Disclaimer : Hold on! Lower your expectations
One fine working day, I was entering office with a nice suit, shrug, jacket, wool scarf, gloves, cap, warmers, carrying my laptop bag, hand bag and lunch bag. On reaching office, trying to unpack myself to people identifying who I was, suddenly I noticed something. Ouch. One of my ear rings was missing. (No mummy, not gold ones) But a pearl one, formal wear and I looked myself at the mirror with one ear ring. I usually carry an extra pair of ear rings in my hand bag – which I missed that day. “Oops, the meeting is in 10 mins, I don’t have my ear rings, what to do” , I panicked. After all that hassle of getting ready and presenting myself perfect, how can I afford to miss my ear ring. I was almost crying inside. Asked couple of closer colleagues if they have extra ear rings. Suddenly, a friend who observed this sudden change of behaviour from being a confident charming professional to unstable hyper worried avatar, asked me” what’s wrong”. “Uff, I missed my ear ring, must be the scarf or even the jacket why it fell off”. “Oh right, you look almost half naked without one ear ring” , she threw a sarcastic but very wise comment. It took me back for a second. “Wait , what ? Don’t you find it awkward that I don’t have an ear ring?”. She just pushed her hair beside her ears and showed her ear which had no ear rings. I then was like some curious Disney movie character, looking at others around. Not many were wearing ear rings.
The day moved on, after completing my work mode, as I returned home, my main activity for the evening was to observe every woman to see if she was wearing an ear ring or not. And more than 60% were not.
Wait, so how would I look elegant, like the perfect girl, in Tamil there is a beautiful girl “lakshanam”. As a little girl, my grandparents used to make me wear ear rings, neck chain, anklets, bangles many many , bindi and then the hair pleated – after that when I stand in front of them, their eyes, oh wow. The way they cherish seeing how pretty their princess is.
After becoming Mrs Narmadha, balancing between my city looks of mild accessories as Bangalore lady and back to native place to in-laws house – the first thing my mom would keep ready is the set of big jewelleries after which she would acknowledge that now I am ready to go to my in-laws place. The great grandmother at my in-laws place will always audit if I have all jewellery to make me a completed daughter in law of the family and that’s an entry audit each time.
Moving to Paris, which is THE FASHION CAPITAL of the world – wow, I certainly dreamt of pampering myself with best accessories and fashion sense. But this beautiful incident that ensured that accessory doesn’t define your beauty. Beauty is you! You can be pretty without makeup, without hairdo, without accessories and these are to enjoy but not to define you.
I love this culture and fashion sense in Paris – especiallyfor teaching me this important lesson in life. I must confess, I always passed this ‘wear ear rings, wear chains to look complete and like a good Indian girl’ message to my daughter – directly / indirectly. Now I am learning to teach her to feel proud about her beauty and not search for add-ons as if something is wrong without.
And honestly, I now go out to malls, gardens, office without ear rings & feel quite comfortable – each time I look at myself in the mirror, my colleagues voice “You look half naked” pops and I burst into laughter for how I used to depend on a piece of metal to define my comfort zone.
I am posting this blog on International women’s day ! If you are a woman who is reading this, go on take off those accessories and look at yourself in the mirror : Oh you are beautiful for the way you are ! Big eyes or small eyes : eye shadows don’t need to correct any .. hug nose or tiny mouth : no need for a nose pin or lipstick to fix anything.. Have multiple ear rings in those beautiful ears but hey they don’t have any purpose to make you beautiful because you already are the best version of yourself:)