Thursday, April 26, 2007

Beauty is Power??

Scene I : Rasanmeet is to submit her Social Studies project work. She is supposed to draw a picture. She asks me and I suggest her to make any of the pictures that her chapter on THE WORLD OF GROWING KNOWLEDGE has in it. It has Gutenberg standing near his printing press. It has a picture of Indus Valley seals, an old man reading by the light of lantern, Rasan chooses the picture of a blind girl reading a book with the help of Braille and draws it on her notebook. I don't see the relevance of asking the kids to reproduce an image from the book onto a notebook that they will throw away anyway at the end of the term. Still I manage not to criticize the system of the school. She asks me what should the caption be of this picture. Her teacher has asked them to use a new slogan, and not the caption given on the book. I suggest, "Knowledge is Power" and explain how it would become a power for such a person who cannot see.

Next day, she comes home with a star on the page, a treasure to her, and a matter of pride to me.
A few days later...
Scene II: On TV-this young girl-with-a-slightly-dusky-complexion's dad has a theatre which has now failed and she wonders how she could revive it. She determines to do it anyway. Lo and behold, a cream comes to her rescue. She uses it, becomes gori over a period of 8 weeks after massaging it on her face in the movement of 8 and in her own words, gora rang and thode latke jhatke, and she is successful. Needless to say, the theatre is overwhelmingly crowded and she gets a standing ovation for I don't honestly know what. And the given slogan is , "Khoobsoorti Shakti hai", "Beauty is Power."
It was a Famous Fairness Cream advert. This cream has been promising all the Indian girls for years now that they all will become gories. And whats more, they have launched one for men too to make them Fair and Handsome. Wow!! Whatever happened to that tall-dark-handsome conveniently abbreviated as TDH by the college and university girls.
I have also been using this cream for ages now. Not that I manage to draw crowds to a theatre. It acts only as a barrier between the day to day pollution, or does it? Maybe its only for a mental satisfaction that I use it-replacing it now and then with other over the counter beauty solutions. However, let me not digress with the description of my beauty :) now.
I am not a committed feminist, nor am I against any cream. But I was horrified at the advert having been aired on POGO TV, an all Hindi cartoon and kids show channel. What is the message that is being given to young impressionable minds? That you can conquer the world if you are pretty, fair, good looking? What becomes of the knowledge part? Or you have to keep knowledge subordinate to looks? Many of my friends would say that a good combo of the two virtues would make you a winner all the way. What would happen if you had a lot of knowledge but were not gifted with the looks that kill or the physical charm that attracts others?
Is Knowledge secondary to Beauty? Is fairness (gorapan) really the key to success?


Anonymous said...

knowledge is anyday the winner, though a topping of beauty, may add charm to it.

Sidhusaaheb said...

You could write about the advertisement to The Advertising Standards Council of India.

Their website is:

Rajindarjit said...

rasan is fond of knowing about braille- a good sign to get knoweldge about the persons without the gift of sight. she has a feeling of God's gifts he has given us

Rajindarjit said...

knowledge is always better than beauty. beauty is like a flower , which has a short life and knowledge is a khushboo which can b relished for ever, when ever u want, and where ever u r.
if the person who can not see, can drive in the air, can b a power with his knowledge,then every thing is possible on earth.

Anonymous said...

your poem was grate, in my oppinion the beauty of your achivment and knowlage gose above skin beauty.

Anonymous said...

knowledge is , no doubt, an unending power 'n i suppose Rasanmeet had it. but beauty is also a strong factor for an intelligent person. 'n the topic is really touching. god bless u. keep on rocking........
tke cre

Anonymous said...

I believe that there are two things that make a person beautiful or more attractive: CONFIDENCE AND SELF RESPECT and it comes only with the KNOWLEDGE.A beautiful person with dull mind can never be a winner. Even in the beauty contests "BEAUTY WITH BRAIN" is the only consideration for selection of a winner.

Desi said...

These are signs of aging and one should accept these facts gracefully. All of us should accept this with modesty. In my humble opinion, a grey eyelash or a grey streak adds to the charm of not so young ladies.


Pinku said...


that on POGO...was really horrifying...more than the cream company...POGO should have taken care to edit its content especially when they know what kind of impressionable minds they work with. really sad