Wanting to Be Like Ash
my whole life envying pretty women. My envy is so strong that
when I look at Aishwarya Rai's perfect heart-shaped face with
its tiny nose and beautiful blue eyes, I get the urge to run
out to the nearest plastic surgeon and beg for a free nose
job. Sounds pretty funny right? I know all of you are reclining
on your comfortable chairs sipping your Friday morning cha
or coffee and smiling right about now, but it's true! Shameful,
is shocked by my behaviour. She says that I should be proud
of who I am, that I have too much education to let some "Bollywood
plastic" make me feel like I am not enough. That's how
pathetic I am -- someone from generation "dinosaurs"
is giving me lessons on feminism. But it is not just me who
feels this way. There are women all over the world that feel
the same way I do, falling prey to the pressures of having
the perfect image: the right clothes, the right walk, the
perfect body and a beautiful face. I am not saying that every
woman is as silly as I am -- meaning not everyone wants to
get a face-change every time Aishwarya pops up onscreen. What
I am saying is that most women are in some way, not completely
satisfied with the way they look and therefore are not always
as confident with themselves as they should be.
a pain to be a girl, unless you can move past all those stereotype-laden
pressures and say, "I don't care because I would rather
look like myself than look like a model." And let's be
honest, how many people can actually say that? If we were
all given a choice, how many of us would actually not fix
at least one thing about our physical appearance? Anyone who
says that they wouldn't change anything is either in denial
or has a major superiority complex.
is not that we want to change certain things about our appearance.
Everyone has something or another that they want to improve
on. The problem with many women lies in the fact that we don't
just stop at that one flaw. We want to be perfect, make better,
fix until we are in fact, the best of the best -- or at least
that is what all my male friends say when I tell them about
my urges to visit the plastic surgeon. They tell me that the
biggest problem with women is that they always want what they
can't have, and always want to be better than everyone else.
They insist that this need to be as pretty as Aishwarya Rai
is a cry for attention. Perhaps they have a point. You very
rarely see a man who wants to re-arrange a perfectly decent
face, just to look like someone they are not, or aim to look
like Brad Pitt (but don't we wish they did!).
to think that men were the reason that women have these insecurities.
But I realised recently that it's not just men -- it is us.
It is our lack of confidence and innate habit of comparing
ourselves with the person sitting beside us. Did you ever
notice that when a beautiful woman walks into a room, every
other woman automatically checks herself out to make sure
that she, too, is looking her utmost best? I know I do.
help when someone makes a comment like "everyone is unique
in his or her own way," or "not everyone has everything."
It is in no way comforting because in the world we live in,
looks do matter. Pretending otherwise is like living in a
fantasy. At the same time, it is important to recognise that
the minute we stop looking to others for self-fulfilment and
assurance, we will find it within ourselves.
the next time that annoyingly beautiful woman who always has
her sari elegantly wrapped around her perfect body, walks
into the room, do none of the following: a) look down at yourself
to see what she has that you don't b) scrutinise her to find
something wrong with her or c) look around to find someone
else that is less fortunate than you are in order to make
you feel better about yourself.
Smile and know for you how good you look. When you look in
the mirror, tell yourself that you're good enough just the
way you are. Beauty is, after all, in the eyes of the beholder.
Meanwhile let me work on my "wanna-be Aishwarya"
(R) thedailystar.net 2004