Come one, come all… new hymen for sale. But, Husshhh!

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So you want to watch a movie, and you are tempted by the nachos and butter pop corn.  You turn away… the temptation is too hard to resist. And what have we here? An even bigger temptation for someone who will be 40, come January… To be 18, tight and oh, like a V(irgin). Uh? No, thank you.

Give me the nachos with a double dip of cheese please!

ETA: Khalifa (comments below) who wasn’t quite sure, decided to call and ask. This is what he says: “I decided to ask them. Turns out it’s a new technology, they shoot a laser into your ‘private area’ and it’s instant tightening.”

OOOOPS!

The Unmentioned Disclaimer: Doesn’t work if you were slutty enough to lose your virginity before you turned 18

Don’t judge a book by its cover

…or a person by their laugh. Or whatever.

I’ve been in and out of the bank where I have a car loan. The lady servicing me pissed me off the very first time with her deadpan, almost rude expression.

However, over a few phone calls and some more visits, I realised that under the layers of foundation and fake grey lens, was a smile itching to wrinkle-up her face.

There was still something warm about her, though her face seemed to have OD-ed on botox and went to deadpan hell.

***

But a smile or a laugh is no guarantee of bonhomie either. I had an amazing 3 hours at one of the city’s best spas recently, to do a review. The ‘therapist’ was skilled and efficient. Except that she followed up every response with a brief, practised laugh that really freaked me out.

It went something like ‘eh-ha’, and lasted precisely 2 seconds. It was her personal twitch, I think. By the second hour of the treatment, I was very careful not to say anything close to a joke, or anything that required a lengthy response from her.

No such luck.

“May I use the washroom before the next treatment?”

“Sure, eh-ha.”

Both victims of social pressure, methinks. To be someone they were not comfortable being. First was probably told she needed to cling on to her fast-disappearing youth. The other was asked to be friendly, even if just polite and efficient would have passed muster.

‘TODAY I DID NOT WASTE MONEY ON A FAIRNESS PRODUCT’.

Here is a call for action. I am not asking for money. In fact, I’m asking you to SAVE some.

I am beyond fed up with the bl***y colour crusade. If it’s not fairness, it’s lightening, brightening, or some such bullsh*t lotions and potions.

I know that many of us are closet users. In a group, we would all talk about how the colour of our skin doesn’t matter, but when we see the next crap advertisement, it at some level does.

Now if it’s just my self esteem or that of my peers, it wouldn’t upset me so much. It’s the effect these have on my daughter – O, and children of her age.

Every time one of these ads crop up on television, for my benefit, O parrots back to me my lecture: “Colour of your skin does not matter, no amma? Being fair is not being beautiful, no amma? Being happy and smiling is what makes us beautiful, no amma?”

And with every ‘no amma’, her eyes go back to the TV. There are messages far stronger than mine that are influencing her — if not in the media, then it’s her friends who talk about dark equals ugly, about how the fair classmates are ‘pretty’. We can probably still ignore this as child talk — but the parents turn out to be real scary.

One parent I met, mourned and groaned about how she wished her daughter, instead of her son, had been ‘blessed’ with lighter skin. I was seething: how I wish the children had been ‘blessed’ with a saner mother!

More than one person has asked R & me how O or N turned out fair (or fairer than us, because the two of us are totally brown).  ‘A tablespoon of bleach with milk, through the pregnancy,’ is what I offer as advice and answer.

Now, back to the potion-trap.

We all find excuses to fall for it – ‘my skin is dull, it’s not to become fairer’ or ‘it’s for the spots, not for the skin colour’…

I am not passing judgments here, especially since I’ve spent enough hours rubbing lemon on my neck and potatoes on my face, in my teens.

Anyways, it’s not about self esteem alone; it’s about the health hazards these lotions pose. The chemicals, bleach, metal that constitute the ‘skin lighteners’.

I can’t fight Hindustan Lever, John Abraham, Preity Zinta and Dhoni (why the heck does this guy need to be fair skinned?!).

All I want is a dozen mums or aunts or sisters to swear off these products to set an example to the little girls in their life. Just a dozen and I would be content.

Let’s do this:

Line up all the lotions in your shelf – am sure hidden amongst the foundations and moisturisers is a bottle or two self-esteem-murdering, elixir-of–false-promises. Pick up those tubes or tubs, and bin it.

I had this bottle on my shelf. A Nuxe brightening cream that was sent along with a PR, and which I did use a couple of times. It’s now wrapped in N’s dirty diaper and put to rest.

Next, either on a sticky post if your blog allows it, or on the header, or somewhere on your page, put up something on these lines: ‘TODAY I DID NOT WASTE MONEY ON A FAIRNESS PRODUCT’ or ‘TODAY I PROTECTED MY SELF ESTEEM FROM A FAIRNESS CREAM’  or any message that fits your thoughts best.

We owe this to our daughters, nieces and sisters. We owe it to ourselves.

The day the line goes missing, maybe a few of us will take the effort to pass on a reminder again.

To kick off my little campaign, I am tagging those of you with little girls in your life. So that’s TEESU, DEEPS, INBA, SHYAM, SOLILO, MMWORDJUNKIE, SANGI, SINDHU, APARAJITA, LAKHS, and the rest of the YOUs who believe strongly enough in this.

the best love of all

is the love of self.
And that comes only with self respect.

On Monday I started my pre-natal yoga classes. during my first pregnancy, I started pre-nat yoga only in my 6th month.

There were 3 other preg women in the class. One in her 7th month, another at the end of the 4th (like me) and the teacher, who is in her 37th week, ready to pop it any minute.
They all looked perfect — perfect figure, perfect rounded belly, and perfect postures.
They were in and out of aasanas with such ease.
In my more uncharitable moods i would probably call them self-obsessed, for preening over their perfect bods.
I realise now that it’s self respect. Respecting their body, and their personality. and that’s a wonderful thing to do for yourself.

There was also a non-preg teacher-in-waiting (Monica) , to step in for Emma when she delivers.

I was, unsurprisingly, the least fit in the class.
But only in comparison.

I surprised myself by how flexible I can be, despite my fast growing tummy. the problem is with maintaining the distance between my shoulder and my ear — as Monica pointed out, I’ve been trying to compensate my big bust by rounding my shoulder.
Obviously this not only creates bad posture, but makes you look like you have a combination of big busts and bad bras. Which is not true. I take more effort and spend more money on my bras than on any other piece of clothing.
So i am now consciously trying to maintain the distance between my ear and shoulder, and to look less like Gladstone Small.

The last two days I’ve been looking around and checking out people’s postures. It has nothing to do with their body shape, weight or height. It’s something more; sometimes you can’t quite pinpoint.

Like how short someone is till you stand next to them or measure them, because they carry themselves tall. similarly, the big women who walk light. And then there are the tall ones who stoop and the skinny ones who bend themselves in the middle…

I guess Yoga is the best way to set that posture right.
This is where I go…