Recently, I came across a video by Nandita Das and many other actors depicting the obsession with fairness in our country. It felt good that at least people are trying to break this obsession, but deep down we all know that it will take ages to change this mindset.
Now, let’s come to one more issue that I have personally faced, shaming the short and the chubby. Yes..I have faced it a lot, in my growing up years. A society where there are set standards of beauty generally looks down up someone, especially girls, who don’t fit in that bracket.
Just take a look around. All the beauty pageants want the contestants to be of a certain height, clear/fair complexion, slim figure. Same is the case with air hostess selection or even in the “marriage market.” Someone who fits in this standard of beauty has also an upper hand in school plays, jobs, and sometimes even in friendships.
Now who will decide what’s beautiful? When someone tells me “Thank God your kids have taken after their dad and are tall” it makes me ponder, “Is being short a crime?” I have myself faced so much of flak for being chubby that I had promised myself that I will never allow my children to face this flak. Of course, I wanted them to be fit and be active, but more than that I did not want them to be ridiculed socially or be made fun of.
It took me years to be happy in my own skin, to be confident. But somewhere the childhood scars still remain deep down. It’s very important that the families teach their kids to be confident in their own skin and love themselves the way they are rather than trying to make them fairer, taller or prettier. Also, adults themselves should stop commenting and obsessing about all the so-called stereotypes of beauty and pass this trait to their children.
As I always remark, “It seems the mannequins in the shops weren’t designed for people like us.” Let the concept and notion of beauty change. It’s high time..