Beauty and women…
They go hand in hand, don’t they?
I think the being easy on the eyes concept has come to be stretched out to include men; much much later after the women. But, for women, it is already a concept. Earlier, a woman had to be easy on the eyes for marriage reasons. If she is out into society; seeking a mate, she has to be damn aware of her physical appearance and go into respective pools of candidates. It was almost profanity, that a woman of low birth, no beauty, and no money is seeking an advantageous marriage. Now, the time has trickled. Women don’t have to wear corsets and bake pies any longer. But, it is still deemed important to be measured on the same old beauty scales.
But, I am not talking about beauty standards here. I am talking about women and beauty: the relationship and its strength.
Should there be even a link between women and beauty? When should this link be relevant? Should beauty be relevant to women all the time? Is there//___
SHOULD BEAUTY BE RELEVANT TO WOMEN ALL THE TIME??
Do they all have to pass the beauty test to be hired? No.
Then, why do they have to pass the beauty test to be worthy of your admiration?
Now, I have already described the baselessness of the definition of beauty; based on the lack of universal standards. Having said that, should all women be concerned with this? Check my language. I am not blaming the males or society. I am simply talking to my women here.
Should you all be concerned with your beauty; according to whatever standards you have (which do not matter here)? Why is it important to make time to dab some blush on your cheeks, or put mascara on, having to go through the mental agitation of narrowing down tasks to microseconds, with two part-time jobs, internships, and being a full-time student, being a mom, a caretaker, a sportswoman, whatever?
Why? Why do you feel it is important to put a liner? Spare me the excuse that you love makeup and you think it’s fun. Because, if you have ten minutes left to catch a bus, and you were barely able to grab breakfasts; having spent half an hour on your makeup, what kind of fun are you referring to?
You chose fun at the cost of your one meal, a behavior which if stretched out for a longer period, can cost you your health. Secondly, there is obviously a lack of proportionality here. Your physical appearance took priority over your health. Thirdly, why would you do that just to appear easy on the eyes? Because…
You want to look good. You want to look more put together, with all the unnatural curls, unnatural lashes, unnatural smooth complexion, unnatural blush, etc.
Coming to my second query, do women from everywhere//–
Let me rephrase that. Do all women need to beautify themselves? If yes, then, at what costs?
I recently watched this amazing movie “G. I. Jane”, where a politician uses the US Navy SEAL Facility as a way to create some noise before elections, with the cover of equal rights advocacy for both sexes. She proposes to send a woman to the facility to train with other guys; on the deal that if that woman finishes training successfully, women should be treated equally in the Army; no better, no worse. But, the woman she chooses turns out to be someone quite determined. She passes all the tests like a pro; ending up earning the true respect of her batchmates, her trainers, and everyone. But, through it all, a few questions kept popping up in my head and truly disturbed me. I felt conflicted.
Jane shaves her head in the second quarter of the film; having difficulty managing them in the seawater. The Navy SEAL training is so unbelievably tough, that she looked tired and rougher, with dirt and malnutrition. The entire point of the training was to build endurance. And, the scars to earn the title were made visible on her, through scratches, gashes, blood, no hair, suntan. After the SEARS operation training, where she gets beaten up terribly, she looked almost like all of them. She did not look like a woman at all.
Now, what bothered me was,
Was she supposed to look like one (woman)? Why was she supposed to look like one, Waniya? Did you not see how terribly hard the training was? The guys also cut their hair, got beaten up, stayed in cold water for twelve hours, and whatnot. They all looked the same.
They all looked the same.
But, she should have looked… (my head tries to trap me again)
We love to do this…Telling ourselves how she should have looked
Well, she should have like an upbeat, tired, muddy, wet, tanned soldier who has been striving to get her SEAL stripes. And, she looked like that.
Her goal was to become a Navy SEAL, and she became one. Her face, body, and her entire physique had curves of small lumps of muscles, with her face scarred and gashed, her hair gone, yet a pin of a SEAL shining across her shoulder.
So, now, I ask you, how should she have looked? Did she earn her stripes at the cost of “her femininity”, her “womanliness”?
The fact is, that we force women to look like a gendered notion of herself when she should have the imprint of her aspirations, life goals, and struggles. We do not realize the pressures we put women under; with the unspoken-yet-agreed-upon standard in our society, where a woman has to look beautiful, no matter what.
No Matter What!
If she is a full-time student with two jobs, a mother of four, a factory worker, a footballer, a runner, a midwife, an actress, a doctor, a baker, etc? Why do we expect them all to fulfill a certain criterion in our messed-up heads, unrelated to their skill, to earn our respect, admiration, and acceptance?
It is because women are just supposed to be beautiful. And, if, unfortunately; by any chance, she is mediocre or plain, she is destined to lose out on our respect, care, and acceptance. Preference is a stage prior to acceptance. And, boy, she would only be preferred if she outdoes herself from her peers in some way. And yet, she would only be preferred without earning your respect, care and acceptance. As if, she is used; for her accomplishment/skill and not herself.
So, here, I see a woman, who would have been prettier (as picked especially by the politician), but chooses to make her life entirely dedicated to her skill. She became the skill and her aesthetics became her skill, her figure reflected her skill, and her voice; and other feminine delicacies, reflected her skill.
I struggled to accept her own chosen aesthetics for herself, over her socially acceptable embodiment. Instead of gaining my respect for standing up to the world with the desire to become a SEAL, she lost it while shaving her head. Her gashes, her training, her broken bones meant nothing to me against how she looked. This is the utter damnation of social norms; they tend to accept the general masses living ordinary lives and exclude a select few pushing the boundaries. These norms render their meaningful contributions, meaningless.
One more thing, why am I comparing her chosen aesthetics with the boys; despite them going through the same hell as her? Because, Navy SEALs have always been boys and, if you keep a profession gender-specific for long enough, it becomes the norm. Simple!
The boys looked what they look like after wars. Women don’t go in active combat, and the ones who do, also look like how you are supposed to look after war.
And, trust me, last time I checked,
It WAS NOT pretty…