I have been trying to avoid this topic from a long time. But, Pepper’s post forced me to give my thoughts a vent so that I could be at peace, once for all.
We all crave to be beautiful. This is a fact that none of us can deny. Though the definition of beauty depends and varies from person to person. Mind you, by being beautiful, I am not talking of heavenly beauty or Greek gods. But, overall pleasant appearance with striking features and the like.
Without plunging in the depths of the characteristics of what actually makes a person beautiful in my opinion, let me add that for this post alone we will be considering only physical beauty. So talk about a beautiful heart or mind isn’t happening.
I have often been complimented for my beauty. My beautiful eyes, sharp features and the like by many people. I have this habit of ending it all with a plain thank you and forgetting it in no time. So when I got married to someone equally good-looking (though at that time I used to rate my to-be-husband a 7/10 in good looks) things went out of control.
The trouble was, my ex-husband was very
proud fond of his looks. He’d gush at every compliment and loved admiring himself in the mirror every time he crossed one. He would take much longer than me to get ready for every big or small occasion.
When I first stepped in my marital home, in no time the admiration of my looks changed to sincere advise from everyone in my in-laws. They’d say, I should in no way let my beauty and fair complexion (mentioned specifically) stand to compete with my husband’s good looks.
At first, it was confusing and a very stupid thing to hear for I had no clue about the deeper meaning of those advises.
Slowly the true meaning came to fore. They meant that never let anyone compliment me more for my beauty than my husband. He should be the sole receiver of compliments for I had been the lucky one to be married to a fair, dashing hunk as against the norm of dark, dull and ugly men around.
For someone like me, who was least interested in talking about beauty, being asked to compliment her husband generously each time he got ready was quite a task. Initially, I tried to be upfront honest about my opinion. But, I soon learnt the art of being honey-coated- sweet-yet-mechanical in my compliments for the truth wasn’t liked and I had to suffer severe repercussions of being honest.
What I wore, what make up I used, my hairstyle for the formal occasions was often dictated by my husband. He wanted me to compliment him ( by wearing complimentary tones according to the clothes he would wear) in every which way and not shine on my own. Thinking about it now, I sometimes feel disgusted of myself for having tolerated such behavior for so long in vain hope that someday it will change.
Anyway, so we were a beautiful couple at least by the looks of it. Trust me, it is a very painful position to be in. All my sisters who were compared to beautiful me all their lives now had another reason to envy me. People who used to call me blessed, being the daughter of a gorgeous mum now started calling me the lucky wife of a handsome man.
Was it patriarchy or plain stupidity, but it was a place I disliked being in. The agony of it all didn’t end with my marriage. For now, my ex-in-laws and my ex-husband uses my beauty very cleverly as the major weapon of character assassination (marrying a beautiful girl comes with the high risk of her having extra marital affairs, leading to the divorce by their innocent son and other such filth).
While it hurts to be called ugly or being endlessly compared with one’s gorgeous siblings, it can actually be more painful to be beautiful; for it then puts you in a position to be an eye sore for everyone around. You are envied by those who are compared to you and deemed less beautiful and are considered a rival by those who are prettier than yourself.
The rat race never actually ends. Just like greed for money, I think the lust for beauty is something that can never be satiated.
No-matter where you stand on the beauty scale, you are bound to be criticized by people on both the sides. So be happy with whoever and however you are, for God made you that way with a purpose. If he had wanted you to be any different, he would have made you that way. This is the philosophy that keeps me going.
The song on my mind: Gore rang pe na itna guman kar ~ Roti