Rigged and Rigmaroled

As We Journey Through the Daily Grind

Archive for June, 2009

The Ugly Duckling Revealed

Posted by Rani on June 26, 2009

Oh spare me the beauty-is-from-within lines. Face it, if you aren’t a pretty face, no one is really going to pay attention. Having said that, and as one who is not uhmm….(un)conventionally beautiful (damn), I have, over time, come to believe that beauty is as beauty feels (and does, definitely).

As Ms.Paltrow said, “Beauty, to me, is about being comfortable in your own skin. That, or a kick-ass red lipstick.” — aye aye.

If you want to feel beautiful, you have got to pay some attention. No, the ill-fitting clothes and unkempt hair don’t not matter just because you’re loaded with attitude (the vice-versa converse also holds true). Ahh, so here’s a quickie self-help guide:

1. You can’t change some aspects in the way you look. Don’t even try. You can’t get shorter or taller, fairer, thinner (unless you put in some diligent effort and this is just a quickie guide). So, as any stylist will tell you for $50 an hour, highlight assets and camouflage the rest. But most of all, revel in who you are and how you’ve been created.

2. Dress well. Really. Spend some money already.

3. Love your hair. Again, don’t try to change it (too much). I have wild, unruly curls and I always say you gotta love your curls. Just take good care of your tresses, find a good stylist, and be happy. Your best investment really is a good hairdo and shampoo.

4. Feel good about yourself – others will notice. This includes the whole nine yards of self-development, relationship building blah blah. Yawn. Go read a management book on how.

5. And since beauty is also as beauty does, be good. Ask your mom how.

Yes, I walk into a room with too many models and I feel insignificant. The ugly duckling resurfaces. Then I remember I had a 4.2/5 GPA in B-school (gloat gloat, in your face, baby) and I feel good. Well, not really. These girls are bombs, and they make you feel blah though they probably haven’t even noticed you. Oh, that’s worse. So then I tell myself I’ve read Tolstoy and Kundera and Marquez. Well, something’s gotta work. And something usually does. These moments are rare (phew), I don’t think I’m a piece-of-art, but I do think I’m okay. More than.

 “I’ve developed into quite a swan. I’m one of those people that will probably look better and better as I get older – until I drop dead of beauty.” – Rufus Wainwright

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Posted in Out of the Box | Tagged: , , , , | 8 Comments »

“Just” a Housewife

Posted by Rani on June 26, 2009

A recent discussion with a friend led me to think of how we view the homemaker (housewife) role. A lot of stop-gap working women see the domestic life as their ticket to easy street, assuming the hubby can afford it (ahem). Being a homemaker means you no longer need to get to work at a particular time, there are no deadlines to meet, no crabby bosses to please. And, your hubby and kids are happy since you’re making these wonderful meals for them and watching soaps in your free time. The women who have to continue to work (since hubby still doesn’t have a six figure salary) resent the demands of being forced to maintain work(ugh)-life balance, which they could’ve had only if they weren’t darned working, grrr.

Cut to the other side – women who were “forced” (for want of a better word) into the domestic life. They would have wanted to work, have a career, make their own money (!!) but domestic demands regulated they be home. For them, being a homemaker is opportunity lost, endless time in cooking and cleaning, and just no rewards for all the work. Yeah yeah, the kids have their moms full time and really I love my kids and want only the best for them, but but…. you get the drift.

The perfect middle path, as Buddha ‘d liked it, would be that you want to be where you are. No guilt about latch-key kids, no feelings of opportunity lost, no negativity. Just happy, even if it’s a constant race against the clock.

As daughter to a stay-at-home mom, I know I was glad for a “full-time” mom growing up. The highlight of our day was the evening snack mom would’ve creatively (yes, that’s the word) made rivalled only by the school snack, oh the anticipation of opening that snack box. But today, as a woman looking at another woman, I wonder about the choices she made. Her domestic life definitely was not the easier route.  No deadlines? When you have three kids that need to be sent to school in time, breakfast and snacks ready, you can’t get slack on timelines. No people to please? I like to think we were non-fussy, but I know we were none too easy to please either. Work-life balance, cutting some slack? When there are no boundaries between work and life, it all becomes one fuzzy whole, and no one cuts you any slack. Would my mom have had it any other way? Perhaps not, she’s one to be happy with her choices. Or perhaps yes, just to see what lies on the dark side of the moon.

So really, where does this pivotal role fit in? I’m old-fashioned enough to believe a woman needs to focus more on home. Oooh, there, I said it. Before the feminists cry foul, I also believe it always takes two to tango and both partners definitely need to be involved in making a house a home. Also that focusing on home cannot and should not be at the cost of your individuality. In reference to an earlier post (here), I finally believe you make a choice, including whether you’re going to be happy with that choice.

Posted in Women's Options and Choices | Tagged: , , , , , , , | 2 Comments »