A very dear friend wrote about How fair is it? and i couldn’t stop myself asking myself that question! I know a couple of you might be thinking this post is about life being fair/unfair. Nope, sorry to disappoint you. This is about the changing views of the society on beauty.
The biggest untruth on earth is possibly the concept of ‘inner beauty’. All the lovelies competing in beauty pageants can scream their lungs out in defence of the ‘beauty within’, but it will never make a difference to the rest of the world. Possibly because at the end of the tirade, it is the woman with the maximum skin deep beauty who wins anyway until this year. Leila Lopes proved the world wrong, or I hope she did!
With each passing day, the definition of beauty seems to be becoming more shallow. The cosmetics industry has never had it better. Prices of beauty products are sky rocketing, but they still have the highest takers. The desperate efforts of men and women all over the world to look better has never been well, more desperate. And I seem to be getting entangled in the vicious web of beauty as well.
Till recently, I lived in a utopian world where I believed that it is your character that matters the most. Integrity, principles, values… there were a whole list of things I considered much more important than having that flawless skin and the right nose. But as fast as baby oil removes makeup (yep, ignorant souls, note that down) I find myself sinking into a new misery- the misery of looking beautiful. It is really quite a quandary- whether to believe in my virtuous, moral world and escape harsh reality, or to resign myself to the materialistic, greedy side and throw myself at the mercy of cosmetics.Ugh!
By living in my own sweet world, I would probably be a lot happier. I would not have to bother about color combinations, the advantages of horizontal versus vertical stripes (horizontal make you look fatter, fyi), fairness creams, anti cellulite creams (endorsed by dear Malaika Arora Khan who herself went in for liposuction) and the other one million things that go hand in hand with looking good. After deep deliberation and calculation, I came to the conclusion that a ‘good daily skin care regimen’ would take about 25 hours. So instead of spending all my time in front of the mirror, I could actually sleep, eat and work on other things that interest me. If I dare chose to thwart the bewitching Goddess of Beauty that is.
On the other hand, by forsaking beauty, I would be risking the taunts of everyone. In every way, looking good is most important. From your career to your relationships, everything hinges on how you look and how you carry yourself. Yes, there are plenty of people out there who say that it is not what you wear, but how you carry it off that matters, but trust me- wearing that garbage bag and making it look like designer wear is NOT simple. (Of course, if Rohit Bal / Vikram Phadnis endorses it, it could be the next fashion statement) and there is a population as such who say they are not bothered about how someone looks but only bothered about how they are as humans?! ya right!!
And hence, my other choice would seem a more correct one. Subject yourself to all the cosmetics possible. Buy out Maybelline. But not only will this make you bankrupt (you can take this from me without any doubt), you will end up spending hours together trying to look nice only to have it all wiped off within minutes (lip stick does NOT stay when you are eating. It gets stuck on the glass, on the napkin… everywhere. There is some solution to this, but I haven’t looked it up yet. So till then, my dates will have to suffer from seeing all the dinnerware I use rather pink)
Now, the best solution, of course, would be to find that balance. Believe in all those things you consider important, but indulge in a certain amount of self beautification. But that would mean something along the lines of campaigning for PETA even though you are a very strict non vegetarian- pretty meaningless. How can you say that you do not care what other people think when you are dying to know if blue eyeshadow suits you or not? How can you say you live life on your own terms when you are watching every episode of MTV Style Check in the hope that they will acknowledge the existence of size L and above??
So where, oh where do I draw the line? I cannot forsake my weekends rest-a-thon to go shopping for LOreal’s glamshine lip gloss. And I cannot work on my skin any longer. I am sick of sitting around with foul smelling egg masks that tighten your face so much you cannot smile. And using a million creams that end up recoloring only my pillow and not my face. Why take so much pains only to find that the hot guy you are staring at is checking out the silly chick next to you anyway? (yeah, she must have used the egg face mask) Wouldn’t it be a lot easier if everyone did not use any makeup and walked around with spotted faces and hairy arms?? Sigh. I did say I live in utopia. I shall retire there in a few moments. Or I shall just put a call through to a plastic surgeon. If tomorrow I put up a picture and you do not recognise it, you know which choice I made.