Pakistan is a country with oddly specific beauty standards. Focus remains on complexion, hair, height, and body weight as well as the not-so-recent make-up trends that come and go. However, these makeup trends aren’t our concern right now. What we need to be discussing is a woman’s free will to choose what she puts on her face without her becoming the object of regular and unwanted debate.
I won’t discriminate in my criticism of people who feel as if it is their right to make their opinion about a woman’s looks known. Both men and women have taken the mantle of authority to decide how other women should dress. By no means am I denying your right to free speech – another issue we must tackle – but has anyone in our society heard of keeping one’s mouth shut if they have nothing nice or constructive to add? Maybe the person of your attention doesn’t really wish to hear what you think about their current highlights. Maybe you should leave that person to their own devices, rather than bringing them down.
First, there’s the issue of complexion. When will our people realize that an individual’s skin pigmentation is the result of genetics? How about the fact that areas receiving higher amounts of ultra-violet radiation or UVR, generally located close to the equator, tend to have darker-skinned populations? We need to stop considering skin color to discriminate against women – and other genders – because skin colors don’t determine your character or class. Kindly refrain from recommending skin lightening/whitening methods, and chemicals which end up ruining one’s skin in the long run. We don’t need any Zubaida Apa Ka Totkay (God bless the woman) and nor do we require Fair and Lovely.
Cleopatra wasn’t a white woman, nor is Michelle Obama, and they did just fine.
If the issue of complexion wasn’t enough to irritate most women, there’s always make-up. Women are called out for wearing make-up, or not wearing make-up, for wearing too much or too little, and for not wearing it right. There’s just no place for women, one way or the other people will invent new ideas to make them feel inadequate and unable to make decisions for themselves.
Well, this one is for you wonderful folks, who think they can dictate how much foundation their female associates can wear: No, you can’t flinch at the black lipstick your classmate is wearing. She loves it, and it brings out her grey eyes.
You can’t comment on how much highlighter your Islamiat teacher wears, because she’s glowing and she likes it.
You’re not supposed to call out someone for contouring her face; it brings out her cheekbones and the shape of her eyebrows is none of your business. The girl with the pixie hairdo isn’t lesbian; you’re just too scared to approach her.
That septum piercing looks glorious and her self-esteem has risen marginally; who are you to bring her down?
That long hair takes a lot of time to be tamed into a French plait, so please don’t tell her that she’d get better grades if she invests her time into her grades rather than her hair. We all know you’re going bald.
If she doesn’t wear makeup, you have absolutely no right to call her lazy because that too, is her decision.
We’ve got bigger issues than the length of some poor lady’s heels, so just let them be.