh gosh. YOU ARE UGLY. You don’t deserve to be tagged to be’’ beautiful.’’
When young minds go through these societal stereotypes of fair and lovely, skinny and beautiful, and when bollywood shows us the perfect zero figure models walking down the ramp of a fashion show. The young minds think this is what beautiful looks like.
We see advertisement on the TV everyday of Fair and lovely, telecommunications selling sona belts and the fact that the role of women is confined to just making sure that the plates are clean enough to be used as mirrors. The irony is this is what our kids are learning too.
There is an incident I would like to share. As a teacher I went in a class and students happened to be dressed in sarees as it was a traditional day or something. I went in the class and complimented everyone for looking gorgeous and the fact that they all looked lovely. The class ended and a girl walked up to me, a 17 year old to be precise. She said’’ ma’am you really think I am beautiful ? because my parents feel I am too dark and maybe I would not get a good husband’’
I was amazed by the fact on how can parents push or blame their children for the skin type they have? I told her eventually that you should marry someone who likes you for who you are and respects you.
I believed that maybe this problem pertained to smaller cities but who was I fooling open a newspaper and go to a column of matrimonial section it will give you a certain image of a stereotypical ‘’wife’’
‘’ Needed a 24 year old fair thin and a graduate girl for our 27 year old doctor son earning 5 lakhs every month’’
I had no knowledge about how deep these stereotypes were until I started interacting with the kids in my school. I was shocked to know that half of my students believed in having a stringent rajput customs. They were shocked to know that I did not to how to cook or I was unaware about many customs and traditions and that I was allowed to openly voice out my disregard for the few.
Considering my opinions of customs and traditions I respect and follow those customs which give me respect in return well those which disregard or objectify or control me I do not follow them. Which makes me look ’’unsanskari’’ kind. The kind every guy should probably stay away from and I have heard many elders of mine telling me ‘’ behave like a girl’’ ‘’ stop wearing jeans’’ ‘’ do not apply lipstick’’ ‘’ grow your hair’’ ‘’ sit like a girl’’ etc.
Well to be honest women have been fighting all their lives. For their rights, for education , or their freedom. But the real question is. Are we there yet? How further we need to fight to ensure equality, respect and love. How far can I walk alone on street ? How many vehicles need to be pasted with ‘’ Jai Mataji’’ to deserve respect and avoid eve teasing. Till when do Ihave to mute my opinions when I see aunties character assassinating girls who are confident and well spoken.
TILL WHEN? Is the real question to be thought on.