Even Cindy Crawford says that she does not wake up looking like Cindy Crawford.
Beauty and looking good are a integral part of our self esteem. We all have the urge to look, smell and sound good, cos it eventually makes us feel good.
And contrary to popular perception and much to the chagrin of my fellow brotherhood, let me reveal that we men have always been using women’s beauty products all along. Since time immemorial. Extensively (Sorry guys J).
Long before there was fairness cream for men, I used to surreptitiously wear women’s fairness cream. And I must say, it actually worked!! It did make me look fairer J. But my glee was short lived when one of my women colleagues recognized the scent of the cream on my face when we stood close to each other in the crowded bus back home and she yelled out to me in front of everyone in the crowded bus if I used women’s fairness cream. My new found fairness accentuated my red blushing face, which went bright red with embarrassment. That was the end of my love story with fairness cream. Till they recently came out with the odorless version (Thank God for R&D!!J).
My tryst with women’s beauty products continued with blackhead removers, moisturizers, sunscreen lotion and facewash. But the industry evolved to bring out products catering to men. I then started to be open about going for manicures, pedicures and massages. I also developed a profound obsession to smelling good and thus started my love affair with perfumes. My current vice is eye glasses and I have about 11 pairs of them, which I color coordinate with my wardrobe’s latest summer collection. J
But growing up, my macho buddies thought I was weird. In the mallu backwaters of God’s own country, where mallu macho was defined with ‘mundu’ and ‘mooch’, I lacked either. Also my cupboard having two shelves of beauty products, didn’t help my gender cause. And it seemed like I knew more about exfoliation than some of the women I dated then J. To the many raised eyebrows, I used to vociferously highlight that only real men use make-up (not that it helped much). Finally, Media came to my rescue again when they branded men who used beauty products as ‘Metrosexy’. They said that being metrosexy is cool and that metrosexy is the new sexy. Almost suddenly, I was ahead of the curve and my guy buddies found it easier to talk to me about beauty products as compared to asking their women friends. Suddenly, I was the new dude in the hostel. And I wore color coordinated glasses to boot. With matching scarfs. And I smelt Hugo Boss. Musk fragranced, that too. J
It’s been a decade since my journey with beauty products and I’ve learnt to respect women and men who wear make up. I like the fact that people take the effort to look, smell and feel good – it just shows that they love and care about themselves and that they are comfortable in their (moisturized)skins. J
But I also started to realize something else….
I now realize that the real beauty in ourselves is not in the way we groom ourselves; its something more profound: The real beauty in ourselves is our own selves only. And our best make-up is something which all of us have in abundance - ourselves.
We are all somebody to somebody else – we are children, parents, siblings, lovers, colleagues, neighbors and friends to other people. And they interact, cherish and value us not because we use the latest accessories or sport the latest trends (which does help, by the way ;)); they interact with us because we are ourselves. And that’s what makes all of us so special and so beautiful to everyone around us. And there is nobody else quite like it. There is a void in the universe that can be filled only by our own unique selves.
Our virtues, our vices, our prejudices, our prides, our loves, our lives, our hearts, our smiles and our selves are the real beauty in all of us. And we are all, soooo... beautiful!!
So here’s a toast to the most beautiful thing about us – our own selves.
To us -the ‘real beauty’ in us!
Cheers and Amen.
And like they say, "May all our happiness be true happiness and all our pain, champagne!!!" J
Dove and Yahoo! salutes the triumphant spirit of the Indian woman with Yahoo! Real Beauty - 'What is 'real beauty' to you?'. Go on, join the conversation....