By now, you’ve probably heard of the idiots at the Cannes Film Festival who refused to allow women who were not wearing heels on to the red carpet. And also, that the ladies who were turned away included a woman who had had part of her foot amputated. It beggars belief, doesn’t it?
Even beautiful women are not exempt from the no-hair regulation. Remember the media storm when megastar Julia Roberts turned up at a film premiere in a sleeveless dress, and raised her arm to wave at her fans, allowing them to feast their eyes on her long, luxuriant, underarm hair.
You would have thought she had murdered a cat given the violent reactions to that fleeting glimpse of hair.
Waxing is just the beginning of our extreme-maintenance regimes, though. In addition, we are expected to never go above a certain weight. Cue, extreme diets that exclude major food groups and a punishing exercise regime to get that trim stomach and taut butt.
If we fall short, well then, we get Spanxed as punishment. And it is punishment, as anyone who has ever attempted to squeeze into that instrument of torture will attest.
If you attain a certain age, then the anti-ageing industry targets you with a vengeance, with its arsenal of anti-ageing creams, potions, lotions, serums, and what have you.
God forbid that you get a single line on your face, be it laugh lines around your eyes or frown lines on your forehead. No, no, no. They must be erased by all means known to medicine, from laser treatments and glycolic peels to Botox and Restylene.
That’s not counting the Fashion Nazis. You know, the ones who insist that you remain on-trend no matter what. You must move from jeggings to boyfriend jeans and back again.
Saris only work with trendy blouses (if you don’t want to look like a behenji). No open-toed sandals unless you’ve had a pedicure. And palazzo pants are out this season (for God’s sake, you in that crummy T-shirt, do keep up!).
And then, of course, there is the Heels Police, to treat you like a criminal if you choose to wear a comfortable pair of shoes instead of something that wouldn’t look out of place in an S&M fantasy film.
Word to the wise: do not feed this beast. When even someone as gorgeous as Aishwarya Rai can fall foul of its standards (especially when she is carrying a little baby weight), what chance do you and I have? Back away quietly and no one gets hurt.
Take my advice. Just say no. To all of the above. All you have to lose are your special creams, your stilettos and that annual subscription to that fashion glossy.
In their stead, you will rediscover your self-esteem and self-respect. Now, that’s a trade-off worth its price in fluffy slippers.
From HT Brunch, May 31
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