Discussions of Islam, Afghanistan and Politics. Also, BDS.
June 3rd
10:18 PM

On Bullying, Beauty Standards and “Brown Girl Problems”

You know, what the fashion industry dictates as standards of beauty are obviously unrealistic, destructive concepts for women. They create a state of perpetual inferiority complexes due to one’s most natural physical attributes such as enlarged pores, blemishes, dull hair, skin color, fat, cellulite, and hair on our faces and bodies. 

It leaves women to strive for a standard of beauty that is clearly unattainable, even by the very models that embody it on ads and the runway. We all are subject to it on one level or the other and while I will opt out of going into detail by leaving that for an essay I plan on writing, I will share the following anecdote: 

For years now, my 13-year-old cousin has been teased by girls in her grade for her “hairy” legs which are exposed during PE class. The amount of hair is absolutely natural for anyone to have and to think that a pre-teen has to go through bullying by peers who all have the very same physical attribute as her is absolutely abhorrent. Today, after her and her mother agreed that she could remove the hair, I waxed her legs. It really got me thinking.

One one hand, of course, I saw how morbidly happy it made her to finally put an end to the teasing and be able to be like “the other girls”. On the other hand, of course, it upset me so much to see the pain she had to go through just to fit into beauty standards others had defined for her, to concepts she was literally bullied to adhere to. And, perhaps the most upsetting of all, the foreshadowing nature of this rite of passage was the most saddening. She will, inevitably, by virtue of being a South Asian female go through an incredible amount of bullying, teasing and harassment all throughout her lifetime just because of the way she looks. 

And that, I wish I could change and knowing that it’s such a huge battle to fight leaves me absolutely hopeless. 

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    So true.
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