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I come from a line of beautiful, gorgeous women who look like a million bucks all the time, and when I say this, I am not exaggerating.
Me, on the other hand, I don’t look like that.
In fact, I always need something done, like color my hair, get rid of hair, some acne; at times either I am too thin or get a little pudgy around the corners. My hair is almost never in place. Well, there are days when I clean up well, but mostly, I forget, or to be honest, I don’t care enough.
It makes the women around me uncomfortable, and it brings upon endless comments and instructions about each and every element of my look from both women and men around me. It didn’t generally affect me till my nine-year-old niece started doing it. It woke me up.
It made me wonder: are we being taught the right things? Are we telling women that looking good all the time is a mandate? And what if at times they cannot?
Why should we not do this?
1. Life happens.
Sometimes we cannot look good or our best. We are mourning something like a relationship or we have just made a new life and our body is recovering. We could be going through a tough phase, or we are really trying to find meaning or purpose to our life. Do I care how my hair is looking at that time? No, and neither should you. In my case, I was discovering my ancestral karma and trying to fix it, and trying to teach a zillion other people about it. It is tough to do that, and people want me to do it while looking like a celebrity. Sometimes looking good is not a priority and it is alright.
2. Balance of outer and inner beauty.
Teaching your child only about outer beauty is wrong. I am not saying you should not teach them basic hygiene or don’t teach them to brush their hair. But teach them about inner beauty and values. Can you stay with an absolutely gorgeous person who is devoid of kindness for long? They will start looking ugly to you real soon. But if you live with a kind person, they start to grow on you. I cannot agree more with my all-time favorite author, Roald Dahl when he says, “If you have good thoughts, they will shine out of your face like sunbeams, and you will always look lovely.”
3. Beauty cannot bring you love; love can bring you beauty.
Stop telling anyone to look a certain way to attract love. When someone loves you, you always look lovely to them however you look. Like a mother is always the most beautiful to her child as there is unconditional love there. So, by looking extra, you will only attract an extra-shallow person, not love. I am not against looking good; do it for yourself if you wish to. Makeovers help you find someone because it changes your own value in your eyes. I am a sucker for transformations, but inner transformations top outer any day.
4. Prioritize your life as per your goals.
Looking perfect all the time is time-consuming and expensive. That is one of the reasons I am not able to do it, as I like to learn other things and I have meditation, writing, making money, and other zillions of things to do. Every day I don’t have the time. If you have it great, go for it. But I would recommend that trying to look perfect is mostly in vain and people are never pleased, so instead do other things and enjoy different phases of your life. And there will still be days when you can look absolutely gorgeous, and all that money you save, you can use it to travel. I do.
5. Making your own decisions.
I do not like to follow the implicit beauty standards that are in place. Like I have wavy hair and women are always after them. They want me to straighten my hair, like make a decision about my body. It is a small thing, but if I let them, then they would want to make decisions about my life too. It’s really important to make your own decisions, even related to your looks, as it can lead to bigger things in life. Trust me, don’t go down that rabbit hole of trying to please others with how you look and behave.
6. We need to talk about things other than our bodies.
When you meet a friend after a long time, take note of what you say to them. It is so deeply ingrained in us, even I do it. We talk about their weight or point out their beauty flaws, or at our least bad, we compliment them about a physical feature. This has got to stop ladies (and gents). Please ask them about their hopes, goals, aspirations, issues—what are they trying to overcome in life? Ask about what is making their eyes twinkle so much. Be nice to each other; we all have mirrors and already know our flaws. Someone might be struggling with theirs.
7. We need to stop comparing and start getting inspired.
Love the way someone is handling herself or glowing crazily. Ask them how they do it, and start doing some of it. Don’t compare yourself to them and drown in self-hate. If you want something, go after it. Self-love takes you much farther and it’s easier frankly. Also, ask yourself again if what you going after is really what you wish for. Don’t get carried away because another is looking good while doing it. I feel once we stop comparing with each other in general, we start looking better as we realize our own good features and we can highlight them. Still, inspiration is good.
I can say a lot about this, but if instead of chasing after impossible beauty standards, you chase your dreams, it will make you much happier and richer in the long run.
I feel by engaging in this always looking good always business, where we run after this mirage constantly but are still dissatisfied, we lose sight of important things, and also, we fail to enjoy some really important phases of our lives.
After all, beauty lies in the journey, not the destination.
PS. I live in India and I have never threaded my eyebrows; if I can handle that pressure, so can you.