"Beauty lies in the eyes of the beholder," this is a well-known adage. It is taught in schools, written at the back of notebooks and most importantly drilled into our heads as kids. What is beauty? What is beautiful? It took me a very long time to understand it.
Growing up, puberty wasn't the kindest to me. I never looked at myself in the mirror and thought I was beautiful. There were so many pretty girls in the senior school and I secretly checked them out. Boys threw themselves at the prettiest. A long line and unending options for prom dates. As I grew up, I knew I could be overweight, underweight, bald or hairy, fair or dark and still be beautiful; because beauty lies in the eyes of the beholder. It's true and it's only when you fall in love with yourself, will you be able to share that love with someone else. You have to be a beautiful person from within and eventually you will find someone to share that beauty with.
Now I'll get to the issue at hand after all this talk on beauty. A Tamil channel — Star Vijay — ran a promo and decided to air a show on "Who is more beautiful - Kerala girls versus Tamil girls". "Neeya Naana" is the name of the show which runs a debate a week on any topic and unfortunately, out of everything in this big wild world, this is what they decided to go with.
The promo of this show along with a Twitter poll received a lot of flak. In my opinion, this is the best thing that could have happened to them. Police complaints were filed against the makers of the show and the show was not aired. Instead what ran on Neeya Naana was a debate on real estate. Poor them, imagine how enthusiastic they must've been for their weekly TRPs.
The promo shows two groups of women sitting across each other. The "Kerala girls" dressed in their traditional Kerala white and gold sarees with flowers in their hair and across them were the girls in pattu sarees and daavinis. These were the "Tamil girls". All of them dolled up with painted faces debating over who is more beautiful. Activists and NGOs raised their voice against this. The director of the show cried foul saying the show received negative attention because of "leftist feminists". (Did he really think this show and their efficient poll would be received with a standing ovation?)
What saddens me is the fact that all the people who took part in this debate, at least what I could see in the promo were young girls. Girls who were about my age and they thought it was okay to sit there, dress up and talk about who is MORE beautiful. The stress is on the word more and not beautiful. It is okay to feel beautiful. Everyone should. But why is one trying to be more beautiful than the other and how does a region have anything to do with it. How can a person be less beautiful just because he or she is from Kerala or Tamil Nadu?
This also brings out another question. How do you measure what or who is more beautiful? Is it the fresh flowers in one's hair or better clothes? Is it the art of applying make-up or whipping up the perfect lunch? Is it the fact that you can come on TV and entertain people or keep your in-laws happy? What is beauty? Unfortunately, since the show wasn't aired, my questions will be left unanswered.