Mangalore, March 28, 2010
One of the frequently discussed topics among humans is that of looks or appearance. Majority of people give prime importance to beauty. It is considered as an asset. The innumerable number of beauty products in the market are true indicators of how much the people are obsessed with beauty.
Recently I came across a totally shocking news of a British school girl who committed suicide after being called ‘Ugly’ by her classmates. They had suggested her to take part in the Word’s Ugliest People’s Contest. Unable to bear the insult the girl hanged herself. The emotionally shattered mother of the girl said, “My daughter was not at all ugly. For me she is the most beautiful girl on earth”.
I initially felt how the girl could take such an extreme step for such a trivial reason, according to me. But after some deep thought I realized it must have been too hard for her to accept such harsh comments from her own classmates.
It is certainly true that negative comments on looks or appearance lowers the self-esteem of people. They tend to develop an inferiority complex and gradually lose their sense of self-identity, excluding some lighthearted people who may not get too affected by such remarks. Lot of people do feel a sense of low though they may not express it openly.
People have a very unrealistic idea about beauty. So much has been talked about it that it has almost become universal. The concept of beauty portrayed in media is largely responsible fore people’s notion about beauty.
People associate particular physical characteristics with beauty, glamour, style and sex appeal. Having a certain type of body affects how people interact with you. Various studies indicate that people associate body type with everything from personality traits to occupation. These perceptions are common in both genders and they tend to develop early in childhood much like racial and gender stereotypes.
With the view to look like someone and develop certain body types many people resort to different types of methods. Extreme body image concerns often lead to eating disorders like Bulimia, Anorexia Nervosa and the like which can prove fatal.
Then there is a tendency of equating beauty with complexion. Fair complexion is generally considered as a boon. If so what about the concept of black beauty..? There are large number of black or dark complexioned people who are much more attractive than their fairer counterparts. Actually Indians are much more colour-conscious than Europeans. They usually have the habit of rebuking someone by pointing to his/her colour. Even when it comes to choice of girls during marriage most Indian men prefer fair girls. If you go through the matrimonial ads in newspapers you can see how much prominence is given to beauty and fair complexion.
Even the western outlook towards beauty has undergone change. The girls of African origin are emerging as winners of beauty contests. But sadly, colour discrimination still prevails in India to a large extent. People need to realize that blood that runs through our veins is of the same colour irrespective of religion, caste, sex and outer complexion. Even black hens lay white eggs.
I strongly feel that the word ‘Ugly’ should never be used in the context of describing someone’s looks or appearance. No person on earth is ugly. Each one has their own sense of beauty. It certainly lies in the eyes of the beholder. If one person does not find you good looking, someone else will surely do.
From my own experience I have learnt the fact that people’s behaviour also has an influence on our perception about their beauty. Most of the times we tend to find someone beautiful if we like them as a person. Similarly if we have an adverse feeling towards someone we may not find them good looking even if they actually are. Isn’t this true.?
So my point here is beauty lies within us. It is important to be self-contented about the way we look. “A mud pot having milk will be ranked higher than a golden pot having poison. It’s not our outer glamour but our inner virtues that make us valuable”.
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