Circle of Friends: An Immersive Conversation On The Issues Facing Women | Verve Magazine - Part 6
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April 20, 2017

Circle of Friends: An Immersive Conversation On The Issues Facing Women

Text by Prabha Chandran

Aparna Sen, Lillete Dubey and Shabana Azmi, along with successful women from diverse fields, look into the issues concerning the contemporary woman

Good Looks

Kiran Lohia, a cosmetologist and beautician, discloses that very young girls come to her to get their features corrected, and wonders how important looks are in getting ahead? “Oh, they are very important. You have such a huge advantage if you are a good looking person,” says Shabana. “But who is defining good looks? It cannot be the same hair, eyes, teeth, slim figures. I have a problem with standard good looks. My idea of beauty is a tribal woman —, flat, dark, not pristine features. Of course, young actresses need to invest in their appearance because that’s what they are selling, but look at this nonsense of constantly scrutinising what people wear! Why can I not repeat a favourite dress? How can a dress be favourite if I don’t repeat it?” Lillete agrees, “It is very disturbing for a person, say, like Vidya Balan who was chastised for bad dress sense and being overweight till somebody told her ‘it was her USP.” Author Sandhya Mulchandani who has written a few books including one on the Kama Sutra reminds us how far we have strayed from the traditional Indian concept of beauty where a “woman must have thighs thick and smooth like a banana tree and her waist should have three folds…” Aparna interjects that it’s “really scary and troubling the way youth are behaving on Instagram and, social media…the bulimia, the anorexia, the sense of worth coming from a body image, that is scary. You need to get your sense of worth from other things, your sports, work etc.” Conversely, she agrees with surveys that show good-looking people actually earn more.

Next: On creativity…

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