Misplaced ideas of a 'utopic self', have always led to despair and self-hatred. Every time that we look in the mirror, we gaze at a picture which can be better and is always lesser than something or someone.
We are fed with the ideas of 'perfect self', which make us see a distorted image, a silent scream, staring at us endlessly.
Perhaps if I were thinner, taller, shorter, fairer, more of a sports person, a tab bit more intelligent, had clearer skin, maybe if I had more mass...
We have an unending checklist of ‘maybes’ and we judge the person in the mirror, so brutally. Trust me, you won't say half the things to your worst of enemies, which you say to yourself.
"The world is a crazy place", I said to to a friend when she told me that there are certain 'social standards', which govern the ideals of beauty.
I trust these givers of laws (of beauty) as much as I trust God - I haven't seen either, but everyone has full faith in their existence. And we practice all sorts of rituals to appease them.
Like another friend told me while recovering from her distorted self image,“I am a hundred and fifty pounds, and people tell me that I am 'fat'. Funny aspect to this- I was hundred and ten pounds, a few years back, and I was 'fat'. Conclusions - fatness lies in the eyes of the beholder.” And hell, it took her years to tell herself that the real thing is whether or not she is healthy, irrespective of how much she weighed.
It took her a lifetime (or as it seems), to get over the disgust, which she had developed towards her body. “Oh well! It is almost like you are suffering from a psychological issue, when you meet a stranger's eye and feel like they have seen you as your body”, I remember her claim, once. And yes, it was a painful story.
And if I claim that I am a person who is completely satisfied, I will be lying to you. I am not someone away from the human emotions of seeking conformity. Many times, I have caught myself criticizing ‘I’ at so many different levels.
I hate the stretch marks on my waist - it gets that trivial, at times. But, like one of my favorite girls says, “You are a tigress!” And I am learning to ROAR…
Every time that I see this friend of mine look in the mirror, she always complaints about the acne on her skin. After all, I guess, those beauty product ads, do take up from real life incidents.
She told me that she carries the burden of not having a flawless skin. She has always been too fat or too skinny. Her face always freckled and she, according to her onlookers, has been either too dull or too made up.
And hasn't she gone to great lengths to have the perfect body and cure her insecurities about her skin?
But every time that I look at her, I see the person she is beyond the skin, she wears and the stigmas that surround her. I see the beauty that she actually embodies. I see her as the girl who knows how to carry herself in a brave manner, the friend who knows how to be there, I see her as a kind soul with hell lot of patience and understanding... And I can go on and on and on... About what I see when I look at her.
We all look for some sort of a stamp on our existence. And this has to come from a source outside of us. This isn't restricted to our physical appearances only. The stigmas are like the pollutants we breathe in with the oxygen. Everyone is sick of it, complains about it, but is not ready to work their way out of it!
My cousin, ran away from his school, for these very stigmas told him that he will always remain a below average kid. I have no f**king idea- how they define an 'average' without proper numbers and calculations. He sure survived. And has been surviving well. He is, currently, managing his family business, and its going great guns! At times, all you need, is a bit of time to prove your worth.
Not to the world, but to yourself.
There are so many more stories that I have heard and experienced, which tell me that perhaps beyond the stigmas there does exists the Utopic seventh heaven, where self-esteem is a priceless thing. And it cannot be bargained on the basis of some illogical and inhumane 'social standards'.
And like someone once said to me, "If you are the only person with that mind, body, and soul, you ought to be the odd one out".
Be kind to yourself for others are always there, to remind you of your flaws.
Look for the people who go beyond your looks to the way you feel.
(For feedback, please mail us at Khushboo@missnolabel.com)