“You’re too dusky for that red lipstick.”
“You are so hairy; why don’t you get laser done?
“Unibrows have never been in fashion.”
“You’re in desperate need of hair colour. Your greys are showing!”
This Women’s Day, let’s take a pledge to not abide by these “beauty rules” set by society. To hell with them really!
If you want to wear a tank top without having your underarm hair waxed, go ahead and wear it. If you’re greying prematurely, flaunt those silvers like it’s nobody’s business. If makeup gives you confidence, apply a full face of it. Be you. Do you. And above all, love you.
On the occasion of International Women’s Day, we spoke to 10 millennial women and asked them about the beauty stereotypes they’d love to break. Here’s what they had to say.
- Nidhi Mistry (Teacher)
- Sumona Bose (Fashion Writer)
- Varsha Nair (Housewife)
- Harshitha Prabhakar (Beauty Editor)
- Twinkle Mehta (Chartered Accountant)
- Ramya Venkatkrishnan (Content Manager)
- Miloni Gilitwala (Fashion student)
- Payal Mahendra (Content Writer)
- Neha Kuriakose (Regional Community Lead)
- Moneeka Ravi (Professor)
Nidhi Mistry (Teacher)
Stereotype: You’re a beauty lover only if you own tons of skincare and makeup products.
“There are so many makeup tutorials out there that it gets overwhelming and you are lured into buying (and hoarding) more skincare and makeup products than you even require. I’m someone who loves a multi-tasking product, it saves money, effort and of course the environment too. What I usually do is use one lipstick to do my entire makeup—I apply that one colour on my lips, cheeks and lids.”
Sumona Bose (Fashion Writer)
Stereotype: Smooth and silky skin is the only thing that's pretty.
“I’ve spent half my life taming my crazy head of hair, but my body has seen its fair share of hair troubles too. I spent my teen years waxing, shaving and plucking away the first sight of hair and that took up a lot of my time and effort. Now that I am an adult (that's debatable!) and privy to the fact that most men don't pay heed to body hair at all, I wish they would just stop pushing the smooth skin agenda on us women. I want to live loud and proud with my prickly thighs and underarm hair. That's nobody's business but mine!”
Varsha Nair (Housewife)
Stereotype: Dark-skinned women shouldn’t wear bright colours
“I personally think dark-skinned women look more vibrant and beautiful in bright colours, whether it is makeup or clothes. From sunny yellow to fuchsia pink, we should have the liberty to wear whatever colour we desire.
Harshitha Prabhakar (Beauty Editor)
Stereotype: Grey hair looks unkempt and needs to be covered up.
“Grey hair has always been looked down upon especially if you start greying prematurely. This is one stereotype I’d love to break. Another beauty stereotype women have been facing is living under the pressure of constantly waxing to keep their bodies hairless. It should be a woman’s decision. If she is comfortable not waxing, she should be free of judgement.
Twinkle Mehta (Chartered Accountant)
Stereotype: You need to be a certain size to look attractive.
“I've personally battled body image issues for a good part of my life. I’ve been called all sorts of names growing up and had to deal with lots of unsolicited advice from older women. The stigma stuck for long. It took a lot of hard work, but I made it on the other side where I've found a better balance between the desire to change reality and acceptance.
Ramya Venkatkrishnan (Content Manager)
Stereotype: You’re not really beautiful unless you have perfect glass-like skin.
“I often see a set of beauty influencers on Instagram use filters to make their skin look smooth and flawless and it sets wrong expectations. Skin comes with texture. We all have pores, bumps, whiteheads, peach fuzz etc. I have tremedous respect for those who show their imperfect skin on social platforms to break these beauty stereotypes.
Miloni Gilitwala (Fashion student)
Stereotype: Makeup is for those who don’t want to show their real selves.
“I’d love to break this beauty stereotype. For me, Makeup isn’t something I hide behind but rather something that adds to my confidence. Society shames you either way, whether you wear makeup or not, and the hypocrisy is something I hate. I think women should have the freedom to wear the makeup they want, whenever they want!
Payal Mahendra (Content Writer)
Stereotype: A woman should look put together at all times.
“There are days when you don’t want to play dress up. It could be due to a bad mood, you’re PMSing or perhaps you’re not just feeling good from within. The pressure we put on ourselves is monumental and it’s time to break free from such expectations.”
Neha Kuriakose (Regional Community Lead)
Stereotype: Body hair is ugly.
“Body hair is not embarrassing and ugly; it is the most natural thing. We live in this superficial world where we are constantly working so hard to better our outer appearance. So, this Women's Day, I wish women would stop adhering to beauty standards “approved” by society.”
Moneeka Ravi (Professor)
Stereotype: Women must have socially-approved facial hair.
“Threading eyebrows and upper lips because only men have moustaches is a body hair stigma that I thoroughly dislike. The pain of threading and waxing is as bad as the annoyance created by people’s comments. If I don't mind looking like an ape, what's your problem?”