Vanity Unfair

Ally McBeal

Image via Wikipedia

My jeans are too tight for me to breathe. I’ve put on weight. *Groan*. Why, why, WHY should it matter? I am not fat. I have never been fat. I am not going to be fat. And if I do, will it matter? Yes, it damn well will.

Mum beams with pleasure when someone tells her that she looks like my older sibling. Dad on the other hand squirms uncomfortably when someone runs that line on him.

I read (in Mumbai Mirror, where else?) that the cast of ‘Desperate Housewives’ are vying with each other to be the thinnest. Ah, doesn’t that sound familiar? Oh yes, that happened with the cast of Ally McBeal and Friends too.

So yes, we agonize over pimples and pounds (too many!), inches and shine(not enough!), long hair/short hair (whichever we don’t have), height, eye colour, skin tone, body shape, facial features….the way clothes ‘hang on/stretch around’ us, the way colours and stripes and polka dots look on us. A couple of my close friends are perfectly happy spending hours primping and shopping and pouting and look destined to spend the rest of my lives doing just that. Not that they are dumb air-heads. I pride myself on the company I keep and certainly I keep the company of intelligent, independent, strong people (well…the women at least!). But nooo…..there is all this about bad hair days, water retention, easily tanned skin and all that mumbo-jumbo. I’m trying, I’m trying frantically to hold onto my sensibilities…If you can keep your head when all about you..but then I get accused of being too tomboyish. Again, does it matter? Well…..I hate the answer to that but we all know it.

This weekend was exhausting and fun. I spent a lot of time and money on food, clothes and books. 3.5 hours of this fun weekend was spent in my favorite store trying out clothes (not even accounting for the 2 hours it took me to get to the store and back). With two female friends. Did we have fun? YESSSS! And tomorrow I’ll get a facial…just the thought of it is enough to bring back a glow to my face (okay, oily sheen perhaps…).

Rambling apart, are we really that shallow? It is very important for a woman to look good, in order to feel good. Well, also to feel good in order to look good. But yes, every female from age 3 upwards preens, poses and shows signs of vanity. So much for male egos…the female vanities match them.

Perhaps it boils down to the centuries old premise of the value of a woman being in her sex appeal and child bearing qualities. Of course there are statistics to show that good-looking people generally do better than their average looking counterparts. Have women known that always? I don’t think that is quite it. The underlying assumption is those studies is that a person whose ego is well-nourished enough projects that level of confidence which can make the difference between sucess and failure (all other factors being equal). Yes, feeling attractive is a big plus. There is something to be said about having a healthy body image.

With the boon comes the curse and so we’re also riddled with complexes, anorexia, disorders and annoying obsessions. Do you know what I think about The Metrosexual Man? I think he’s a fool for falling prey to the same monster that has been chewing on the long-limbed, silky-haired, even-skinned carcasses of women. Vanity.

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About IdeaSmith

IdeaSmith is the digital doppelganger of Ramya Pandyan (intrepid train-traveller and frequent spouter of post-midnight rhymes and rants). As IdeaSmith she battles obscurity and slays boredom with her stories about men, books, digitalia and Mumbai. She performs live and also blogs, tweets, Instagrams, Facebooks, +G’s, Youtubes and Goodreads all as IdeaSmith. Ramya is a blogger, digital storyteller and spoken word performer. She also runs a forum for aspiring writers called Alphabet Sambar. Tweet-bomb her at @ideasmithy.

Posted on March 20, 2006, in Battle of the sexes, Hormone hangover, Times, they are a-changing, Vanity Unfair and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 7 Comments.

  1. I think he’s a fool for falling prey to the same monster that has been chewing on the long-limbed, silky-haired, even-skinned carcasses of women. Vanity.

    Oh you couldn’t have said it better Smithy! 🙂

  2. If you think that only the metrosexual is vain, hah. The metrosexual is just vain in a different way. Those of us that eschew metrosexuality, thats where our vanity lies.

    But whats the problem, i say. Its good to like you.

  3. Smithy- YOUR jeans don’t fit you???
    Don’t even get me started… but that’s never bothered me much…jeans don’t fit? Oh well, time to buy a new pair!!!

  4. i dont like “overly” made up women… simplicity is what i like… makeup, dresses or whatever… it just has to be simple… laal laal gaal is a total no no… and so are these half brown half blonde hair… i think gandhiji had said this “its very difficult to be simple”… and i truly believe in it

    nice post…

  5. Isn’t it frustrating when even YOU can’t get into your own pants? When we go too far with making ourselves look good enough to feel confident, we end up laboring over ourselves to cover our insecurities. Like most things in life, egos and vanity included, moderation is good.

  6. Heard of a category of men, that gets attracted to ‘tomboyish’ girls! So, that’s the category that you should be lookn for your ‘eligible’ bachelor! *that was off the topic, I know*

    Vanity, my fav sin!~

  7. Thin, fat, blonde, bald – does it make a difference as long as the BRAIN is good? And of course the sense of humour.
    Callista Flockhart looks like she belongs in a relief camp. What’s wrong with a little more to cuddle?
    Besides, fat people are nicer because they don’t make me feel threatened. Heh.

    J.A.P.

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