Some time back Fried Eye featured an interview with Sanjukta Parashar. A word in our interview, ‘beautiful’, caught our reader Abhinav Chohan’s attention and he shared with us the following piece of opinion that he wrote subsequently. We accept, as a part of the media, that we should use words with more discretion, and welcome such opinions from you, our beloved reader. We would like to thank him for bringing this to our notice. Following is what Abhinav wrote.
Skin deep or not…BEAUTY does matter
It is weird how we are so obsessed with the concept of beauty, we still have not bothered to come up with a word for ‘inner beauty’, at least not in common use. There is no denial that we are genetically programmed to drool over beauty but our sense of awareness should also have gathered enough intel by now on the limited purpose it serves. For most men the process of selecting a partner is a lot like bargaining for vegetables. While choosing a partner, most men will begin with fantasizing to engage the prettiest women that they can think off. Might even reason with himself the possibility of how it might actually work out in the nth universe. After he is gone through rigmarole of hope, failure and realisation, the morons will then settle for the prettiest girl that would settle for them. That’s why most men manage to end up with women who are one notch higher on ‘looks’ scale. While it might be exceptionally harsh an analogy for those who are in denial of the context, it really is true. If it might make anyone feel better, women do the same bargain but the object of bargain in “power”, in its many forms.
Beauty has become the cheese to a peoples’ personality and as they say everything is better with cheese. Let me elaborate on the last one a little bit. I recently came upon an interview of a lady IPS officer, Sanjukta Parashar. She is the first lady IPS officer to be posted in Assam, a fairly rattled region. While her accomplishments seem to know no bounds and is being covered by all forms of media, a line in this particular interview caught my attention. In the Introduction it said,’ The first female IPS officer to be posted in Assam, Sanjukta Parashar is the perfect epitome of a strong, independent, bold and beautiful woman. ‘ While it was a perfectly well written article, with good intentions I am sure, the purpose of reference to her beauty, while enlisting her achievements was lost on me. One could argue that the the author used the beautiful as a world play, ‘Bold and the Beautiful’ but that only perpetuates my reservation. In this phrase and in society in general, it is not enough to be independent and bold, beauty is an unavoidable compulsion. Even with out reading a 100 articles more, I am sure many other journalists have at least fleetingly touched upon the angle of her physical appearance. What is worse is that I am positive that in a span of 6 months the Google auto-search will have Sanjukta Parashar ‘Hot’ as the top 5 default option. Soon enough she will turn into the a Anna Kornikova of IPS, not by actions but by perception.
It is an all pervasive ideology that seems beyond us. Of course it is further hammered into our brains by mass media. As much as some people want you to forget the Sunanda Pushkar murder, I am hoping that it is at least a hidden folder in your memory space somewhere. Most of us felt bad at the loss of this woman, despite knowing knowing next to nothing about her. It was a little unnerving when I realised what was happening. Big chunk of people I spoke to said “its awful they killed the poor lady…she was so pretty”. Sunanda’s murder could not make people ask the right questions. Most of us were too busy brooding the loss of a face not the person. There is more then meets the eye they say. But the eyes are week, lazy and reluctant to go look beyond whats delivered to its door step.
This obvious affinity towards the good looking is not not a sexist agenda either. In the age of Flipkart and Amazon and underwear elastics that are no less than billboards, vanity is no longer exclusive to the fairer sex. Let us address the final frontier of the “face value” world, Bollywood. This is where our Heroes are made. But who is a hero? The origins of the word ‘hero’ lies in ancient Greece. The word signifies “man of superhuman strength or physical courage,” or “hero, demi-god, illustrious man,”. Of course our ‘heroes’ are all of this bit the age old question pops up; is it enough?
Well Hrithik Roshan fan club begs to differ. It does not matter what all the ‘hero’ can do, unless it is backed up with great looks, six pack abs and dance moves that will put water to shame. I don’t see any relevance of abs or dance unless you intend to have a dance off or a pose off to resolve disagreements. A regular looking dude like an Irrfan or Nawas have to wait for people to dig out scripts that will ‘justify’ them as heroes, as their physical appearance is not traditionally conformed to the idea of a hero. While in other news, Hrithik Roshan is seen flying around in his numerically challenged superhero trilogy that are seeming beyond story lines or plots or physics (even for a super hero flick). Who can forget the fact that, in the first half Koi Mil Gaya, Hrithik was ugly. When Jaadu comes to rescue of this harassed soul, among other things he also gives Hrithik style, six pack abs and swagger that will last a life time.
The only way a Nawaz or an Irrfan can have super powers is if they play an evil mastermind who will want to destroy the world and the Captain Great Looks because his nose is not sharp enough. Cinema does not inspire us to be better, just to be better looking.
It would be nice to live in a time and place where deeds speak for themselves. Where the “mithai” is not presumed better just because it has a “chandi ka parad” on top. As they say the proof of the pudding is in the eating not staring at it.
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