Mirror mirror on the wall
Who is the slimmest of us all?
If you have been around little boys you will know what I mean when I say that never in fourteen hours of his wakeful existence, does he stand in front of mirror or catch a glimpse of himself unless in some blue moon he feels like making a fancy face or poke a joke on his own image. He just doesn’t feel the need for it. Why is that so? Is he not aware of his existence? Or is the more important question that, what is it that makes us grown-ups feel so conscious about our physicality and by that I mean the attributes that we manifest aesthetically.
The morning mirror throws a reality check as we brush our teeth or tidy up, to face the world. Sometimes it’s a welcome sight, at others it’s a challenge to overcome! We all have a little vanity in us. Have you ever found yourself “Checking yourself out” in the lift mirror as we rush off to a meeting, pull in the gut or brush back a stray lock, or check to see the butt’s looking ok?! Where ever we get a moment we squeeze in few seconds to steal a glimpse of our own self in mirror and adjust our demeanour depending upon the reflection it throws back at us. Take a look around you in your selected social media! All profile pictures are ones that see in the chosen best light! While it’s not wrong to be conscious about how presentable you are, (and trust me I am guilty of it too) obsessing about ‘what you look like’ actually undermines your own self-worth. I have seen men & women around me fixated with their appearance and trying to fit into this new found definition of beauty which is really quite dynamic by nature anyway, changing ever so often with trending and sponsored media galleries.
A few weeks ago I attended a party! It was a cauldron of artificiality! Middle aged women all trying to squeeze themselves into a size 10 or 12, wearing designer ensembles and loads of makeup and perfume! Discussions centered on which gym they went to, how little they ate, what the latest diet fad was, who got which part of their anatomy botoxed and how crazily they chased that totally impeccable body shape or bearing (which in most cases they don’t realise is photo shopped anyway!). I felt a sense of hollowness and an air that was pretentious and affected. Everything was so unnatural. If you have been to Dubai or Abu Dhabi you will know what I am talking about. One night there’s miles of tar and the next morning there’s a row of carefully pruned date trees along the tar!!! Oh they are all real, but there’s no naturalness to them! A tree must grow wild! With age its branches must droop with the weight of nests. That’s the beauty of a tree. In the same way, humans should be different! There’s no one size fits all. 40+ women should look different from 20+ girls! Their face reflecting the experience they gained along the way! Like the trees we needn’t look similar as if measured, dissected and pruned accordingly to fit in a cast which defies their originality.
The essence of beauty is in the difference! The Uniqueness! That is where a body image far more than just physical exactness comes into play! I was of the same age group but totally from different side of the world. I was neither as tall nor size nothing like them, but there upsurged this strange sense of confidence within me. I have seen the sense of appreciation and look of admiration of people around me who know me and may be even physically find me endurable and aesthetically passable enough! I left their place thankful that I was not a part of that pointless inane beauty parade. Oh don’t get me wrong… i love to look presentable! I am one of those people you will never catch with a hair out of place! I love to feel good and healthy about myself and I do work towards it! But I have no desire to be your run of the mill size zero fitness maniac who’d own up to preferring carrot over a luscious piece of Brownie!
Who is to blame for this mad race of the ‘ideal’ body image? Social Media? Movies? Peer pressure? Family? I have seen girls as young as ten or twelve following Keto diets or exhibiting eating disorders and boys of 15 and 16 pumping themselves up with steroids, just to be part of the insane race or to feel validated by peer group and the surroundings. Older men and women obsessing over a slight weight gain or the occasional grey strand or a line across the forehead! When will we realise that there’s more to life than chasing a never ending unrealistic race of being who we are not. Good health should not be a choice… it is a necessity! We all need to stay fit, but indulge in pleasures moderately! Otherwise we are going to land up with a whole generation of disgruntled and dissatisfied men and women, in their 70s too fit to die yet regretting a life of unfulfilled desires!
I have attached a video here that shows how each one of us is a little miracle in our own right! We were actually meant to be on this earth! We fought tens of thousands of odds to be the people we are! Our body is this amazing gift; appreciating and respecting all the things it can do will help us feel more positive about it. And remember to instil these notions into sweet little ones at right age and we will create a more self-reliant and secure generation.
But having said all of that…. I do wonder how the world would have been with no mirrors around 😉