-Kavyashree P, I Year B.A. English
“The world is going to end in 2012.”
“The sun is in the shape of a circle with spokes around it.”
“You’ll get ‘cooties’ if you interact with the opposite sex.”
“Swallowing a watermelon seed will cause a watermelon to grow inside your tummy.”
“Five second rule.”
“Santa Claus and the Tooth Fairy are real.”
These are just a few of the myths we believed in while growing up. These were either made up by parents to get their kids to listen to them or older kids trying to have some fun. Either way, the good thing is we now know that they are not true.
We have all drawn our hearts with two simple curves but 8th std Biology taught us something very complicated. As we grew up, a lot of our beliefs were debunked that way. Some of them weren’t nice, like learning that the heart was way more complex than we thought; some were a relief, like not having to pull out every seed from a watermelon before eating it.
But not all such assumptions were easily shaken off. Some of them have had long-lasting impacts on our minds and they influence everything we do and say, even without us being aware of it. One of them being Beauty Standards.
We all are victims of the beauty standards imposed on us by fairy tales. White skin was equated to beauty. The tinier the waistline, the more love you get. And the culprits are not just fairy tales. Even the textbooks we had as kids taught us to be racist. ‘Beauty’ was defined as a white-skinned girl with blonde hair and pink lips. And ‘ugly’ was defined as a tired looking dark-skinned woman. Even in movies, the dark or plump actors were always cast as the funny characters.
These kind of myths are under the process of being debunked, now that progressive thinkers and change-makers have come about. A lot of people are starting to realise that “Beauty comes in all shapes and sizes.” Maybe we spent our childhoods under such delusions and now it is hard to break free from them, but let us work towards changing our mindset so that future generations won’t believe any such myths. Maybe myths are better off when they remain questionable.