A Beauty Blogger’s Tribute to Independence Day
I Found My Freedom in Blogging? Have You Found Yours Yet?
I guess this is another very offbeat post of mine after the one on how spirituality relates to beauty ( http://thebeautyblogoflove.blogspot.com/2018/07/beauty-benefits-of-meditation-you-didnt.html) but since I got good response & appreciation from you guys which gave me the courage to speak my mind once again. Well, my blog is like a personal journal, then why not share my mind with you all & today I’ve decided to tribute an article to Indian Independence Day & express, as an Indian woman myself, what freedom means to me.
After being in denial for years, I’ve finally conquered my fears to acknowledge that I’m in love with fashion & beauty. And why I’m adding this post on my blog is a question to me too.
Maybe, my inner philosopher is knocking the doors to finally come out & maybe it’s time to share my experience with you guys. If you mostly browse through beauty blogs for product review or advice on hot topics on skin/hair care, then you can freely skip this post. I wouldn’t complain.
Have you ever come across a woman in the streets with perfectly done makeup & fashionable attire & you left with a feeling like ‘wow, she must be spending hours in makeup & dressing up; she seems to have a lot of time’. or something like this: ‘she’s so fashionable, she spends her whole time in makeup ***she must be dumb’ or maybe even ‘ehh she looks so cheap, her dress is too short to fit in, what a bitch she must be!!!’ Yes we all do that, even though some of us even have gone through that.
This is human nature to be judgmental even to people we barely know. I mean come on, who here hasn’t judged people on the basis of their looks anyway? There is another point or pressure may be on women, to be taken as dumb if they’re a bit concerned over makeup & fashion. Doesn’t it sound contradictory? The society that implies, fashionable women are dumb, also expects women to be good-looking & presentable.
Do people realize to ensure to have healthy skin how much work has to be done? Read any of my posts to get an insight, suppose I’d created a post on fighting acne & at that time I didn’t know it was going to be one of the most popular posts in my blog. Do you see how hard it is to follow a regimen that works? Those sufferers will have to take care of so many things at a time like applying tretinoin or glycolic acid cream, substituting the normal facewash with an AHA/BHA based one, wear clay masks, go through painful sessions of chemical peeling, wear sunscreen, cover sun exposed areas & all to achieve what they have achieved.
To those people who feel skincare savvy people are dumb that blog post ( http://thebeautyblogoflove.blogspot.com/2018/06/little-known-ways-to-cure-acne.html) should be an insight of how much knowledge a skincare buff has to acquire to simply conquer acne & pimples, rest assured of other such steps to improve skin health.
So, I’d like to ask to those judgmental eyes how much of all this they know? How many of those people are aware that skin is a part of our immune system & messing with it with all the misinformation can indirectly harm you so that it can be irreversible. Do they realize the basic skin anatomy or what percentage of the creams we put on it is absorbed? So, compare a beauty blogger who delivers knowledge on such a topic to a layman who has great degrees in engineering (no offence to anyone, just an example here) or something else. Yes, the truth is both are knowledgeable in their own fields, so why should one of them have a false sense of superiority over the other one?
I really don’t understand.
In my place too, women who are fashionable, love makeup are perceived as idiots. Well about me, I come from a family of highly qualified individuals & academics & I myself have two master degrees in Biotechnology & Bioinformatics respectively & I still love beauty/fashion & makeup. Do I sound dumb?
You must be wondering why I’m nagging about these things to you. Well, I’m no leader to start a movement but at least I can request you guys to take some time out to think, what freedom means to you. I exactly felt like that on 15 August (a week back), India’s Independence Day. I was wondering how free it is to live as a well qualified 29 years old unmarried woman in India who doesn’t want to be perceived as an idiot but at the same time loves fashion & makeup so much to start a beauty blog lol. That’s why this post, yes, you got me there.
So at the very beginning, I’m not yet over with it though, as you know, this blog is only 3 months old; I faced some odd reactions, although not unexpected from people who’re close to me. My take on my life has always been a little different from most girls of my age. Like often I see girls who studied with me in school, are already married with kids. In India, it’s quite normal for an ambitious & free spirited woman to have an aunty-brigade after her nagging about getting married & all where I was such a misfit. Voicing my choice over my own life, body & career hasn’t been easy for me either.
I constantly face criticism (ofcourse on my back, no one has the courage to confront me) on my lifestyle & getting immune is the only choice you’re left with. This is exactly where I found freedom, yes it has its expenses like I described above, but I feel blessed to be an Indian woman thriving in 21st century with lesser bindings & prejudices than those my mum had to face. I found my freedom to speak my choice, to rise above my fears; I found my freedom to pursue a beauty blog & not being perceived as a brainless beauty at the same time.
