Updated: Apr 8, 2022
§ I recently visited a friend’s house to see her new born baby. The moment I settled in holding the precious new life in hand, after all those initial greetings, my friend’s mother asked me what complexion do you think my grandson will turn into. She gave me options too – fair or red. By red she means dark. She didn’t even want to mention dark and instead chose to replace it with color red. I was not shocked to hear. I couldn’t help smiling at her over smartness of playing with adjectives at that age, though. These are very common doubts we hear immediately after a baby is born in the house.
§ A friend of mine confided in me that her husband body shames her, whenever she tries to get close to him, and blames her body entirely for their broken marriage. She also mentioned how she abhors the fact that in years of marriage, only thing she ever heard from him was her body being shamed in every way possible, even before his friends and family.
§ And there is this another friend, who shared with me that his wife thinks he doesn’t have that so called gym body that most men of his age do and he is not of decent height. He tried his best to convey this as a jovial or casual mention, but he couldn’t hide the humiliation.
§ A cousin came to see my baby when he was born. My baby was a premie and kept staring at my cousin. As he was born pre-mature, he hardly had his gaze under his control in the initial months. When my cousin expressed his joy that my son is looking merrily at him, his wife snapped a comment saying, “No wonder the baby is staring at you, he might not have seen someone as dark as you”.
§ In a friends meet, I observed how a successful and over performing friend, ended up the meet on a bitter note making fun of everybody around who couldn’t perform as much as him or who failed to be rich like him. He was amused at how all waste time and also threw some free personality development tips for everyone to learn from his achievements, as he calls them.
§ I see parents of my child’s classmates boasting of their kids, how they remember the names of countries, their capitals or flags or could recite so many rhymes without stuttering.
§ And not the least, there is this distant relative, who keeps her head high and refuses to mingle with the family, because she thinks others are not up to her status or standards. We need to check our statements twice and take appointments to be able to talk to her.
What is the bottom line in all these situations I experienced? If there is an adjective to describe the mentality of people mentioned above, I would definitely choose – NASTY. You may ask how poor taste of friends or unfortunate family I have. But I am sorry to say, this is exactly the kind society we are all living in. And I am no exception to it.
It is deep rooted in this culture, to body shame others. Or attach a false pride to one’s physical appearance or mental capabilities and enjoy a low sense of contentment. If someone is unable to feel good about themselves without putting others to shame or humiliation, let me tell you, they are suffering from deep rooted insecurities. These behavioural traits emerge either from an unconscious parenting or a rebellious, insignificant childhood that lacked in thought.
People, of this kind, should come out of eccentric, self-obsessed world and start self-introspecting more often and be critical of their own achievements and appearance, before looking outwards.
Perfection – A Myth
Science is the only field that calls for precisions and perfections. If things are not in a certain way or in fixed proportions, the output may differ. Society is not a chemical experiment nor humans are a perfect concoction of flesh and feelings.
We as human beings are born with our bodies and their progression. It is far from our control and the very concept of it being flawless is baseless. People have their own preference and definition of beauty; every culture has a different standard. If we have to analyze every human body that we come across, in terms of a proper nose, mesmerizing eyes, luscious hair, or a flexed muscle, our failure starts right at the moment we look into the mirrors. In our lifetime the chances of encountering one such is impossible, not even one in a zillion. If you think someone you know is perfect or beautiful, understand its all in your eyes. Beauty lies in the eyes of beholder and what may seem ugly to you, is beautiful to others. One will not realize this until they throw all the treasure in their hands, chasing a wild dream.