(Sketch by Roshni Tharian, Illustrator at OoWomaniya.com)
A psychological study suggests that both men and women saw women as “objects” and men as “persons”. The sad fact about the society we live in is that women have always been seen as sexual or domestic objects rather than well-rounded human beings. Being well groomed and attractive is the priority of women all around if they wanted to be heard.
Throughout history, women underwent painful and risky methods to be considered attractive and beautiful. In the 1500’s, women had to look like bells. They wore armor plates to flatten everything and padded the hips to get the “bell effect”. In the 1900’s, women needed to have the tiniest waist possible. So they wore corsets in which they couldn’t even breathe to get the unnatural 16-18 inch waistline, which would dislocate their internal organs and damage the ribs.
During the 1920’s, women had to look like little boys and so they taped their breasts to get a washboard look – curves were a big no-no. In the 1950’s, Marilyn Monroe stylized the curves. In the 1960’s, models like Twiggy brought the super skinny look, you had to starve yourselves to be seen beautiful.
Now, women have to be toned and slim but curvy in just the right places – totally attainable, right?
Models and celebrities are posing and acting with their bodies which have become the new perfect. Girls as young as or younger than 18 go under the knife to change the features they have been endowed with, from their nose to their toes. Not to mention the infamous ways Chinese women went through to get tiny feet.
As stupid as it may seem, women have to go through so much of emotional pressure and physical torture just so that the world would think they are desirable. Strangely enough, men have never had to undergo changes like these to be deemed attractive.
Why have we lost the value for natural beauty? Why are we supposed to harm ourselves to please the eyes of others?
We need to understand the fact that each human being is different from the other. Even identical twins have different personalities. We need to accept ourselves and believe that we are beautiful. There will be people comparing you to someone else who are considered to be more attractive but the trick is not to give in to those comparisons. And if someone doesn’t like you because you don’t have blue eyes or aren’t 5 feet 7 inches tall, then show them the door. You should never think you are lesser than someone else and never let people make you feel that way. You have to feel beautiful yourself, if you want people to think that you are.
Reference: Objectification Theory, Fredrickson & Roberts, 1997.