As a school-going girl, I remember being more intimidated by girls than by boys. And indisputably, every girl must have a story to tell that features a ‘mean girl’. You must have had a friend who laughed together with you the other day in Chemistry, and then just walked past you with an army of girls flanking her in the school hallway. You must have dreaded going to school or college someday because you simply lacked the energy of dealing with a bunch of cool girls who made you feel like you were beneath them in some way. One day, you must have walked into a room wearing red lips for the first time and felt attacked by not men but by women. And then you grew up and stumbled upon such girls everywhere – work, clubs, cafés, parties, or even at the road as you walked minding your own business. Maybe, you were that girl yourself.
My child-hood friend struck a conversation with me on self-care the other day. He said that he devoted every Sunday to a jamming session with a couple of friends, followed by a salad lunch that he wasn’t exactly a fan of, and allowed himself an hour of video games every day. That was his way of taking care of himself, he said. He asked me what my way of self-care was, and I showed him an image I had stumbled upon on the internet. It said I had to let myself have a long soothing shower sometimes, treat myself to a wholesome spread of breakfast, read a book, write down my thoughts, and explore the city on my own. And he frowned then laughed.
There is glamour walking the ramp every season but then there is also a pile of dirt released with every garment made. The entire world is a worshiper of this world yet there is sometimes, neglecting of different body shapes and preferences. Most find the fashion industry ravishing yet believe it to be superficial and meaningless. However, as decked up and theatrical as it is, fashion doesn’t exactly lack a heart.
At ‘catch-up’ dinners with friends when the subject of work life emerges, all we hear about is the dread of having to get up the next day for work, the stress, the work load and clashes with the boss or a co-worker. At the end of a good weekend, we return back home like kids waking back to the classroom after a lunch break – shoulders rolled down, frowns on foreheads carrying the work stress to be followed the next day and the overall dread of having to wake up for yet another day at work.
Men and anger go a long way – their display of aggression is almost natural to them and for people around them. It’s nothing unusual. So when that anger intensifies and joins with reckless and risky behaviour, it simply gets rolled under the rug in the name of normalcy.
A set of flattering and courting words sent across to someone can spark two things; a response with the same sense and energy or feelings of violation. Now, the differences between flirting and sexual abuse are quite obvious and clear. Yet, they are also blurred and overlapped with one another today.
Let’s assume, two weeks before the New Year, you are in the middle of a goal that is either personal or professional. It could be something that you’ve wanted to pursue since a long time but been unable to do so because of personal inhibitions. At the back of your mind, you know the year end is approaching and it means two things – celebration and starting over on a fresh slate. And since, New Years can also take the form of imaginary bridge over which the goals and baggages can be transferred from one year to the next, your current goal also gets pushed over with a pinch of procrastination.
Let’s assume, you have a meeting tomorrow with someone important to your profession. You enter the cabin and are introduced to a lady dressed in a salwar kameez. You would subconsciously pass a judgement, wouldn’t you? You probably heard a lot about the lady’s work influence; she is a renowned name in the industry that you’re a part of. You probably had a certain image in your head of how she would look, taking from her hair to her dressing. And, you may not have expected someone with such recognition to be dressed in anything but a pant-suit.
Ever received a star on your palm by a teacher back in kindergarten? Then you’d also have been made to stand out of the class as punishment in your school years. Such punishments have had a part in framing your mind and personality as kids and so have rewards when you did anything praise-worthy. And, that is exactly what we have been missing as adults—the combined benefits of punishing ourselves as well as rewarding when we do something even the slightest bit good.