I'm a woman, so well priced. I'm a woman, so effectively commodified. I'm omnipresent. On merchandise that are neither used by women nor remotely women-specific have me. Razors, cars, milkshakes, juices, footwear, the list goes on and on. You name it and I'm used to sell it. Not my brainchild, of course I'm just used for the image. A grand photo shoot, lots of money and fame. I have so much freedom in the name of modernisation. Not just this, the media has opened up so much for me to achieve. Achieve fair complexion, spotless skin, size zero body and the most significant of all is other's appreciation.
I'm living to achieve the world's approval. Doesn't matter if I'm black by birth and have a certain body type I can't fight, I must achieve these hallmarks to be the modern, independent woman displayed in the media. I should be grateful and happy being so successful. After all, this is the era in which women are given so much significance. In the past women were dominated and subjugated by men. Men directed every move of women. Their lives be it legal, political, emotional, mental or educational were choreographed by the patriarchs. Women then had to struggle to do even small things. Oh! But if I keenly observe women are still struggling. Previously they struggled for education, civil rights, political rights but now we are struggling to get fair and beautiful. What a plight, we are in a worse state than our great-grandmothers and their mothers!
They were working towards progress and recognition, standing against the overt patriarchy. It's tragic how we are simply giving in and succumbing to the dictators under the false pretence of modernisation. The story still remains the same, characters the same. Just the plot has changed. Then the woman was made to believe she can't do a thing so she must be directed. Now she's made to believe she can do everything (the course of everything is set by the same dictators). It's the highest form of diplomacy. We are subjugated so lucratively that we actually look forward to be a part of it and never stop to think. We're blindfolded by false ideas of beauty and fashion. We are gradually becoming a product of patriarchy. A more attractive and a literate version though.
The genuineness of choice, preference and liberty are still alien to us. We're buying their counterfeits. I'm not a fanatic feminist ranting. I'm a mother of a daughter lamenting, afraid of the ways of the world. It's frightening to see young girls going into depression or worse ending their lives cause they couldn't fit into the shit hole of the societal expectations. It's heart-rending to see how many of us look at our bodies as objects and keep appropriating it. Our lot is conditioned into believing that appearance is more important than feelings. I fear the culture that values make-up more than manners. I'm afraid of the selfie disorder pervading the youngsters which abases their self-esteem to just a petty screen. This isn't what our precious girls are worth.
We don't need beautiful girls. We need thinking girls, confident girls who will grow up to be resolute women. Women independent of objectification and erroneous ideas of freedom and beauty. Parents and family around young children, whether girls out boys must do their bits to do away with words and actions that reinforce the importance of appearance only. They definitely need to be taught about appearance but not the media way. We must inculcate in them the decency of appearance, beauty of character and creativity of the mind. We will have to sensitise them to think and treasure their feelings and thoughts. They'll need to be taught to be responsible and rational about their choices and behaviour. And I believe the simplest and the most convenient way to do all this is to be the woman we want our daughter to be. Cause if we pause to think, we are the prototype. Aren't we?