Sunday, 6 November 2011

Vanity, thy name is human....

     One of my most frequently voiced laments is about my looks (or the lack of them to be exact). I was born to parents who are pulchritudinous (my obnoxious way of saying comely). Why did I not inherit their genes? I don t know who said that women age like fine wine but he was talking about my mom. She has a nearly flawless complexion; lively eyes, a cheerful disposition and can pass for someone who is at least a decade younger. My Dad is compactly built but has a persona that commands respect and attention.

     My face, on the other hand, resembles a bad reproduction of Picasso's portraits chewed up by rodents. I have a nose that looks perpetually swollen, lips that look bee stung and a smile that can be used to break mirrors. I was chubby as a child and not too thin during my college days. With all the home cooked food I am gorging on these days, it is only a matter of time before I resemble the Pillsbury dough boy. Even with my grotesque looks, I still delude myself into thinking that a new shirt or a different set of glasses will somehow make me look better and hence the abominably butchered and corrupted Shakespearean quote forms the title of this post.

     Vanity is a symptom of the human condition. I am, (though there have been arguments made to the contrary), completely human and not an exception. Most of us want to look good. I know people who spend more time in front of a mirror than they do sleeping. The barrage of ads on the idiot box or in the news papers for grooming services and the roaring business they do are an indicator of the rising interest in self image.

     With the increasing societal acceptance of the male metrosexual archetype, men are now embracing methods which hitherto were a part of the exclusive domain of female grooming. Men using fairness creams is one thing but waxing, manicures............. It does not stop at that. I had a class mate in college who wanted to gain a few inches height by going under the knife. With the advancement of medicine and surgical techniques, there are methods to correct every perceived  physical flaw if you are affluent enough.

      Why are most of us obsessed with making ourselves conform to a popular media propagated image of physical attractiveness? Is it because ours has a become an increasingly superficial and shallow society? We teach children that God does not judge by outward appearances and that we should not to judge a book by its cover. The sad thing is we do it all the time consciously or sub consciously. Scientific studies have established the same beyond dispute.

       Shouldn t we as the most evolved species be able look beyond a pretty facade? Why then are we attracted to the more evolved equivalent of bright plumage? 


  1. Shakespearean quote??

  2. "Frailty, thy name is woman" from Julius Caesar

  3. You are a lot better looking than you say.

  4. we are wired to put beauty before brains. blame god for that.