“She’s kind of funny-looking. Her face is out of balance- broad forehead, button nose, freckled cheeks and pointy ears. A slammed-together, rough sort of face you can’t ignore…. For all I know she’s not so wild about her look herself, but seems comfortable with who she is, and that’s the important thing,” famously quotes the Japenese author and world sensation Haruki Murakami in his best-seller ‘Kafka On The Shore’.
As I get to reading this very part of the novel in a crowded train, I look around. A regular sight- women waiting to get seats, others on call or gossiping about their offices or husbands. There is nothing unusual in their sight except that I wonder why is it that suddenly, just before wanting to get down from the train, so many women turn to their purses. Right before the last station, I see a lot of women fixing their hair or wearing make-up. Nothing unusual, right? But why is it that looks seem to take such predominance in our lives?
Outer appearance could always be something that you yearn for. There is nothing so wrong about wanting to look pretty or even being this best-looking girl or guy in a crowd of hundreds. But the question is- at who’s cost and why? Your want to look beautiful could be for your own self. But if the only reason that you want to look good is to please someone other than you- let me tell you, it’s futile.
A lot of times, when you are in a relationship, you end up committing to the person on almost all levels- emotionally, physically and rationally. You don’t see the lines blurring between what is personal space and relationship space. Right from sharing your passwords to contacts, everything seems like ‘US’ things. But remember, it is not. There’s a personal space which cannot be neglected.
As someone who is in early-20’s, I understand where this is stemming from. Is it the looks that rule your relationships or simply the way your peers talk about someone in terms of looks- Each of these have an impact on us and our relationship.
Your reason to put make- up can be anything and must be everything but to please someone.
The pressures of looking good
As a woman, I understand that years of conditioning to look, love and laugh in a certain way is difficult to un-learn. But aren’t we evolving each day?
For a man too, the pressures of looking a certain way or dress or sound or behave a certain way can get taxing. That’s why we say it’s best to keep quiet and enjoy the fun of becoming.
Love the person you are, love your skin and face and everything that has gone through years of hatred. Here are a few ways to love yourself:
- Mirror it up: I grew up not having a full-size mirror at home (yes, still don’t have one!). But I know how important it is to be able to stand in front of the mirror and admire the beauty of self. Make sure to look into your eyes every once in a while and thank yourself for the beauty.
- Accept: Whether it is the excess hair on your face, the ingrown hair in your underarms, stretch marks in your tummy or the beer belly you have- accept it. Humans were made a certain way for a reason. Each of us is unique and that needs to be appreciated.
- Treat yourself: Every weekend, make sure to spend some time with yourself. Maybe you could walk in your building terrace, make yourself that favourite sandwich or maybe just go to a library and appreciate the choices you make. Do you like to read books in an age where others Netflix and chill? No problem, that’s your way of treating yourself well. The end point is, feed yourself with what you like.
- Appreciate beauty: That excess hair on your friend’s hand or the fat nose of a neighbor shouldn’t disturb you unnecessarily and remember, you ain’t here to judge anyone. Appreciate what you like in others, and ignore what you do not.
- Talk about it more: Don’t like your flat feet or the fallen arches? Talk about it more! Talk to your friends about how and why you think another kind of feet will seem better. Discussing these will help you learn that others don’t really judge you in that sense. In fact, you will soon realize that the way you seem to think about yourself is completely false!
An experiment by a famous beauty brand revealed that most people describe themselves in a negative light due to their internal fears or disgust for the way they look. For all you know, that ‘thunder thigh’ you loathe may be the most distinguishing part of your body!