How I wish brands plan their marketing strategies to go well with the people and not be seen as bait to push their sales figure. Talk about any day be it Valentine’s or Women’s Day, advertisements surface like anything as if we’d been waiting for this for a long while consumerism is hitting new heights every day. But do I need such offers or to celebrate being a woman? No, never! Call me from the old school but I never want these days to remind my existence. The people around me shouldn’t need reminders to value me or make me feel special. Other than birthdays which ought to be special I see all days are as special as aggressive marketing and how they are missing the gist.
Electronic brands want me to feel liberated and to celebrate equality by buying their products. Apparel brands want to feel like a woman. The jewellery brand wants to feel privileged, and the Food industry wants me to take a break from the kitchen. First of all, I should thank them for their sensitivity to the masses. If not, how would they empower millions by pushing their sales figure for women’s day? When did the empowerment of women has changed its narratives?
We all call ourselves developed in all sense. The kind of work environment, lifestyle has helped us to see wider. Pushing us out of our cocoon. But the mindset is enjoying their damsel distress image and have failed miserably to see and sensitize things more closely.
When we talk about empowerment what do we see as a person or society?
Do we mean education is all about empowering women?
Does that mean a financially independent woman is empowered enough? Or Touching height in any form is anyway assumed as empowerment.
IAS women being harassed for dowry and uneducated ones know how to sail through every odd. So as a person, I don’t see education as a sure-shot dose of empowerment. It has a lot to go with and education is just the part.
Empowerment is much wider than we see it as. It has wings to fly and freedom to feel. Acceptance, making choices, standing tall amidst all odds and rising high fearlessly.
The first empowerment comes with the acceptance of yourself. Your body, your skin colour and how you are. For women, appearance matters the most. Call it a psychological effect or the social parameters to look at? The skin colour, the shape of the body and many things to go with. The judgements are always there to find that tiniest of fault. And the worst part is that nothing has changed much body shaming others. Education and development haven’t contributed much to progressive minds. I feel the first empowerment comes from feeling good in your skin. Accepting flaws and all the changes you face as you age. I’m not against using make-up or beauty products to look good but it’s important to feel the same confidence even without makeup. Beauty is skin deep and better we accept our existence. I just want to quote something from my life along these lines. I’m born dusky and never in my life my parents had ever told me to use “fair and lovely” or to look one shade lighter. They never looked me down for my skin colour and I never felt any inferiority complex despite the kind of negative comments I would often get. Now as I see how those small things have made me feel good about myself. A kind of empowerment to accept and see me as a person.
Secondly how confident we are to make choices in our life. Like, what do we want to study, interest, choosing life partners, where to work. I feel failures and success are all secondary until you find your way by falling it again and again. Success is not a measure of how you evolve as a person. It’s a part of life and failures are inevitable. Anything which has been forced in any form won’t give you empowerment rather it would push you to go against your conscience. And you might not enjoy it fully.
The same goes with the status tags if the woman is single, married, divorcee, Or choose to go for IVF, surrogacy or adopt. How does it matter when it comes to a personal choice of women taking up the entire responsibility?
Womanhood is much more than celebrating it for one day. Not about sales and offers at least. I would be happiest if I see safe travel for women in public transport or even alone at any time of the day. I would be happiest if I see no woman body-shamed for her looks and the skin colour she has. I would be the happiest if a woman is allowed to make choices for her life. I would be happy if women are not raped and tortured for dowry. I would be happiest if a woman is valued if she chooses to be a homemaker or continue her career as a new parent.
And I would be happiest if I see them growing and evolving without any fear of judgements. It’s their life and they can very well own it and live it! Social parameters don’t define who is perfect and flawed while the word perfection in itself is a myth.