I was waiting for the elevator the other day and this man, most probably coming back from the gym, came and stood next to me. I had seen him before. A lot of times, actually. Out of courtesy, we usually pass a smile when we see each other. This time was no different. We got on the elevator while he was talking on the phone. Now, I shouldn’t have eavesdropped but I couldn’t help it as I was enclosed in a metal box with him for about 20 seconds. Covering my ears to prevent myself from hearing his conversation was not really an option. So, I stood there as he continued with his call.
“….This ugly girl tried to hit on me so hard. It was hilarious!”
At the end of the elevator ride, I passed my usual tight lipped smile and walked away.
I know that I am in no place to judge him or anyone for saying that statement. I probably would have said the same had I been in his position. Saying that, at the moment, I am at such a fragile stage in life where I’m looking for faults in myself and making feeble attempts to rectify them. I am looking for lessons at places and times where others won’t look twice. Because I know that I have more than a thousand flaws that need to be done away with. Immediately.
I am overthinking at the rate of 180kms/hr and it is killing me but I know that that is exactly what is required. So when I think more about the simple statement he uttered, I can very well say that unknowingly, he taught me something:
-when we classify someone as ‘ugly’, it tells us more about our ugliness;
-there is something disdainful about a pretty person who knows that he/she is pretty and assumes that everyone knows and believes it too.
If I consider myself to be beautiful, I don’t get the right to call anyone ugly. I don’t get the right to laugh at anyone who doesn’t conform to MY definition of ‘beauty’.
It was just a blessing bestowed upon me. It was NOT MY doing. It was not something that I earned.
Yes, I am saying this in first person because I am guilty of it too. I cannot say that I have never passed a comment on someone’s looks.
And it’s high time I stop doing that.
It’s high time we all stop doing that.
Somehow, with time, we have divided our world into two extremes of compelling ideologies. Polarised it.
There is only black and white. Men and women. Strong and weak. Beautiful and ugly. Smart and dumb. Educated and uneducated. No middle ground. No grey areas. Once we create, or rather acknowledge the very real reality that life is about the grey areas, that the black and white is just an illusion, the power of duality and inhumanity immediately subsides.
There’s no such thing as an ‘ugly’ human, in my opinion. Ugly behaviour, yes, but there is something beautiful about everyone. We live in a world where we need to free ourselves from the clutches of our dependence on our looks.
When we see someone, who, according to the standards of the society, is pretty, we immediately ignore all the other aspects of that person. We ignore the fact that they may have a mind or a heart that is not as ‘pretty’ as their face. And when we see the opposite, we totally ignore that fact that the said person may be the possessor of the most beautiful mind, heart and soul.
We CANNOT define anyone by their appearance, be it their face, hair or weight.
We CANNOT judge a book by its cover.
We CANNOT let vanity take over our common sense.
Because vanity is our favourite sin.