All That Glitters Ain’t Gold

Picture Courtesy - Dor
Picture Courtesy – Dor

All that glitters is gold, at least in the fashion world. But then again, it isn’t!

Thanks to my wonderful sister & her fashion label ‘Dor‘, I got a chance to visit the Indian Bridal Fashion Week 2013. Anybody who knows the least bit about India would tell you, there’s no better business than the wedding business. No wonder, all the high profile designers (no matter what their aspirations or interests) delve into Bridal wear – ’cause that’s where the moolah is.

Now I’m not someone who’d give an arm and leg to follow fashion trends, but getting an opportunity to watch the Rohit Bal (one of India’s leading designers) show was too tempting to let go. Well, the excitement and euphoria of doing so, lasted for all of 20-30 minutes; post which you started to see beyond the facade.

Rohit Bal taking a bow
Rohit Bal taking a bow

Once inside the crowded (with people without the passes wanting to get in) gates, the initial brouhaha died down pretty quickly as ‘fake-ness’ was all I encountered. Everybody, in their effort to look starkly different from  each other, ended up looking alike (the irony!). They spoke the same language, with the same accent and with the same mannerisms.

Huddled in small groups, with wine glasses dangling in their perfectly manicured and delicate hands, the so-called socialites and fashionistas pretended to be engrossed in real conversations, what with their oohs and aahs; but all they cared about was the number of eyes trained on them.

All this got me thinking, how hard and tiring it must be to put up false pretenses! To get up day after day, only to obsess about the way you looked, the food (or lack of it) you ate and the parties you were or weren’t called for. Even making friends would have to be a carefully planned task, as everything depends on the people you’re seen with.

Wouldn’t you get tired if you had to put up a smiling face even when you felt empty inside, had to wear high heels despite your feet hurting like hell (weddings are the only exceptions :P), had to look young even when you felt haggard inside, had to starve when all you wanted was to stuff up with the best food possible? I for one, would lap up the idea of a normal life that constitutes of wrinkles, sadness, smiles, frowns, bad hair days; a life where I wouldn’t have to worry about what people would think if I took off my sandals to sit cross legged in a restaurant. I’d never trade simple and uncomplicated for the glittery and fake.

The jaded looks on the models’ faces, the frustration at having to put up a brave smiling face when a Bollywood starlet (Sonam Kapoor) gets to be the showstopper despite you putting in all the hard work, the chore of having to attend the after parties (when all you wanted was to curl up in bed and watch a movie) just so you could network with the right people; made me realize how much better it is to lead common anonymous lives…REAL lives. Even though you’re not a known or revered face, you still mean the world to those who matter; even though you don’t have the perfect body, you still aren’t criticized for a tiny cellulite spot; even though flashlights aren’t trained on you perpetually, you still sport a real smile when they are.

Moreover the thing about being fake is that after a point, it becomes your reality – one you can never escape from. And that’s why we have lost stars and starlets trying every trick in the book to remain/get back in the limelight because that has become their reality and they don’t know what to make of the world when outside it.

So here’s to all the real people out there – revel in your uniqueness, your awkwardness, your randomness, your desi-ness; because perfect is boring.

6 thoughts on “All That Glitters Ain’t Gold

  1. Hey Anushree,
    First of all its was a very interesting write-up. I was deeply engrossed in it.

    I second the message you have tried to convey in this post and i believe, living a real life or what you said anonymous life is so challenging when you have to go through all phases of life with real expression on your face. You dont have to fake a smile as its not part of your job. You are a free bird, nothing can stop you on expressing your real feeling.

    “IMPERFECTION is BEAUTY, MADNESS is GENIUS and its better to be absolutely ridiculous than absolutely boring.”
    Marilyn Monroe


  2. Great write-up Anush but was almost hoping at the end that you’d take the perspective of the fashion model…how or why they may have entered that world, and if one of us, or perhaps you were in their shoes…how would you handle the attention/glory…if that’s what gave you confidence and meaning, if that was the thing that you were really good at, it’d be hard to throw away…

    …but then again, this bit wasn’t really the scope of your writing…it was more from what you observed about this world.

    Fun read!

    1. Hey CK!
      Glad you liked the post 🙂
      Yeah, although the scope of the article wasn’t what you mentioned, it would’ve been interesting to get a model’s perspective on the whole thing. Would keep that in mind in case I write on a similar topic in the future 🙂

  3. Hi Anushree, just finished reading your blog.
    I must say your take on fashion industry is so coherent!! It definitely gives a powerful insight on the fashion world….Having said that, I still don’t completely agree with you( being a dualist that I am).
    Aren’t we stereotyping the industry and the people associated with it, when we say that all they talk about is just the way they look?…My point is, so what?!! It’s their job, and since they are so heavily passionate about it and are the representatives of the fashion industry- we should cut them some slack for wearing their lipstick RED.
    I know of some people from the fashionistaz who are so philanthropic, and they are the same people who also attend the Literature festival with great verve where they intellectually masturbate on various topics plaguing our society.
    I reckon they are just doing their job,like we do….and no jobs are perfect. In the hindsight, we all complain!!

    1. Hi Rashima,
      The point you’ve made is absolutely valid. There sure are exceptions to every rule. But I’ve written this article more for the rule than exceptions 🙂 These are obviously some general observations from the outsider perspective.
      Also I’d like to disagree with the last line of your comment – In the hindsight, everything seems perfect, we complain in the here & now!

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