Tripura CM Biplab Kumar Deb recently slammed beauty parlours “in every corner”, while taking on beauty pageants for, among other things, crowning Diana Hayden as Miss World. Aishwarya Rai “represents Indian women”, he said. A 43–year-old beautician from Delhi Rakhi Bajaj expresses her views on his statement:
Who is an ‘Indian beauty’?
Indian women are inherently beautiful. Our eyes, hair, complexion, and the way we dress, are unique. It also depends on which region you are from. North Indian women have strong eyes, South Indians have long hair, North-easterners smooth, straight hair… There is no one definition of Indian beauty.
Do you agree with what the Tripura CM said?
Absolutely not. Why shouldn’t we use treatments and products to enhance our beauty? If one day a girl wants straight hair and the next day curls, she will go to the salon. It’s her wish. Sure, multani mitti and all that used to be effective earlier. But now there are products that work in the same manner and are more suitable to our lifestyles.
Do women come to you asking for a certain look?
Yes, they do. Every other day, a girl comes and asks for eyes like Kareena Kapoor’s. Or, they want us to drape their saris the way Mumtaz did. Someone wants hair like Aishwarya Rai’s or Priyanka Chopra’s. But mostly, it is the Kareena look they ask for.
There is a certain perception that darker complexion is not as pretty. Do you agree?
I don’t think so. In fact, I think dark-skinned women always have better features. They are always prettier. And whatever the skin colour, ultimately, it’s the person’s outlook that matters.
What do you say to people who make such comments?
Politicians should focus on their work. Nobody should tell women what they should and should not do. They should try to focus on controlling crimes against women rather than picking on us every time they are idle.