Today’s topic is not exactly something you’d expect in a blog dedicated to fashion & beauty but I think it’s something we should talk about now breaking the century old silence. Because women should be allowed to pursue their dreams without being judged, call me a feminist but it is the fact that I’m 29, I’m single & thus I do not do makeup to please men’s eyes, I do not wear short dresses to look sexually inviting to men……I do so because I want to, because I love it & because I’m fit enough to flaunt my quadriceps & hamstrings after hours of weight training in the gym.
Why would a woman wearing a short dress be labeled as a ‘slut’? If this is my body & I live in it, it is my fundamental right to dress as I please for which I shall not be deemed answerable to anyone else, neither do my society, nor my husband/or the significant other has agency over my body but it’s only me to decide what I shall do with it.
So the next time someone bullies you for wearing a short dress, bully them back for being such mean & less educated one. Next time a glare threatens your confidence, confront them using the same confidence they want to hit, for no one is bound to be politically correct 24x7.
I am proud to be a free Indian woman of 21st century & I am thankful to speak my mind in my blog & here is how I found my freedom this Independence Day which brought me a welcome change to have to courage to speak out, finally & I embrace it.
Same goes for the age old Indian prejudice of lighter skin being equated to beauty. I know people abroad have heard about it as well as my fellow citizens have faced it & unfortunately, It’d hit me early when I was just a child with no sense of color, race, caste or other discriminatory attributes clouding in our society. Growing up, I’ve always heard that I’m the ugly dark one despite of being the girl who always did well in class tests, I was the one bullied by my peers with high amount of profanity.
They said, ‘oh she does so well in the tests, in singing & in the dance class too, but poor girl! Wish she had a lighter complexion’. I know many other girls would perfectly relate to such remarks. As a teenager I’ve always a had a very dark complexion (I know its surprising) but I never complained about it, infact I loved that color & I used to proudly flaunt it although people around me didn’t spare me a bit. Call it colonial hangover or just obsession or whatever, it affects my society.
But as I grew up & as I pursued a career in Biotechnology, things around me started to change. Before that I had no real knowledge on skincare & all. A talcum powder & a night cream were all I could care about & a compact powder was a luxury. But as my knowledge was expanding, without conscious effort, I, now armed with my new found knowledge started obsessing about skin/hair care (just ‘skincare’ not skin color) & slowly as I got used to wearing sunscreen on a regular basis, I soon discovered that my original skin color was never dark, in fact it was the ivory like complexion I have now with yellow undertone. I was just overly photosensitive (sun darkened my skin over the years) & it was just a bad tan.
After a few years of sticking to a regular well-informed skincare routine, my real skin color was showing & aunties started whispering about it. Suddenly I was getting complements on my looks. No, my face didn’t change a bit neither my body shape (yes I agree I’ve gained a bit muscle from weight training regularly), here beauty equates to skin color. What they meant when they said I’m beautiful is that I’ve just got light skin & thus it is pretty. Well, it is not that pretty if only they knew, how many hours I’ve spent on chemical peeling, reapplying sunscreen, investing in expensive essential oils, making complicated DIY face masks & most importantly gaining knowledge.
I never followed a potent skincare routine to get a lighter skin. I was simply using my knowledge to get a healthier skin, that’s all. Light skin was a side effect because it is my natural skin color which got tanned over the years. But I like my former tanned self as much as I like this ivory self. Life got easier, among my friends whose ego was hurt got away, a few of them had real self esteem issues regarding my skin color but virtually nothing changed for me. I’m still the same person but yes, the whole experience, or journey; as you may call it has made me a stronger person.
Now I feel I can handle challenges better. I am very thankful to my former dark skin color because it taught me how to struggle, to wake up every morning, confident enough to face a society that is obsessed with a lighter shade of skin.
This Independence Day I had a new awakening because this year I’d started my online journal or blog where I finally decided to break free & express myself with no bounds. This article is just another self expressing piece of a girl from a country celebrating its Independence Day. This is my tribute to my Freedom as I’m constantly looking for a new manifestation of it, & as I’ve found one this year.
I thank my stars that I live in modern India & I’m proud of my roots, without which I couldn’t have been this strong to face everything that I’ve faced & this year, I’m celebrating my very own Independence Day with a new stronger spirit & thus, I described how I found my freedom in mundane day to day life. That’s all.
In my next article, I’d cover lip scrubbing. So till then, be free; be unstoppable, embrace the independence & stick around if you can!!!
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