You Look Pretty, But…: The Tyranny of Beauty Standards

Society tells women that there is only one type of beauty – and dictates, in hard terms, how to achieve that kind of ‘beautiful’. This poem is about every girl who has been forced to bow to rigid ideas of beauty.

I am pretty but
in a lighter shade,
a little touch-up
to my face.

I am pretty
if you say,
“Your figure in this
looks okay.”

Round is pretty,
you say.
But only on my chest;
Cheeks? Nah. Not there.

My eyes are fine,
till the time
they are docked up in masscara,
black thick lines.

I look pretty
with smile sans teeth,
with hair full blown,
and nails full grown.

With colour applied
to my lips;
These heels hurt, but
accentuate my hips.

With my spark caged
in tiny hair clips,
“Its pretty,” you say,
“Just go with it.”

This goes on every day
‘Cause I look pretty,
but only if you say.

Nandini Singh is an 18-year-old majoring in English, political science and history at Christ University, Bengaluru. Find her on Instagram and Twitter @_writerbro 

Featured image credit: Christina Boemio/Unsplash