Auntiji, Auntiji: Shut Up and Dance

By: Manali Vasanth 


Foreign and desi fashion magazines are now aplenty. I have seen them mostly in ‘beauty parlors’. Some obsessively follow celebs while others tell you who the new kid on the glam block is. Sure, everyone is guilty of picking one up and flipping through them, including the men, even if we don’t like to admit it. But the content is all a little unbelievable. You want me to spend a chunk of my hard earned money on 15ml of cream that a unicorn made so that those lines that I don’t see yet, will never make their debut? Err… or rent out the cricket stadium, line all the stands with literally thousands of candles, to propose while cheerleaders shout out generally obnoxious one-liners about love? Err… ya… no thanks. The extreme levels of beauty in these magazines are usually met with skepticism, with most modern Indian women taking only the exact amount of information they need, without buying into the make-believe world of media perfection. But the perfect stories that magazines wax about perfect men and women do have one important section of society that buys it, hook line and sinker. Aunties. They love to see what actress X is wearing to that wedding some obnoxiously rich industrialist paid her to dance at. Or what actor Y eats to maintain is impossibly buff frame. You’d think the aunties absorb all these pieces of information so that they can use it as first-hand tips for themselves. Well, they do, in a certain way. Indian aunties are to be revered for their nose-poking capabilities. They will descend upon you, back you into a corner, and advise you on the exact number of hair strands it takes to make the perfect fringe. Or the length of it. Or which side it must originate. Or its thickness. You get the general idea.

They look wistfully at the pretty pictures, not, as you would suspect, remembering an age when they could’ve been as alluring, but despairing that their daughters/nieces/sons/nephews do not exhibit the same level of beauty or even the desire to be as striking. They buy into the make believe world of models and the magical capabilities of photoshop. Breathe Aunty, breathe. Have you seen any real person look like the ones on the TV or in the glossy pages? Let go of the need for perfection, especially in people that aren’t you. Go home and tell your sister’s daughter that you have faith in her mental capabilities to be able to make smart decisions, even the ones regarding the way she looks. Don’t hover around your daughter in a party, tucking her hair, adjusting her saree. Breathe. Enjoy yourself. Shut up and dance.


Manali Vasanth is an architect by profession, based in the wonderful city of Bangalore. Thats right, the weather here makes your working metro system eat bunnies. She loves to air her opinions especially when not asked for, and thinks the sun rises out of her pretty lil head. She reads, cooks, knits, drives… gosh, is there nothing this girl cant do?


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