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Women's day- A day that makes women feel better or worse?

Aathirai Rajasekar | March 08, 2022

It is officially the time of year when brands that endorse lightening creams, weight loss pills and fillers, suddenly talk about women being beautiful the way they are. As a fellow victim to this never ending agenda, I’m flustered to see companies making money out of women’s misery. Patriarchy and internalised misogyny has been a driving force and brands strategically mask their agenda behind a lip service. Recently, a famous designer brand refused to provide a lehenga for a mid-sized woman as they claimed to not have her size and body shamed the woman for being a certain size. This is just 1% of all the fat-phobia and body shaming that happens to women.

A lot of brands do not have sizes above 14. When you can have a size 4, why not 14? However, during this time of the year brands preach inclusivity when most of them don’t practice it. An average Indian or Australian woman sits around sizes 12-16! Unfortunately, due to unrealistic beauty standards and toxic definition of what a “beautiful” woman should look like a lot of women are pressured to fit into a mould that is profitable to these companies. On the bright side, the fashion industry is receiving backlash that it rightfully deserves.

Did you know there’s something called a fat tax? Fat tax is the practice of charging extra for clothes in bigger sizes. Yes, you read that right! Most brands and designers levy fat tax and it was (still is in certain places)a very normalised practice in the fashion industry. A famous instagram page @dietsabya called out brands which levy fat tax in one of their posts and people had a lot to say from their horrifying experiences. Here are some images that help you understand the gravity of this issue.

Don’t even get me started on the cosmetic/beauty industry. The quixotic beauty standards have been taking a toll on so many women out there. For instance, a lot of brands that were promoting skin brightening and lightening products, now advertise them under the name of skin-glow creams and rejuvenating creams. This false pretence isn’t fooling people anymore and a lot of the brands have stopped producing such products.

Yet another counterblast faced by the industry was the shades of face makeup products like foundation, concealer and compact powder. More often than not these brands do not offer a lot of different shades and are indifferent to brown and black women. Most of your famous brands like Lakme, L’oreal, Charlotte Tilbury among others have limited shades. However, credit has to be given where it’s due as brands like Fenty, Nars, Maybelline and Cover FX are a lot more inclusive. While choosing to buy from a brand, please be aware of the composition or at least have some prior knowledge about the brand. Let us try our best to be more mindful about our environment and fellow living beings by opting for vegan, cruelty free products!

Luckily, people are becoming more aware and conscious of the voice of the brand. Once you start associating with a brand’s voice, your wardrobe and conscience become much healthier. People don’t want to associate themselves to brands that don’t adhere to their principles and rightly so. For instance, Tommy Hilfiger was banned by most millennials and gen-zers as he turned out to be a racist. We live in a world where everyone is on a watch and ‘cancel culture’ is taking its course. Cancel culture is a phenomenon of “cancelling” brands, people, organisations and movies on the grounds of it being offensive or promoting problematic ideologies. It takes you a few good connections and a couple of minutes to call out someone on the internet. So, ladies do not fear anyone or be afraid to stand up for yourself! However, be responsible while doing so, as it might make or break someone.

This Women’s day, let us try and not judge women who are living their lives on their own terms. Next time you see a woman with makeup, wearing clothes of her choice and hustling through life do not judge her as she already has enough people judging her. Let us be kinder to each other, pledge to be the best version of ourselves and help other women as well.