Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Body Modesty


'Where every prospect pleases and only man is vile', is probably your first reaction to this photograph from my recent Kothagiri trek. (Yeah! I really know how much you all love me) My reaction, though, was slightly different. (No! Nothing to do about how pleasing the man in the pic is, thank you) I was wondering about how someone like me, who was the epitome of body-modesty in my youth, could contemplate putting up this pic in public without batting an eyelid.

Not that I was alone in this body-modesty thing. In my youth, almost all men (boys, as they then were) around me were disinclined to be less than fully clothed. Not that there was any social pressure on the lines of 'Why are you going around looking like a gigolo?' In fact, if we had really believed that wandering around in partial or complete undress would attract girls, I shudder to think of the sights that the world would have had to accustom itself to, in those days. (For a sample, you can check back the pic at he beginning and the one below and shudder)


The problem, probably, was the vice versa. We probably were not sure about whether we had any attractions for the opposite sex. The one thing that we were sure about was that any element of undress would put the issue beyond all doubt - there would be no attraction, only revulsion! Or, at least, I was sure of this.

You see, there was also this problem of being 'manly'. It used to be hair on the chest (Now, of course, it is wax on the chest. I have always wondered why this cocept of 'manliness' is so closely tied up with hair and other such physical characteristics. As though we have given up on character and are making do with what we are left with!) and, in the days when I was the most inclined to seek attention, there was none. (There was more on my head than there is now but, do you know, it never really seemed THAT important in those days) As luck would have it, when I did manage to sprout some on the chest, they seem to have been transplanted from the head. Beyond a point, though, the sapling taken from my head seem to have vanished to other more fertile lands - never saw sign of them anywhere else on my body.

So, what then has caused this sudden disappearance of body-modesty in my mental make-up? Quite obvious, isn't it? I mean, there are two reasons why - one, you acquire a confidence in your attractions even with clothes off OR you acquire a confidence that you are repulsive even with your clothes on, so what have you got to lose? (Yeah, I know, you all can guess which of the two it is for me!)

Oh! And, by the way, there is a third reason, too. You have stopped caring about whether you are attractive or not.

Which is the real reason why - or, so I prefer to say!

Photo Credits : Chandru, my co-trekker

30 comments:

  1. There is definitely more to a person's worth--and thereby attraction--than hair and physical characteristics but unfortunately youth is wired differently.And a large percentage unjustifiably suffers from body dysmorphic disorder.I guess we learn better when we grow up.

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    1. And it does not help to have all those (photoshopped?) 'perfect' bodies thrust in your face by the so-called Page 3 people :)

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    2. Oh yes.What use these beauty pageants today when facial features and even body structures can be modfied by surgeons?

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  2. love your self deprecatory humour. And the fact that you're putting up pics of yourself enjoying yourself in the water. Photoshopped bodies are the pits, they manage to make everyone feel bad about themselves, even the models themselves, since they don't actually look like that.

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  3. Are you okay? I mean, for someone who hasn't changed his profile picture or blog design for a long long time, the above pictures display ample confidence. I don't care about the reasons, any confident step is welcome.

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    1. It was never a lack of confidence - only laziness and a do-not-care-how-I look- what-matters-is what-I-say attitude :)

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    2. I know it wasn't that but mentioned the word in jest with reference to the following lines, " I mean, there are two reasons why - one, you acquire a confidence in your attractions even with clothes off OR you acquire a confidence that you are repulsive even with your clothes on, so what have you got to lose? (Yeah, I know, you all can guess which of the two it is for me!)".

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    3. Ha! Yes, Alka, I too realized why you said what you said, but could not resist the opportunity to put in that 'do-not-care....' :)

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  4. Today's world is obsessed with external beauty and has some weird yardsticks to measure it by. I cannot imagine the charm of waxed chests in men and pencil-thin people. How very sad that what matters is hardly paid a thought to.

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  5. Such streams which are shallow are fun.... U don't need to know to swim to enjoy :)

    I am planning to Photoshop this and add some magical aura around and distribute this saying u r some great baba of the Himalayas :D .... What do u say ? :)

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    1. Just give me enough advance notice to start an Ashram :)

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  6. From the one personal interaction that I have had with you, the impression that I got was that you love liquids inside and outside you (ullayum thanni velileyum thanni) if you know what I mean :)

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    1. Correct - and if both happen simultaneously nothing like it :)

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  7. That pool would have been very tempting after an arduous trek. Combine with it, your third reason for shedding body. You can truly think on the lines of an Ashram in the site in the pic.

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    1. Maybe I should - but, first, I need to find firang investors in the concept :)

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  8. Some of the concepts of 'beauty' which my generation subscribes to I don't quite understand, one of them being a man with waxed chest..I think all we need to be is comfortable in our own skin and the rest doesn't really matter... My front teeth are, well, let's just say not 'ideal' but I never felt the need to change them.. So as long as you are happy with yourself, I think the rest of the world can go wax as much as they want :D

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    1. Hahaha! Exactly Naba! AND if you are NOT comfy in your skin all the wax in the world will not help :)

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  9. You're looking like GG Allin. Don't kill me if you don't like him after you're done googling :p

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  10. all i can say is that i envy you and i wish i could enjoy life the way you do.

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  11. I love the idea of wax on the chest. It kind of gives a feel of poetic justice disbursed to the womenkind who for generations is undergoing the torture of wax and is burdened by the responsibility to look good for their 'man' . Infact ,I am waiting for days of eyebrows be plucked ,mustaches trimmed up to the mm precision ,just as to please the women .
    And much later when the wisdom finally dawned, these guys learned to regret that all it needed was to be sensitive, sensible ,helpful and extra charm points for having a funny bone.

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    1. Hmm - Sensitive, sensible .....I think most men would find waxing easier :P

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  12. It's nice when we learn to accept ourselves. That's when the whole world does too!
    Nice pics! Relaxing trip, Sureshji :)

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  13. Guess it is great to stop thinking what others think of you. And nakedness is considered a spiritual practice by lot of groups. I have heard in RK Mutt, you parade naked before a congregation of monks before accepting the final Sanyasin Deeksha.

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