Wednesday, November 08, 2006

Is my mirror me?

This is a further addition to the article I wrote titled 'My mirror is Me'. As I did realise later, while I was going through the blog, that the blame on media for lowering the self-esteem of todays woman might have been slightly extreme. And maybe they should not be held entirely responsible for it. Why? I thought you'd never ask.

O.k, what I guess I want to say is (or now point a finger to ) that the reason for the poor self love might be due to the society and family dynamics, to a larger extent, than media. I think, most of the women today are quite self confident to not let a scantily clad woman on a screen challenge the attractiveness of their proportions. How many of us ACTUALLY care to attract attention by wearing shorts, halters, etc ? Rather, we'd not WANT to attract attention (the sensible ones ) that way, cause it'd be from the wrong people. Before you start with that 'But' you have in your mind, I'd like to say its not that most of us don't like wearing nice, flattering clothes, but please get the distinction between liking to wear them and thinking it absolutely necessary as it is propounded through certain advertisements.

Also, if it were the case that media influenced the sensible thinking woman of today, you'd see hordes of women giving up education and chasing after fairer skin in order to materialize their dreams, as Fair and Lovely states it does. I quite admire the Fair and Lovely advertising campaign. On one side, they distinguish between women, people actually, courtesy introduction of Fair and Handsome (acckk, Mills and Boons fans! Rebel against this! Long live the tall, dark, and handsome hero!), on the basis of skin, yet on the other they showcase a pro-education and women empowerment attitude by sponsoring scholarships. Applause!!

And of course, you have the "K" serials which portray women to be cunning, devilish creatures who work silently, all the time having a weirdly raised eyebrow and painfully pursed lips, to make sure the entire family goes through havoc to prove a petty point. But, neither do most women dress like vamps portrayed in Hindi serials nor act like them (Hell, the slight amount of bitchiness that every woman possesses is just the result of possessing an extra X -chromosome). Most women laugh at these vixens and perceive them as weak characters.

As Femina once rightly put it (while displaying a highly voluptuous figure on its cover page), todays woman is a Woman of substance. ( I guess the well-endowed figure was used to emphasize 'substance'). And yes, women today are pretty much fashion savvy and age defying does have lot of importance. I guess, when you feel good from inside, you wanna look good on the outside too.

So, then where does self-hatred due to a not satisfying outer self appearance stem from? Society? Yes. Family. Definitely. Now when I think about the episode on Oprah, the young children who suffered from the "body beautiful" hype, were in fact emulating their mothers. The young girl who wouldn't leave her house without makeup did so, only because she saw her mother in front of the mirror everyday, with mascara and rouge, grooming herself before she stepped out. And the young child, who thought herself fat and cribbed, was just parroting her mother.

I guess what you realise is, the values that are inculcated by parents during childhood either make you or break you. Media and the "glamour" would have absolutely no adverse effect on a healthy, self-assured, confident personality. However, it does prey on an insecure, weak self perception, driving you to the edge and over into the valley of emotional distress, eating disorders and self abuse.