Dangerous Curves Ahead

The other day I came across something that really made me question the very concept that our society has been rooted upon:

What’s the greatest lesson a woman should learn?

Since day one, she’s already had everything she needs to be herself, it’s the world that convinced her she did not.

Somebody once rightly said, “Beauty is not in the face; beauty is a light in the heart.” Women have commonly been subjected to derision because they apparently don’t conform to particular standards of beauty.

I’d never realized the extent of this global issue until I recently stumbled upon some horrific statistics. Only 4% of women around the world consider themselves beautiful and about 72% of girls feel tremendous pressure to be beautiful.

It’s very common to find one of our friends starving themselves day and night to attain that body shape they had seen in the magazine yesterday, or little girls dreaming to become like one of their Barbie’s they love to dress up , or our own selves being ridiculously questioned for our colour, height, or body shape. In this case, we have ourselves to blame.

This ideology has given rise to countless other physical, psychological and mental issues. It’s shocking to see that about 9 in every 10 women and 7 in every 10 girls stop themselves from eating and put their health at risk. Not just this, some women gradually lose all their confidence and fall into the dark trap of depression, because of which about 9 in every 10 women and 7 in every 10 girls opt out of important life activities such as spending time with their friends and loved ones. Women also believe that unless they look pretty, their decisions and views will not be considered due to which about 50% of women are not assertive in their opinion and do not stick to their decisions.

I believe it’s how and where all of us have been brought up, that has hugely impacted our thoughts and beliefs. It’s important that every individual understands that no beauty shines brighter than that of a good heart. All our perceptions will only change when the root of this cause is diminished.

For example, the way our media portrays women as desirable only when they meet certain beauty requirements has to change and instead inspirational stories of people who have risen against these odds and proved themselves should be presented. Our celebrities who hold a tremendous amount of power and responsibility on their shoulders should stop endorsing face whitening creams, should instead start raising body positive campaigns instead. Our films that have since time immemorable rendered misogyny and unnatural beauty standards should aim to represent not the outward appearance of things but their inward significance.

Recently the crowning of our very own Manushi Chillar created a lot of buzz inside and outside the media. In between this entire buzz I came across the criteria required for an Indian woman to be eligible to take part in the Miss India beauty pageant. The eligibility criteria caught me a little off-guard. Among all the other requirements the criteria also mention that the candidate should have a height of at least  5’5″ (5 feet 5 inches). According to this, even an average Indian male might not get through these height requirements, whereas the average Indian female trails far behind this requirement being 5 feet tall. I strongly believe that standing tall has nothing to do with height and it’s the strength that counts. I think the entire concept behind pageants is a little twisted. Every human is desirable in their own way and our physical appearance that mainly arises due to what’s been deeply imbibed in our DNA is no parameter to judge one’s ideality. My face and my body are god given and the idea of restricting me because of something I’m not capable of changing is flawed.

A little while back, when I was reading the newspaper I came across some matrimonial advertisements. It’s a world of countless families looking specifically for “fair” and “slim” women as brides and “tall” and “handsome” men as grooms, commonly ignoring educational qualifications. I think these advertisements portray a very realistic approach to our society towards physical appearances.

I think its high time we change our thinking and unfasten this conjecture from all our minds that has been adamant to find its way out. It’s time we stop wasting our time measuring ourselves against impossible standards in lots of ways. We need to enlighten ourselves about how physical beauty comes in all shapes and sizes and how our reflection does not decide our worth. What matters is what’s inside us. Our strength, determination, and perseverance are what truly defines us and our appearance is merely a means to communicate what our soul cannot express in words. To all the wonderful people reading this,you’re all beautiful in your own unique ways, what’s left is to accept and know who you are. Eat because you love to, not because you’re depressed. Workout because you love your body, not because you hate it. It’s time we admire other’s beauty without questioning ours because imperfections are what make us all perfect. Remember, beauty starts in your mind, not in your mirror.

She’s the kind of queen that knows her crown isn’t on her head but in her soul.

Thank you 🙂

Sources:

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41 thoughts on “Dangerous Curves Ahead

  1. you are right. but I’ve seen many girls giggling and looking suspiciously at people who aren’t good looking. It isn’t like only girls are subjected to these parameters you are talking about.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. That’s right,and i’m sure they are part of the society i’ve talked about throughout my article.Yes,men are also subjected to such problems,however i think women are the ones being majorly affected and being a woman myself i think i understand the problems they go through everyday.I don’t think i will be able to do justice to men by mentioning the problems they go through.Thank you for commenting 😊

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  2. Very well crafted thoughts duly backed-up by statistics on the highly contemporary & contiguous concept of beauty & womanhood… breaking & debunking the myths and tge archaic barriers created by few individuals who still carry the Victorian standards of measuring a woman’s beauty.. Well done Saanchi

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Wonderfully crafted and very well articu lated thoughts carved out of highly contemporary & cantagious myths afflicting the very concept of beauty & womanhood and systematically debunking them… Well done Sanchi…

