I worked as an Assistant Editor (AE) of a business magazine owned by an orthodox West Indian. I was promptly issued with standards of dress guide.
It said that absence of a bindi and wearing kurta and jeans to work were not setting a good example and I should wear a bindi and saree, for I am a Hindu. This was the first bit of communication I had received during my first full time job.
I was not really happy with the kind of job I was being made to do in the position of an AE apart from being judging often on my appearance. Any day now, I knew the publishing house would shut shop, before it happened; I pulled myself out from the job. I decided to make a living as a freelancer again.
Being a writer or a part of written press used to be a fairly anonymous profession. I always believed (and still believe) you are judged upon your choice of words and not on the way you looked. But in this modern age, the world has become a much more optical place. It has become a must for readers to relate to me and feel as if they know who I am.
My blogs, articles and reviews should be read for what they actually hold – the words I write, rather than judging me on the way I appear on my Twitter page. The world is judgemental all the time.
Everyone judge books based on their covers. We optimize-look at covers- read the titles. Out of many which appeals to the eyes, is usually picked up. Just in the same way I have been judged based on appearances based on my clothes, by potential employers, current employers, co-workers, friends, family, relatives, everyone I know and everyone I don’t know.
I got my hair colored red; few told me that I looked great and some called me an idiot for dying my hair but I bet everyone noticed. If they weren’t judging me based on appearances, why would they care? Why would they even notice?
The way I dress or look is everyone’s business. I am often asked in family gatherings, why I don’t wear a saree where as my mother wears them. I could not understand how dressing up in salwar kameez is found offensive. I think the Indian society really needs to learn to live and let live, especially when it comes to what women wear. I don’t wear clothes to control me.
Nobody notices that clothing should be comfortable for me. I disagree to the point that wearing a saree is the only way to be a virtuous respected Indian woman. For me saree exposes too much to which I am not comfortable. A large number of people I know think salwar kurta is too modern, some think skirts are wrong, some think jeans are immoral.
I live practically in Jeans. For me they are easy to maintain and move about in and have caused a threat to my extended family and at all the places I worked at.
I have short hair, I have 5 tattoos on my body and 8 ear piercings, I am successful and famous; I achieved my life goals despite the prejudice from the society on the basis of my appearance. I always remember this, I pick up my clothes, I decide what appearance I want to present, When people judge my appearance, they’re judging decisions that I made.
They’re judging me based on what I choose to advertise. Earlier it used to worry me a lot but now these aspects don’t bother me. Everyone has their own tastes, styles, and opinions.
Some people choose to wear clothing that is in style, while others choose to wear clothing that suits their own personal taste. When I see a person who drives a luxury car and wears designer clothes, I often think of him/her as being rich. But that might not always be the case.
People should be judged by the things that honestly matter like what kind of person they are and how they treat others rather than the clothing, hair colour and jewellery one wears.
We are all human beings and should be given fair chances to have people learn who we truly are.
I strongly feel people will always be there to judge you, but if they don’t want to see who the real you is, that’s their loss.