While the video’s message of women finding self-worth through beauty can be construed as sexist (our worth can’t be reduced to mere beauty and looks), and it also has the token ‘fat’ woman that one can criticise it for, one also can’t deny that the loving and acceptance of one’s body remains a universal, daily struggle of probably every woman the world over.
Why do we always assume that violence is done to us by someone else and not that we do it to ourselves quite easily and then have a million explanations to justify why we do not eat, why we use Fair and Lovely face cream, why we spend hours in the gym under duress, and why we focus incessantly on how much one has gained or lost in kilos and not in a metaphysical sense?
“It’s fascinating Yasmina, but also scary how sex or sexualising something can be ignited from our need for beauty that probably stirs positive emotions that we consider beautiful, such as feeling pleasure. But you know as well, desiring what we think is beautiful can generate fluidity: I can never know what I am exactly. All I know is that I was with men, and I was with women, and all of them tickled something within me. “
It wasn’t that she had never heard of homosexuality; but, in her imagination, gay men and women were an exotic species, not real people who could, perchance, be fellow passengers on a bus, fellow shoppers at a mall, or a fellow beginner in a meditation class.
The First International Film Festival for Persons with Disabilities was recently organised by the Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment…
Waxing my body for the first time last year to have silky skin like the women on Veet’s box but ended up with rashes instead.
Each time I would look into the mirror, I would see the love handles bulging through my shirt and cringe inwardly. Mills and Boon had convinced me that my body was not loveable like that of the thin, beautiful protagonists, and thus, there would no knights coming for me on horses, now or later.
Like some perverted Pavlovian desire,
the wafting smell of fresh soap
that fills up the air in the bath
has my pupils dilate when walking out.
“I realised plus-size acceptance is neither a movement to eat whatever you want nor is it about placing restrictions,” Amina said. “It’s about being kind to your body and realising you are not defined by the size of your waist.”
An experimental haircut, trying on a new pair of earrings, a bright lip colour, or even wearing a skirt when your legs aren’t waxed and walking confidently down the street: these are revolutionary acts of self-care and self-love.
A woman can be more than something that just exists in a marital home, a woman can be more than just a beautiful body used as a mere decoration in the household. Isn’t it high time we talked about the problems of the terminology used to define beauty and the association of it with sexuality if Chughtai tried doing this in 1941?
Today I do not know whether I want to grow out my hair or keep it short; I am just trying to breathe and be in the moment. To enjoy the journey rather than worrying, and waiting for the destination!
My body houses my pain.
It lives in the wrinkles
below my eyes.
Medusa, oh so beautiful! radiating beauty, a mere reflection, of male gaze, curse, shame and monstrous. Controlled, yet untamed, beauty…