She picked up the Rouge bottle with trembling hands and fearful eyes. In a very smooth and practiced manner, the glided the lipstick across her lips. The pigment staining her tender pink lips to hot, boiling red. The fear in her eyes, now turned to melancholy concealed by the thick layer of eyeliner. And that’s when she conformed to the society’s standard of beauty.

She was a pretty girl, not seraphic or beautiful, but pretty. She had been at the receiving end of complaints from various sources. Her mom, her grandmother, her female friends, her boyfriend. All admonishing her on how to dress and how to be a ‘girl’. But she did not care, she was happy in her skinny jeans and loose tees. For all she knew, life was good and she was saving a fortune on makeup.

Years went by and the sources kept increasing. She wasn’t giving in, at least so she thought. After every piece of advice, she changed a little. It all started with a slender, charcoal pencil and then to pink coloured lip gloss. She, then, dressed to please. Loose tees were out and figure hugging clothes were in. She painted her face with various layers, she clothed her body in multiple layers. The clothes she had earlier dismissed as preposterous now dominated her wardrobe.

She lost herself.
After every “You’d look hotter if you dress better” and “Try applying lipstick, it makes your tiny lips pop”, she had lost herself.
After innumerable “Why can’t you apply concealer to cover up your acne?” and “Use eyeliner to brighten your eyes”, she had lost herself.

Now, she picks up the eyeliner, concealer, lipstick and ‘hot’ clothes, and conforms to the society’s standard of beauty.


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