Holidays and Beauty

 *Two short blog entries before 2014 is over. Happy New Year everyone!

Wise Compliments by Sanchita N

After hours of applying and reapplying my make up, I finally got ready for a wedding party. At the wedding, I observed women complimenting each other on their saris, make up and hairdos. A bejeweled teenager came over to me and remarked, “That bitch is wearing perfect eye makeup. I will have to YouTube makeover techniques tonight. By the way, I adore your earrings.” After contemplating these comments for awhile, I figured out one disgusting flaw in our culture- the culture of insincere complementing.

Yes, we all enjoy receiving praises. “You look gorgeous,” “You are beautiful,” “Great body,” and much more. These comments lift our mood instantly. Even though we are aware how some people use compliments to win quick friendships and sometimes for even more selfish motives.

All around the globe, there are women who are always striving to accentuate their external features, to make an impression and to gain compliments. This is ridiculous. Believe me; we all know deep down such attachments to superficial beauty is meaningless. We all know that in the long run, people always remember your actions, not your appearance. Us women are capable of doing far more productive things than earning compliments for our face full of makeup. Waste of time, energy and MONEY.

It doesn’t mean we should stop caring for our body. Eating healthy, exercising and staying fit is essential for a healthier and happier life. However, you cannot live your life on a false hope of getting attention with a makeup mask and expensive outfits. We are living in hypocrisy and most importantly we are giving wrong messages to our little girls. We received this

It doesn’t mean we should stop caring for our body. Eating healthy, exercising and staying fit is essential for a healthier and happier life. However, you cannot live your life on a false hope of getting attention with a makeup mask and expensive outfits. We are living in hypocrisy, and most importantly we are giving wrong messages to our little girls. We received this ostentatious culture from our elders and we are passing it on to the next generation without giving it much thought.

Imagine a party where women drop comments such as; “My dear you are so hard working, you are an inspiration,” “You have such a positive outlook in life,” etc. We can start to develop a culture of complimenting inner beauty and empower young ones. This way, girls can still wear make up and dress fashionably, as a choice but not as a compulsion. I feel that Nepali society needs a huge paradigm shift where girls accept themselves the way they are physically. We need to inculcate confidence, self-esteem and sense of purpose in life instead of encouraging them to look like cover models.

One of my social worker friends ridiculed my drawer full of makeup and said, “Instead of purchasing makeup, why not buy food for orphans!” Maybe I do, but I also enjoy wearing make up. We don’t all need to go that far. However, us women can use our time to read, exercise, and instill creative routines and use minimal time in front of the mirror. Don’t forget, time spent on makeup equals time spent removing it too. Should we not focus on contributing to the world and making it a better place for our daughters?

Next time, you have to make a small talk in a party just for sake of courtesy; rather than complimenting on the woman’s shoes, you can simply say, “You are such a nice person.” No doubt, the lady will definitely make at least one effort to be a good human being. More importantly, the toddler by her side would learn a beautiful lesson about the profound strength of inner beauty.

Words have power. Your compliments have super powers. Use them wisely.

3417556587_46fd9d0781_z

(Photo credit: xtina5645)

Holidays by Anonymous

With Dashain/Tihar and Thanksgiving  behind us, the upcoming holiday season is here. I really enjoy this time of the year, the ‘holiday spirit’. Most of us are lucky enough to be able to enjoy the best of both worlds. I absolutely LOVE dashain/tihar time and being traditional. Growing up partially in the States, I am ever more thankful that my parents and other elders continue to instill all the good traditions and cultures upon us. Waking up the day of dashain, hustling around and getting ready, as mom is cooking for relatives, who come over to receive tika and blessing from parents. Or getting ready to go to other relatives house to receive tika and blessings from the elders. As a family we definitely look forward to this time of the year. Even as a grown adult, I look forward to picking out an outfit to wear for dashain, eating good food, and even counting the money that is usually given as part of the blessings.  During tihar, I love having people over to play some taas, eat some good sel and enjoy each other’s company; and during laxmi puja, setting up the house with lights and sitting beside mom as she is doing puja. I have a brother so ‘bhai tika’ is very important to us. We both  look forward to tihar and enjoy it, and having mom guide us through the tika process, and of course getting gifts from each other. Living in America, I am also glad that we are able to partake in some of its traditions. When Thanksgiving comes around, there is going to be a turkey dinner with the fixings of  sides. Now with Christmas coming up, looking for the Christmas tree that you have stored away so that you can pull it out and put it up. Yes, most of us might not be celebrating the birth of Christ, but it is the holiday spirit that we are celebrating. The season of giving and family, and lucky of us that starts in September/October with Dashain. We get to enjoy the best of both worlds! I wish you all a Happy New Year. May this New Year be a great year!

4 thoughts on “Holidays and Beauty

  1. Richa P says:

    Sanchita, I agree with you. I wish our society could focus on other things besides looks. I think with globalization and westernization of Nepal, things have gotten better and worse at the same. The trick is to find a balance. I know that even if girls are smart and do well in other things, there is still a lot of pressure for them to be first or be the best.

    I like wearing make up too but in the last few years I wear it less (unless it’s a special event). I try really hard to take care of my body and skin and I am happy to say that I am very comfortable going make up free most days. Thanks for your lovely post.

  2. Sara D says:

    I am impressed with your take on the subject of superficial beauty and its effect on young girls. I also believe that self-esteem is important and that make up is just an illusion. I loved reading your article. Happy New Year!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *