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Reverse Ageism and What Lies Within Us All

This article popped up on my newsfeed recently and it boggled my mind how long its taken for this to happen. For a beauty product to have flooded the market for so many years based on promising a change in a person's skin color is disturbing. Colorism is a huge issue in all corners of the world and to be in this century and worry about the way you look is truly disappointing.

The South Asian countries lead the way in this classist mentality but others are not so far behind. As recent events all over the world have unfolded, we realize that cruelty is not the purview of one culture or country. However, age does seem to play a factor in how firmly entrenched your ideals are in classism. For some reason, old age also equals a no-filter, almost cruel outlook. As if age has granted the right to be rude instead of bequeathing wisdom on the elderly. Growing up in Southeast Asia and traveling there yearly alone, I have heard so many comments from friends, family, and even total strangers on the plane(!) about how I look and what being overweight could mean for my marriage! Granted most of them were older 'aunties' who took this liberty of unsolicited comments but this is not something new - the elderly have always taken their opinions as gospel and are not shy about sharing them.

With age comes wisdom from the experiences we have and the journeys we take. Somewhere though, we stop giving importance to other people's journeys and start taking a more rigid stance. We forget that everyone fights their own battles and though second hand opinion and experience can help, they are much less important than actually living through something.

Body shaming has become such a part of our lives - our very existence is determined by how we look. I have gone through this so many times and smiled through it when internally I was either cursing or cringing. Total strangers especially older Asian women have questioned my husband's loyalty based on the way I look, or pointed to my physical appearance as something lacking in me. Now that I see young girls being criticized for the way they look almost always followed by the standard token phrase that it is a well meaning comment, it really bothers me and I feel like speaking up is better than staying quiet on account of respecting a person or their age.

Changing the name of a beauty product will definitely not change the mindset that has been foisted on everyone for decades. But it is a good starting point in changing the narrative. After all, everyone aspires to 'glow' - whether they are fair or not.

 
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