    Liked by 2 people

  4. Thank you for commenting sir, I really appreciate it.However,i would like to put through some things as well.It’s true that girls are now looking up to various successful women for inspiration,we cannot also deny the fact that the same extraordinary woman who’s internally determined , fall’s prey to societal pressure as soon as she enters into the world.A few days ago, our very own Mithali raj, was extensively trolled for her fashion and the clothes she chose to wear in public.Talking about beauty pageants,it’s true that talent and zeal play a very important part,however as i’ve already mentioned ,if a majority of us are restricted to even take part in these pageants just because we fall back on the physical requirements that are purely genetic,then the entire foundation these competitions are based on is flawed. I believe that beauty lies in the eye of the beholder and that nobody has the right to judge someone based on their any parameter of outwardly appearance.

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    1. Very rightly said Sanchi. Whatever you said is absolute fact.
      Let’s move forward accepting two thing..1. These things are actually happening 2. World is changing.
      Age old mind set through out world shall never change over night
      But girls like you are breeze of change. You have to be positive to show light to others. Once your voice gets strengthen (which shall gradually happen) you all shall change the genetic concept of beauty. Best wishes.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Sanchi, your thoughts and articulation are truly impressive. Your ability to integrate statistics with creative thoughts and strong opinions makes it an interesting read. All the best.

    Liked by 2 people

  6. Sanchi i really appreciate your thoughts dear. When most girls of your age are trying their best to look like Barbie dolls by undergoing barbarious acts, you expressed different concerns about the same.

    Sanchi as long as people don’t stop giving importance to physical beauty, we find the markets filled with beauty creams and beauty parlours making bounty business.

    Yes physical beauty needs to be appreciated and acclaimed but that should not be Gender biased.

    Slowly people are changing, so is the society. Thanks to the efforts of Media, Celebrities ( few), Business Houses, common man. We are realising that Beauty is not only a concept related to physical appearance but also connected with mental agility.

    According to Murphy “Beauty has nothing to do with looks, it’s just a reflection of how we are as a person and how we make others feel about themselves”. I love this concept and just follow it

    Rest I go by the views expressed by Mr. Anil Kumar Choudhary. I felt it was very apt.

    Love you dear for taking up such topics and expressing it very boldly. 👍

    Liked by 1 person

  7. At the outset, congratulations Sanchi for the well conceived and well presented article.
    In this changing scenario, it is now established that beauty is not skin deep. Girls have various role models.Chanda Kochhar, Kiran Majumder Shaw, Indra Nooyi, Kiran Bedi, PV Sindhu, Saina, Sania, Mitali Raj, Jhulan Goswami, Deepika Kumari are just to name a few.
    Have you ever heard of relating their achievements with any beauty standards…all are considered beautiful.
    Infact success is the best beauty cream. This is true for Men also…are cricketers most handsome ones. But it’s success which we start perceiving them so.
    Yes, beauty pageant have certain requirements…let that be also. God has endowed us with variety of attributes. Let all attributes flourish. In beauty pageants also only those succeed who have inherent talent and zeal to carry them selves. In academics those who enjoy their curriculum succeed, in sports those who eat, drink and breath sports have their due share of success. Same is true for any philanthropist.
    So believe that world is beautiful and we all are. This belief shall change world. Have your share of success and be beautiful.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Dear sanchi,
    I really appreciate ur idea. But it’s not only the problem of women or girls. It is also the major problem or trouble for men. They are trying hard to impress but infallibly addicted to bad habits and also take some inaccurate steps. So, plzzz don’t gain any sympathy only for #GIRL.Be a wise and take it as a society problem.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’m not denying the fact that men have to go through the same problems,i’m sure they do too,but the problem has more specifically affected women,and being a woman myself i think i can portray our problems more effectively.I’m afraid i might not do justice to men regarding the problems they might face.Thank you for commenting.

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  9. Sanchi, over the years there has been immense transformation in the thought process and now what is more respected is the brain than beauty.
    To be feminine is a natural trait of the gender and even the guys are expected to be dressed properly , it is the inferiority complex of the gender to explore weird methods to stand out of the crowd , what is more important for everyone is to know how to carry themselves with dignity .
    Best

    Liked by 1 person

  10. This is such a well written post and I honestly think this issue is something one must resolve within themselves first, girls out their underestimate their capabilities solely based on how they look and its just sad that they think they are less than others just because they dont have that “perfect figure”. The constant need to fit into this society is just derogatory. We are more than our skin colour, height and weight and what meets the eye. Beauty fades but a beautiful soul and mind lasts and thats what you’ll be remembered for not how thin your waist is. Here’s to amazing article ❤

    Liked by 1 person

    1. thank you so much varnika! means a lot to me.I completely agree with you on the fact that women should first be confident in their own skins.And truly we are something way beyond our bodies,it’s our inner passion and power that matters. ❤️

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