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February 17, 2019

Criticizing appearances

In my opinion there are two types of people when it comes to dressing up; the ones who are confident and don’t give a thought to what they wear. Then there are the ones who fret over everything they have on and aren’t very confident in the way they carry themselves.

Then there is another bunch of people who feel they are an authority on what people should wear and how they ought to wear it, the brigade that calls themselves the fashion police. I often wonder who died and left such people in charge of deciding how others should look, what they should wear and how they should wear it.

I trawl (not troll!) entertainment websites every now and then and love to see what the stars are wearing. Recently at the IIFA awards, I got to see quite a bit of fashion on display as Bollywood actresses chose to wear gowns and dresses by designers from abroad instead of just India. Some outfits were breathtakingly beautiful and others were ok in my opinion. Half these fashions are not my style as I’m not into haute couture but that doesn’t mean I’m going to gasp loudly and ask ‘Oh Emm Gee! What IS she wearing?!’ Fashion faux pas does exist and in the glamorous world, everyone feels they have the right to opine on what celebrities are wearing.

Then come the people you bump into at malls, parties, work, or any social scene and they take in what you’re wearing and start whispering behind your back. Some are bold enough to tell you on the face and convey how they’re not really feeling your outfit. Sometimes, partners do this as well.

The ex husband always had a habit of crticising what I wore.  If I wore an Indian outfit that was embroidered or a bit heavy, he’d call me a Christmas tree. And if I wore a plain simple outfit, he’d ask me if someone had died. I wore skirts and my legs weren’t right, I wore dresses and I looked terrible in them. If I donned jeans or trousers I’d be told how they didn’t suit me and for many years this was a constant thing that was drummed in me that it became difficult to see myself in a good light when I’d dress up. I still suffer from self-doubt to date when I wear something fancy. I will change many times and get very conscious at social gatherings, my minding working overtime, me wondering if I look okay, if I fit into the crowd, are people whispering behind my back and so on.

So you see, criticism is very harmful to a person’s esteem. People think it’s ok to put someone down, criticize and move on, not realizing the damage their nasty, thoughtless words can do. A member from the ex family always makes it a point to put others’ attires down but she’s no fashionista herself. Luckily most people know she’s just an awful, insecure person who thrives on putting others down so she’s largely ignored but how awful can you get by saying mean things to others!

Be kind to people. Just because they’re not wearing the latest fashions, it doesn’t mean they’re any less than you. If you feel so strongly about what someone is wearing then your opinion can be given gently instead of constantly putting people down. Be kind. Everyone is fighting some kind of a battle. Even the ones who come across as mean and nasty have battles no doubt, but that isn’t a license to vent on others.

Go clear your closet or something. I believe it’s very therapeutic to do so.


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