My daughter is coming home for vacation and I have my job cut out for a month. Apart from watching films, eating out, visiting bookshops and art galleries, shopping and socialising, listening to endless prattle about her boarding school, I’ll also have to be the Glamour Girl.
Because in the one month that she’ll spend in Dubai she’ll subject me to scrutiny like “a blue scarf with a blue shirt?”, “Ma, you need to urgently lose 5 kg, you’re looking F-A-T,” “oh God, not pink lipstick at your age!”
At 15, she’s a young woman in her own right, who thinks she can teach her mother a thing or two about fashion. It’s fine by me, all this newfound confidence or sense of fashion or whatever. It’s also a fun way to cement the mother-daughter bond. At her age I remember handing a few tips to my female relatives about the right sari or jewellery.
But there is a difference, isn’t there? While we all took interest in looking good, the present generation seems to be rather preoccupied with it. Mercifully my girl is no airhead and has a lot of meaningful interests to keep her grounded and well-balanced (hopefully), but in general I do see a trend among the young people that is tilted heavily in favour of looking good, whatever it takes. Shopping, primping, gymming, dieting…And if you are older and can afford, it’d be chemical peel, botox, surgery…
There is this young Lebanese girl in the gym I’ve joined. She has an hourglass figure and oozes fitness. She’s also the one who works out the hardest. The other day I asked her casually why she needed to put in so much effort. “My stomach is fat, my arms are fat,” she said. I was like which stomach, which arms? To convince me she lifted her T shirt a bit, pinched her stomach, which was flat and hard like an orthopaedic-mattress, and said, “See? All this has to go.”
What has to go? The skin? Give me a break!