Work in Progress (No, really)

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Does Beauty Mean Less Now?

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A few nights ago, I was on youtube watching some old school PTV clips and songs. After bouncing around for a while listening to songs and old programs, I thought about the differences between then and now. One thing in particular that I thought about was beauty. I should make it clear that we're talking purely physical and with little to no consideration of "seerat" (sorry Faiz sahib).

Does beauty mean less now? Alternatively, the question could be phrased as did beauty mean more before?

When I say before, I don't know exactly when. Most likely, the scale for this question is generational; consequently, before means the generation before ours.

The fact of the matter is that we're exposed to "beauty" more in this day and age than before. I'm not just talking about people who are physically beautiful, but in addition to that we have the entire editing process (airbrushing and everything else) that removes all the "kinks." And let's not even talk about all the nip and tuck procedures. Add to that a more globalized world where suddenly Miss Latvia can become well known throughout the world, and suddenly we have different concepts of beauty overriding or clashing with other concepts (or you can call them cultures).

South Asians flock towards whitening creams. White people flock toward tanning beds (and indirectly, skin cancer). Within Indians, we have the north and the south. The north being typically more "white" than the south (with respect to skin). This brings to a situation where you could that North Indian on billboards everywhere, while at the same time, North Indian could have an even "whiter" model of beauty.

Clothes covered more too, at least on average. And less is more folks. Less is more.

Unlike now, where even a France someone might go "ohoho Kareena" when hearing someone's name. (Really, that's a true story). I mean, if women have to compete with people from totally different cultures, some of which may be far more liberal, then what do you think will happen? Especially when that good 'ole islami taleem is lacking.

So, a generation ago, the circle of knowledge was smaller -- no internet and less "perfection" around around. Simply put, it's not so much that there was more genuine beauty, but the standards weren't so ridiculously stacked and there there fewer known 7's and 8's. Nowadays, everyone can get themselves to at least a 6. And let's be honest, looks play a part in the "purpose of life" game. Even beyond just the  attracting mates part, it also serves in providing some sort of self-confidence (granted, this has more to do with being content with yourself to an extent, but feeling beautiful or at least "not ugly" plays a part in that).

So now it's a crazy rat-race with one group following another and in the end we're not even going circles, but rather the result is a different sort of malghooba altogether.

Blame colonialism (like always). Blame globalization. Blame weak egos. Blame males. Blame females. Blame the hormones.

Clearly purdah is the solution to all of this. Even with that one jaiz nazr. But people (read desi people) tend to turn that one jaiz nazr into some sort of superman x-ray vision.

I guess in the end you just have to blame guys. Damn..

On second that, let's just blame the British. That's always the way to go with the world's problems.

And, I do think that in the battle of "Surat" and "seerat", ultimately, beauty is subjective and temporary -- at least external beauty. Yeah, sorry, I'm one of those people who believe that.

And consequently age matters not either.

It does. But it doesn't.

Now I don't want this post on google plus one day, folks. Or else, we're talking some serious bisti..for me.

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