‘Fairness fixation is firmly rooted in Indian psyche’

  • Harjeet Inder Singh Sahi, Hindustan Times, Chandigarh
  • Updated: Oct 25, 2015 14:58 IST
(From left) Panchkula deputy commissioner Vivek Atray, author Dr Jas Kohli and corporate trainer Suditi Jindal during the book release at PHD Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Chandigarh. (Karun Sharma/HT Photo)

Beauty might lie in the eye of the beholder, but author Dr Jas Kohli believes that in the contemporary context, the eye which gauges beauty cannot look beyond the established standards of acceptable physical appearance.

Kohli’s debut book ‘Anything to Look Hot’, a medical fiction centered on the theme of plastic surgery was released at the PHD Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Sector 31, Chandigarh, by Panchkula deputy commissioner Vivek Atray and corporate trainer Suditi Jindal on Saturday.

Speaking on the occasion, Kohli said beauty was an inalienable part of the human psyche. “In the US, an experiment was conducted, in which it was found that even babies were attracted to well-proportioned and smiling faces, so beauty at this level is an inalienable part of our psyche,” Kohli said.

The author observed that a rise in social prominence also increased the expectation from an individual to adhere to the set standards of physical beauty. “This is certainly true about people who remain in the public eye, like actors, models and anchors. Human instinct is geared towards believing that a person with beauty has an advantage,” Kohli said.

The cosmetics industry has one aim — to sell their products. By relaying images and videos of desired standards of beauty, they create a hype to attract consumers.

Kohli had an informative take on such unrealistic promises. “Fairness fixation is deeply ingrained in the Indian psyche. There are limits to what can be or should be done in terms of aspirations of beauty and treatments provided in the market. Creating hype about fairness is no less than apartheid,” he said.

The author highlighted that this fixation with looks cuts across the gender divide. “The younger generation of men is also concerned about looks, which was previously considered unmanly. They go in for nose reshaping, hair transplant, beard reshaping and treatment of acne scars,” he said.

Kohli was also quick to point out that visual media platforms, particularly television, internet and social media, play a huge role in reinforcing the stereotypical notion of beauty. “Images circulated in the media have a huge role in perpetuating stereotypes of beauty. Why are anchors, even those reading news, always good looking? Images gradually become standards,” he said.

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