I demand textbooks be changed.
Yes I do,
most certainly I do,
and why if you ask, here’s my argument.
Do you remember the chapter on “Opposites”
In your English grammar book?
Well I do.
Beautiful and Ugly.
A fair and slim girl portraying the first one,
while a dark complexioned woman
with pimples and scars being shown as the latter one.
The two pictures along with their descriptions
lay imprint in my mind forever.
I was glad though,
that my forever was the one that ended in high school,
just like teenage love.
I was lucky to have parents who focussed on actions,
who taught me and my sister
that it was not important what we looked like
but what our heart showed in the mirror.
So I remember being called fat on that slide in the park
And I remember lecturing some kids on
How important it was to have a beautiful heart
And without checking I proudly announced
That I indeed had the most beautiful heart
Among those weirdly taught kids
And then came adolescence.
And I didn’t care to be honest
But then came college
And no matter how much I pretended not to care
And hence came gyms
and beauty parlours.
Gyms were supposed to tone down fat
Which could endanger your health
Not to make you look like some pictured model
Diets were supposed to be for those
Who couldn’t reach the gym
Not to starve yourself to a figure that’s in
And beauty parlours?
I have no idea why they exist!
Things which could’ve been called hair removal centers
Were instead named beauty parlours
And I choose to disagree with their definition of beauty
I choose to disagree with this world’s abominable definition of beauty
I don’t beg to differ
I am proud to differ
I can no longer take the never ending line of fairness creams
I can no longer take girls at my college
discuss how fat they’ve got pushing up their arms in the air
making me focus on their 24 inch waists
I can no longer take my dadi asking me
not to wear clothes where I look
three size bigger than I already am.
I can longer take people telling me I can look good
only with a slash of Kohl on my eyes and concealer on my face
Because I am beautiful by all means
And so are you
I’m sorry for sidelining the other section of the society,
The beards, the clean shaven,
The muscles and the biceps
The tall, dark and handsome
The cute one with dimples
Today I demand a room for freckles
For pimples and blemishes
For the crooked smile and the small eyes
For hair-wavy curly straight brown black grey or none!
Not because bald is the new sexy,
I demand a room for those forty strands of hair
I don’t feel proud of!
I demand a room for waist sizes
from twenty four to forty four!
From XXS to XXL
I demand a room to be myself
and I demand the same for every creature
breathing on this planet
And until my demands are met
I will continue to write
To pen down verse on every page that will ever be produced
To type down every word threat will induce revolt
From the old typewriter to the new tabs
I will ensure no wall is left in this world
without graffiti screaming about human beauty
So that no little boy or girl sitting on that slide in the park
Has to prove that he or she is beautiful
Aren’t we all beautiful?
You are beautiful
I am beautiful.
A masters in literature student, Avleen is trying to discover herself and the world she lives in, mostly residing in her reveries. She believes love, laughs and poetry can save the human race.