These days I've been reading a lot less than I used to, a few years ago. There are a number of reasons for that, which are not part of what this post is intended to be about. But, from time to time, I do try to pick up a novel, or, an issue of Reader's Digest or Femina, both of which I used to read regularly a while back.
So recently I picked up an issue of Femina. I saw they were doing a feature on the 50 Most Beautiful Women. It's on their site too. They want their readers to vote for their ten favourites from a list of hundred women that their team came up with. This is a women's magazine which has been airing feminist views for about fifty years now. I fail to understand how they can be so shallow as to run a feature of this sort, and attempt to make it an annual event too. This is the second year that they are doing this. This is the same magazine that ran a feature, a few years back, on how shallow we all are, how obsessed with appearances, how, in spite of how lovely we find Kajol, Bipasha and Rekha, we'll still look for a "very fair" girl when we go looking for a bride. How can the same people actually encourage their readers to judge women based on appearances? Every woman is special. In her own unique way. Every woman is beautiful in her own right. And we all need to reminded of this fact once in while. We all need to be told that we are unique, that we have a place in the scheme of things which nobody else can take. We don't want to be told that we are less beautiful than Aishwarya Rai-Bachchan, or fatter than Sushmita Sen, or darker than Kareena Kapoor. Because there may be a dozen qualities that we have and they don't. We need someone who appreciates us for those qualities, and reminds us that we are wonderful people because of those qualities.