Dear men, are you in a constant state of shock and confusion due to the women’s rights movements? Do you feel weighed down by their demands for extreme things like equal rights and opportunities? Does the thought of having to share your privileges and your chowmein give you sleepless nights? Fear not, sensitive souls, help is at hand. So many men have been in your shoes at one point. But look at them now. They are now happy and confident and ready to dominate the world again. Surprised? Skeptical? In a state of disbelief? Don’t be.
These men have been given access to a set of powerful, near-spiritual tools. For long, these secret tools have been guarded closely by an ancient order of women. No men have ever been able to unlock their full potential. Until now. Thanks to modernity, progress and the power of the natural compound MSG, you, too, can have that experience. Yes, you too can join your fellow women in becoming slaves to the beauty industry. A wide range of very scientific-sounding (but mostly ineffective) cosmetics are now within your reach. They come packaged in shades of greys and blacks so you don’t get confuse them with the chemically identical cosmetics available for women.
This revolution has been long in the making. For so many years, the beauty industry focussed solely on women. But then, a brave soul asked, what about the men? Have you ever given a thought to them? When do they get their fair share of sexualisation and body-image issues? Men are humans too, you know. They too have a right to be objectified, and to be judged, not by the content of their character, but by the 7 signs of ageing.
The discrimination against men is blatant in the media. Beautiful, young female actors are cast opposite men as old as their grandfathers, thereby denying men the right to shorter careers. In many movies in the South, dark-skinned men are cast as heroes, and are made to appear “natural”. But when was the last time you saw a dark-skinned female actor as a lead, or a female actor without make-up? This is a clear conspiracy. Men must demand equal representation at all levels of entertainment. From prancing in short skirts at women’s cricket matches to being cast as fathers as soon as they turn twenty-seven and a half, nothing must be denied to them. They, too, have the right to be held to unattainable standards.
As part of your transformational journey, I want you to also examine men’s rights in the context of shoes. For too long, men have been denied access to high-heeled shoes like those of women. Why are men designing painful shoes for women when they could be doing the same for their fellow brethren? Finally, they will have a chance to walk in the sky-high heels they make for others. Oxfords, brogues, boat-shoes and even Paragon bathroom-chappals must soon be available with built-in heels to make you stand tall. For prices starting from as low as Rs.1000, you too can totter about like a drunk giraffe and learn to endure pain for the sake of beauty. Women claim heels make them feel more confident, and who wouldn’t want some of that? Remember, what doesn’t give you tendonitis makes you stronger.
Next, we come to hair-removal. Some of you may not know that women’s legs and arms are not naturally hairless. Every month or so, women have this secret ritual called waxing. In the medieval times, they would brew a huge pot of wax, but now it comes in handy tubes. They apply boiling wax down their legs or arms, gently place down a strip of cloth on it, and then rip it off mercilessly. They get to have this done a hundred times across their body, and usually for the rest of their lives. But hey, at the end of it, you get the reward of looking like a plucked chicken, just as God and Mother Nature intended. Maybe they’re born with it. Or maybe it’s Maybelline.
I know it’s a terrible struggle right now, men, but keep on fighting the good fight. One hopes that someday, men’s beauty parlours will start mushrooming all over the country from Gummidipoondi to Gwalior, offering treatments like gold-facial+upper-lip or half-leg chocolate-wax. Until then, just remember to cleanse, tone and moisturise daily. Because you’re worth it.
[This is a version of my column that appeared in the Asian Age on 23rd May. You can read more of my work at http://www.suchiswriting.com]
AMAZING ARTICLE.exposes the double standards in a subtle way.
Maybe it’s Maybelline. Killed it there! xD I’ve read four of your articles now and you never fail to amuse me! 😀