“Don’t get caught up in the ‘look’ thing. Sometimes, we as men and women, the first thing that attracts us to someone is their physical appearance, and that’s not always a good thing because what’s good on the outside is not always good on the inside.”
People judge you in everything you do. In our Indian society, women are the biggest victims when it comes to being judged. Women are judged on their appearances, personality, behaviour, etc. There is no winning for women.
I would like to share an experience.
Mumbai’s lifeline is trains. To get to any workplace you need to travel by train. Majority of Mumbaikars travel by train if they have to go to work or college. Because they travel regularly, people make friends in trains. They sit in groups and keep chatting or playing games throughout the way.
One day, when I was going to college, a young girl came and sat beside me. She was having a pixie cut hair, had black nail paint on her nails, and was wearing many bands and bracelets, a sleeveless top and tight jeans. She had a big devil’s tattoo on her arm. She took out her book and started reading it. I don’t remember which book it was.
The women in the compartment couldn’t take their eyes of her. They wear looking at her, from top to bottom. Some of them looked very disgusted. I heard a women sitting on the seat behind mine say to her group, “How can parents allow their daughters to dress up like this and go out? It is so disgusting. Parents should be little strict. This type of dressing is not in our culture.”
The girl was hearing all this. This girl’s dressing sense was the discussion of the day for this group of women. When her station came, she got up and took her bag from the shelf. There was an id hanging out and it was from an engineering college. She was studying to be an engineer. Before getting down, she came to these women and said, “People like you are stopping our country from progressing.”
When they saw her id, they were ashamed. They were quite till my station came. I don’t know what happened later. But this girl’s response was the best response to anyone I myself had ever heard.
There have been many instances where even I have been judged based on my appearances. And even I have fought back. Statistic shows that majority of women are judged on their looks rather than their qualifications.
Take a look at some of the startling figures that the Nihar Naturals #IAmCapable survey conducted by Nielsen India reveals:
- 69% of men agree that their judgement of women is based on their looks.
- 64% of women agree that the judgments passed on them have affected their ability to reach their true potential.
- 70%of women agree that majority of judgments on women are from family members or friends rather than strangers.
- 72% of women agree that working women face more judgments on their looks or their clothes than housewives.
We need to break this stereotype and speak up. Share your experience and encourage many other women. Use your story to break gender stereotypes. Who knows, your story can inspire other women to take a bold step towards fulfilling their potential!