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The Faded Mirror

Updated: 4 days ago

I know. I’ve been a part and parcel of the same system. Yet, I am constantly troubled by its persistent fixation on fair skin and shallow beauty standards. Recently, a conversation with a family member underscored this issue when she was discussing her son's marriage prospects. She repeatedly emphasized that they were looking for a girl who is "fair-skinned" and "beautiful," implying that these qualities were synonymous.


Unable to suppress my frustration, I finally spoke up. I reminded her that beauty is really skin deep, and emphasized the importance of mutual respect and compatibility in a relationship. I know. My words fell on deaf ears. I know my years of living, learning, and understanding were confronting deeply ingrained societal conditioning. But really? Are we still there? We take giant leaps to land on the moon and have an insatiable appetite for global success yet we remain trapped in a mirror, reflective of only superficial beauty and skin tones? How long can we keep blaming it on colonialism?


The Unexpected Reflection


Here’s my story, with a twist. Growing up among my sisters and cousins, I gradually became aware of this phenomenon that shaped my understanding of beauty—at least for several years before I started to unlearn and rewrite my own narrative. Though deemed the "fairest," I wasn't the "favorite." Rather it was my sister, though “less fair”, who was considered conventionally “prettier”and stole the spotlight. I was continuously compared to others — my nose, smile, height, every feature was put under a microscope. 


Finding Beauty Within


Imagine the perplexity of an 8 year old when society constantly dissects beauty. What can a child possibly understand from such scrutiny?  How does one cope with it ? I knew I couldn't win the beauty pageant. So, I changed the game. I channeled my energy inwards. I began reading voraciously, tapping into my inner self to find a kind of confidence that was unshakeable. I participated in every competition I could—debate, dance, decoration—you name it and I was there. Every win, big or small, was a step further away from the superficial judgments and the endless comparisons. I became confident, not because of my reflection, but despite it.


Shattering the Mirror


The question remained, “Who is responsible for this narrative?” The uncomfortable answer - we are. Our whispers and our judgments, they all contribute to this societal obsession. While writing, I sought an analogy that best describes the situation. The image that came to mind was that of a never-ending, battered soap opera—a narrative of beauty dragged through countless episodes of baseless drama, filled with tiring stereotypes. 



Turn It Off!


It's time to turn it off. It's time to ditch this show. It's time to rewrite the script, to shatter the mirror and find beauty not in what we see, but in who we truly are. Can we do it?


Deep down, I know we can. Not just for ourselves, but for future generations. 


Personal Note: Even though our childhood journeys with beauty standards were different, my sisters and I share a deep bond, one which I hold to my heart dearly. We share so much, including our views on how we perceive beauty in this world. Of course, the playful rivalry continues; my lipsticks and jewelry usually go missing every time I visit them!

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訪客
a day ago
評等為 5(最高為 5 顆星)。

Well summarised. Many turn deaf ear because they unknowing don’t understand the meaning of fair and beautiful on outside or inside. Media and movies on which we grow and follow and aspire to be is the narrative of benchmark unknowingly settling within us many. Constan Coaching and conversation around this topic in early years by parents and near and dear ones is a possible remedy.

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訪客
3 days ago
評等為 5(最高為 5 顆星)。

Changing the societal thoughts, this powerful write up! A must read!!


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訪客
3 days ago
評等為 5(最高為 5 顆星)。

Love how you have not only called out the bizarreness of this obsession and how unnecessary and detrimental it is; but also celebrated your successes, giving hope to a lot of young lives who still will have to deal with this because it somehow finds its way in to our lives. high time this is completely ended.

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訪客
3 days ago
評等為 5(最高為 5 顆星)。

Di... beauty lies in the eyes of a beholder..so called it was just a proverb but unfortunately we being a women disrespect this fact...

Respect, emotional bonding and understanding has no value as on date...

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訪客
3 days ago
評等為 5(最高為 5 顆星)。

I struggle to prove myself beautiful each day and this piece gives me so much of strength and self confidence. Thankyou 💗

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