Thursday, January 31, 2008

Veil of a different kind

The other day, I was watching a *makeover* reality show on tv (yes, I do such things when H is away and I can't sleep) and I thought it hideous how cosmetic enhancements are packaged in such shows as a solution to poor self-confidence, sinking romantic relationships & just unhappiness in general.

I won't say I'm opposed to cosmetic surgeries (a good friend of ours had a terrible road accident & I'm glad her face could be re-constructed). But I do have a certain disdain for the thought that one's physical appearance could be a source of unhappiness. While I worry quite often about how I look, its been just that -- a worry; never an unhappiness.

I guess the pressure to look a beauty-stereotype is much higher on the girls today than it was while I was growing up; and I'm glad it allowed me and my friends to appreciate our individuality. Yet, I wonder if I would've felt differently about cosmetic surgery if I was born with a giant hairy mole on my face :)

While in Dubai, I had written this post about my mixed feelings on the subject of women in veils. I couldn't help thinking of that post while watching the show. Maybe this is yet another case of social pressure forcing women into wearing this veil of a different kind.


kaya said...

Plastic surgery for tummy tucks is absolutely halal, I fully advocate it it. In fact I would put it right up there with life threatening surgeries. HAHHAHA!
No, but first of all, hello honey. How have you been.
The problem with modern science is , its like a snowball effect. Once they start they dont know when to start. Take the case of people who cant hv kids. From IVF to test tubes to cloning and what next?
Its such a desperate world out there, and people seem to be getting more and more beautiful and more and more lonelier.
If it was initially created to reconstruct post trauma, or birth defect, today it is equivalent to taking all those vitamins that had become a craze in the 70's. Its funny tho. No matter how young you look at 70, your organs inside are going to be that of a 70 year old, and when death comes calling, he doesnt give a shit about your 40DD.
To want to correct a abberation of nature is understandable to reinstate your self esteem,but to simply rectify what is not wrong to start with is a long troublesome journey.

Radha said...

Hello there! Haven't heard from you since the Justin concert. So I take it you've finally recovered? :))

Absolutely agree with you though about people getting more & more beautiful on the exterior but hollower on the inside.

And tummy tucks are the worst of the lot. I think narrow waistlines was a concept created by the devil himself!!

Jas Bhambra said...

It has a lot to do with social pressure, especially, I believe, in the western countries. I remember watching on TV where they had some models dressed up as heavier women who were not helped even after asking for it in not one bu several clothing stores in the US, and when the same women in their thinner and prettier version presented themselves, the sales associates were more than ready to help them out. I guess if someone not on the prettier side would face such discrimination on a daily basis, it would no doubt lead to low self esteem and unhappiness....

I also remember an incident told to me by a close friend of mine. She is a bit on the heavier side. She went into a store to use a gift certificate. No associate came up to help her out even after she had asked for it. Others customers who came after here were helped out but not her. Eventually she walked out of that store and gave away that certificate to another of her friends.

Radha said...

I always thought that beauty (or the lack of it) was in our own minds. Even heavy women (but confident) women could carry themselves off with poise and look absolutely beautiful if they want to.

I'm surprised by your story of getting poor service in stores though. Thats just poor store management! Not all rich big-spenders are going to look like Paris Hilton!

kaya said...

I have to agree with Radha. I am and have always been a big girl. But despite all the well intentioned remarks (you know you are really pretty, if you just lost a little weight....)I for one have always been comfortable with my body. My question is this? Do I want to be remembered as a woman with a great sense of humour, a fantastic cook, a good friend, or do I want to be remembered as thin?
You know what? I am content.
Jas, its unfortunate that your friend was discriminated against for her weight, but I cannot recall any such incident. I think confidence plays a huge role in how we get people to respond to us. If ever I have encountered rude staff its simply because they are ignorant and lack proper skills, and believe me I have on many occasions told them off.
A recent case being I was in Mothercare buying something, and the woman behind the counter was too busy yapping on the phone on a personal call. I waited a minute and in a very loud voice told her that if she wanted to talk on the phone she should go home, as I did not come to be entertained with stories of her personal life.She hung up pretty quick.

Jas Bhambra said...

Kaya and Radha, I agree that beauty is a state of mind. And since my friend is an accomplished person she didn't really care about it.

And like I said, only in North America all this stuff happens inspite of the fact that they claim to be very liberated and talk about women being mistreated and discriminated in other countries, that external beauty of a women doesn't matter, I think in their minds they really are very backward still!

J said...

I think at times the shows on the telly take it a bit extreme, but yes there are a good number of people who aren't so happy with the way they look. To each his own.

kaya said...

Very right you are jas. Which explains why they are eternally in and out of relationships, and cannot actually find stability.
Western women (prob also because they have the product knowledge and can depend on NHS/credit card unlike their eastern counterparts)have a tendency towards correction of the body. Perhaps the clothes they wear which tends to exhibit more than it covers, perhaps their lack of belief in God (after all you are messing with his creation), or the breakdown of families (no one to love you, praise you, believe in yourself, support you, parents divorces etc)has much top contribute to their lack of self confidence.
All these weird fads/religions/diets. How much does it take to fill your soul?

suramya said...

I have no use for the makeover shows with all the fake glitter and gloss. They turn every person into their concept of a beautiful person. My mom always told me to keep healthy and slim to avoid diseases and take care of my hair and skin and she said no one can stop you looking beautiful if you carry yourself well. And I for sure know that it works but I can understand the need other people have for adornment and some of them actually like it a lot. But to associate it with failed romances or lack of success is not something nice yet that happens too. Its a very superficial world that my generation lives in currently.

Radha said...

Hey, thats an unfair generalisation I think of "western women".

Hmm, thats really sad.

To each to his own. Agreed!

I agree with you. How did the exams go by the way?

suramya said...

Rather good, one more semester and I'm done :)

kaya said...

Array nahi woh Jas nay kaha tha, about the type of women in Northern america.
So, uss pay kaha. But its true, there is far more exposure than back home. The average woman back home hasnt even heard of silicon. Or its wonders.

~ a said...

I saw this show often too, actually, I liked it, not for the makeovers that they gave, but the boost that these people got, at seeing themselves in completely new light, proud, and strong, and looking at their 20 ft huge poster in front of everyone! i think that kind of a high was what the show was aimed at getting.

It is true that beauty and the size that goes along with it is overhyped and unnecessary, but I feel that this is a psychosomatic solution to helping you boost your self esteem, simple things like wearing brighter clothes and dressing up make me feel better on days that I'm not feeling too perky!