My five year old daughter once looked at the mirror and tucked her tummy in, by holding her breath and said “I don’t want to be fat like Mandy “. Mandy, the victim of comparison here happens to be her unfortunate four year old cousin who is not in the least bit bothered about fashion or figure as long as she is well fed and comfortable in what she’s wearing. My daughter further declares that some of her friends at school wear light eye makeups and lip glosses, indicating that failure to follow suit would make her unforgivingly inferior to her friends. And her ambition in life, she says, is to become a fashionista (seemingly taking after her older cousin who models as a part time) and forcibly seeks our audience to applaud her ramp walks at home.

At her age, all these appear all well and cute but in all likelihood, I will not find it cute if she pursued the same interests in about ten years later.

There are moments when I wonder how an unruly person like me could have possibly given birth to a little one like her who even at her age is more concerned about style and fashion than I am and is more worried about my acne prone skin and my many wrinkles than I am. I am advised by my daughter to use “Olay” for my wrinkles and to hide my blemishes with ‘foundation’!

The world of fashion maybe seen as transitory, going from the once-popular Gogo pants to skinny boots and perceived as a thing of vanity to be pursued by intellectually lesser breeds. But the mad rush into this part of the world by our youngsters to zealously conceal the natural skin with layers of rouge powder, eyes made up to look more darker and wider and lips much more luscious, full and colorful, makes it quite evident that the fashion world will travel only one way – the way forward. And it is all so because honestly, everybody likes looking nice and all prepped up. For this reason, I accept that I will not be able to stop my daughter from spending time in front of the mirror in an attempt to look better than ever. But despite this helplessness, I would certainly be mindful about advocating the wonders of inner beauty and that beauty is as much an affair of the inner as of the outer self. The ways of the inner beauty gives way to an individual’s style – fashion may come and go, a person’s style, by contrast, will last for a lifetime. Perhaps in the coming times, this is only what we, as parents and elders can do to keep our children differentiable from non-living beings.
This post was written for Kuensel's K2 Magazine for the issue published last saturday 
2 Responses
  1. Anonymous Says:

    Less than half an hour ago I saw the article in the K2 Mag ... I didn't read it since I was in a rush but hoped that you would post it here so I can read it in the comfort of my chair and office space... and I was right :)-

    Why is it that you and I share so much likeness in our thoughts? I wish I could post here what I talked to my daughter too --- when she one day asked me about cosmetics and such. She agreed with me all the way ... and one year later ... she turns up fully dyed Blonde !!!! :( But happily no cosmetics yet. And one of these days I am going to give her two alternatives:

    Dye her hair black
    Shave her hair off


  2. Kinga Choden Says:

    Hi Anon,

    Interesting to note that there's another one out there like me to whose wise words, their daughters seldom pay heed. I have a feeling that mine will disown me within the next five years :P

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