Most of you must have seen the new ad campaign of Dove that is doing its rounds on the internet. I remember watching it almost a fortnight ago when it was mentioned on an online magazine that I read with great interest. That online magazine just mentioned it as a must-watch video. I watched it, went numb for a few minutes and then I googled “Dove’s new video ad’ and read several articles. While many praised it for the strong message it conveyed, some lamented that the ad was not “entirely” positive.
I am not getting into this debate. I am just happy that some company, some beauty product making company is taking an initiative to change something ubiquitous.
“Whitening” products are the hottest selling thing in the beauty market these days. I used to buy them too because I thought I needed them. Obviously whitening products are to turn a dark complexion into a lighter one and since we “fair is beautiful,” dusky women like me need them.
Research says only 4 percent of the women in the world consider themselves beautiful. Sad but true. We may harp about how beauty is always skin deep and beauty pageants winners say things like ‘its about being comfortable’, ‘beauty is inner beauty’ and other such cliches. But the truth remains that we all, WE ALL have our own preconceived notions about beauty.
We all want to look good, in our own ways. For example, I want to reduce weight inspired by my working sister who has a son as old as Pahal, but she looks like a 23-year-old girl. She, instead, wants to exchange her thin, brown hair with my hair. My best friend thinks (and I agree) that she is too thin while my second best friend wishes she were a little tall.
Men have this feeling too. I have often heard my hubby talking to his friends on fitness, bulging paunch, receding hairline, dole-shole and capacity to bear physical exertion. The only difference I see is that while men worry about macro things, we women sulk over micro things – complexion, hair, thin lips, fat nose, double chin or even cuticles!
Why do we all worry about these so much? Wherever I go, I generally receive compliments on my hair or my facial features and even my smile at times. When I was in Netherlands, once I and my friend decided to get a haircut in a salon in Brussels. We were in a group of about eight people. I wanted to try out an “European” salon, but then my male friends (a Spanish and a French) didn’t let me. They showered me with some of the best compliments on my hair and asked me to not even ‘think’ of a getting a scissor anywhere close to my hair.
Still whenever I look at Rati’s hair, I feel I wish I had hair like hers. Because even though my hair is longer than hers, she has thick hair while mine is thin and wavy. This may be a simple case of “grass is greener on the other side” and the problem with beauty is that there is very less you can change about it. It comes with birth and while it can get worse with any accident or reaction, it hardly changes for the better 😛
So it is for the benefit of everyone that we accept ourselves how we are. Beauty does not any boundaries, any starting point or any metric. It is all created by us and marketed heavily by the companies.
If for once these companies decide to hire the dusky, short or plump models for their ads, I am sure half of the battle is won. But then, why do we even have to wait for the companies to begin it. We should not live our lives on their terms. Should we? NO.
So, we have to start the journey ourselves. It begins with one small step – self belief.
I know how my perception about my own self has drastically changed because of this one small thing. Through out my childhood, I heard people commenting upon my complexion. While it bothered me and my confidence on my beauty stooped low, I never lost the confidence as a woman. Why? Because the most handsome man of my life called me very pretty. It was my dad.
I believed him for everything he said about anything in the world and so when he would tell me that he finds me very beautiful, I believed him here as well. He never told me I was fair or fair complexion is beautiful, he would just say “you are so beautiful and your simplicity makes you even more beautiful!”
Then I got married. My husband, just like my dad, finds me very pretty. He says some of the finest things about my looks and that has affected me positively. I now believe I am beautiful. For a few year, I got on to ‘spotless-face’, ‘whitening creams’ etc but now I am back to a simple moisturizer. I do not need anything more.
I am sure we all have someone in our lives who finds us lot better than the rest of the world but we often ignore that and pay more attention to those who criticise us either silently or loudly. This is what that needs to be changed.
If you have to believe about yourself, believe the best things said to you by the best of the people in your life, and you would soon feel that you are more beautiful than you think.
Some of you may find this post irrelevant or think of it as my personal story or may have your own opinions, which I totally respect and I am open for brick bats. 🙂 but I knew I had to write it here on IMBB.
When it comes to things like beauty, I trust IMBB more than anything else. And like Sanjeevji said yesterday, IMBB does change things. So, I thought if I have to write anything like this, it would be only on IMBB.
To all the beauties out there reading this –
We all are beautiful in our own ways, because God never makes mistakes! 🙂
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