At times, she tries to copy me by placing a small ‘bindi‘ (she calls it tikli) and poses in front of the mirror. Obviously, her young mind tells her that she looks beautiful too.
While these days I am inflating my ego with her words, I very well understand that with time her compliments will change; their meanings will change.
With time, she will learn to define beauty in her own terms. She would notice the wrinkles on my face and she might find my clothes old fashioned. Then, she may not find me ‘sundan.’
She may still say ‘mumma kitni sundar hai..’ but then sundar to her would mean inner beauty, simplicity, character and substance.
With time the beauty standards would grip her mind. She finds herself pretty right now. She likes her face. She seems to like everything and everyone in her life right now. But as she grows up, she might begin to feel issues with her perfect body. She will find faults in her body and face, like we all women do. She will judge herself and others on beauty parameters.
With this would begin the comparison trap. She would compare herself with her peers and her mom with her mom’s peers. That is how it always happens. I remember finding my mum very good looking when I was young. But as I grew up, I started to suggest her using the anti-ageing creams. This was my way of directing her attention to her sagging skin.
I did so and I felt I was being a responsible daughter. But now, when I am on the verge of starting to walk down the same road, I wish my daughter never learns this responsibility. I wish she finds me the same as she does now at the age of 2.5 yrs.
To tackle this and more so to ‘save’ her from the trauma that the beauty comparison trap would bring her, I am going to teach her that all things mortal but beauty is eternal.
Once beautiful, always beautiful.
My childhood was spent in feeling extremely inferior about my looks. Born in a western UP town that is obsessively obsessed with ‘fair complexion’, there was hardly a day in my life when someone near or distant never commented upon my complexion.
It always began with ‘oh.. so what she is dark, she has nice features’! This was the reason, when Pahal was about to be born, one thing I least wanted was a dark complexion. Not that I think fair is pretty but I know dark is definitely not pretty for this world. I have been through it and
I am very well aware of the effect such a thing has on a woman’s confidence.
With beauty, there is one more thing immortal and we call it love. Love surpasses all boundaries.
Pahal’s dad and my adorable husband did not even take a year to make me believe that I am beautiful. He has titled me as ‘the most beautiful woman’ he has ever met. And I can’t disagree with him. Two most important people in my life find me beautiful and they compliment me so I can certainly live my whole life happily on their words.
As a mother, I am going to give enough compliments to my daughter so that she never needs anyone to tell her she is beautiful. Not even her kids!
She would know it and she would believe it!