Appreciate other women’s beauty. A woman is beautiful if she is fairer, thinner and more attractive than other women. Beauty in our society is always understood in terms of comparison. Beauty is not defined by the woman herself but by the narrow patriarchal standards. This is the reason why women are pitched against each other to meet the patriarchal beauty standards. But why can’t beauty be subjective? An attribute defined by women themselves? Why can’t women appreciate other woman’s beauty without undermining their own?

How beauty determines a woman’s fate in patriarchal society

In our society, a woman’s beauty is considered crucial to determine her fate. If her physicality fits into social standards of beauty, she will get married to a ‘good’ family who will ensure her safety and security. But if she is dark-skinned, short or heavy-weighted, she will be at the receiving end of all the shaming and criticism. No groom will want to marry her and so she won’t gain the security that marriage ensures.

But why don’t we understand that any mindset that judges a person based on looks is prejudiced? Why don’t we understand that this competition to be more beautiful is just another way of patriarchy to oppress women? That by pitching women against each other in this competition, patriarchy aims at breaking women’s solidarity?

Beauty is not a contest

It is important for us to firstly understand that beauty is not a contest. Every woman is beautiful in different ways. It’s not just facial features that should determine the woman’s beauty. But her education, opinions, resistance and career also determine her glow. Secondly, we need to stop making beauty a determining factor of a woman’s fate.

For this, we need to stop judging women based on colour and facial features. We need to stop glorifying fair women and shaming those who are dark-skinned, short or disabled. We need to stop conforming to a single and narrow idea of beauty. Because beauty is a subjective term. A woman is beautiful if she is proud of herself. And that pride comes when women are empowered enough to support themselves and stand against the wrong.

Appreciate other women’s beauty and your own

Lastly, women need to stop shaming other women based on the patriarchal definition of beauty. Women need to stop comparing themselves with other women and downplaying their own beauty and achievements. They should appreciate other women’s beauty, success and achievements and try to learn something from them. Women must step down from the rat race of being the most beautiful and marrying the most eligible bachelor. Embrace yourself the way you are. And always be open to constructive lessons from others’ life experiences.

Leave behind the days when beauty was portrayed in graceful princess and ugliness in defiant witches. Both princess and witch are equally beautiful and strong in different ways. If they ride the broomstick together, there is no limit to the heights that they can achieve. Once women begin to build this solidarity among themselves, it will not be easy for patriarchy to seep through.

Views expressed are the author’s own. 


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