Monday, January 03, 2005

Dear God, Please make me beautiful...(A feminine version)

One day, three women met up in a coffee bar in downtown Mumbai to catch up on old times.
Shona. Successful ad professional. Monica. Fast tracker in an MNC bank. Ana. Professor of Management in a leading Business school. All of them married. All of them leaders in their own right. Role models among their peers.
So what were the three chatting about?

" I am now on a GM diet. The Atkins didn't work for me. Sanjeev says he loves me the way I am… but you know how it is…”

"There is this young lecturer … a Ms. Perfect 10 who has just joined our department… and the Head of the Department seems to be completely bowled over…just my luck…”

"You know, for all my success, my mother-in-law still looks at me quizzically when I wear a pink saree… she thinks I look three shades darker…”

"I never ever get the size I want in any of the boutiques”

Maybe some will read this and say that they never had such qualms. Maybe they can say that because: They do not suffer from the "disadvantages” of dark skin, overweight bodies or, maybe they have reached that highly evolved state of self actualization where it really does not matter . Not anymore.

So what if a nubile nymphet with that drop dead gorgeous look was the one who got to compere the Annual Office Christmas party? And was also coincidentally the one who was on the dance floor till the wee hours of the morning. Dancing with "the boys” and not doing a "jam session” like most others.

For the rest, we do feel bad. For others, beauty seems to be have become a compulsion and not just a choice. They do spend that extra few minutes in the ladies room wishing they had sculpted bodies, (read anorexic) and fair skin. And a pair of really long legs to carry off the short leather skirt. Their self-esteem does go down a few notches.

It is forgotten that everyone has their own beautiful qualities. When their husbands and boyfriends tell them – "I love you the way you look”, they often feel worse. What is "the way you look”? "Doesn't it imply that I don't look conventionally beautiful?” They start reading everything with coloured lenses.

Society, of course, endorses these 'ideals' of beauty in full force. 'Beauty brands' would beeline to get beauty queens as endorsers. In the process, the myth that "no beauty of the face can show the beauty of the inner grace” – that they had been brought up to believe as young girls – bursts into smitherens. Today, a beautiful face and body brings with it grace, money, fame… and recognition.

Maybe this explains why an Aishwarya ends up with most beauty endorsements and not a certain Sushmita, who happened to be crowned Miss Universe that same year. The coveted title of the most beautiful woman in the universe. Who also happens to be a single mother, great spokeswoman and who has a very charming personality.

So we come back to the three ladies in the coffee bar, who feel worse as the minutes drag by. Every girl that passes by the tinted glass windows of the coffee bar seem to be years younger, wearing shades brighter and breathtakingly beautiful.
Suddenly the chocolate sundae seems to be swimming with fatty cream, calories seems to be floating on the coffee.

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