Pen Pal Column
Be it the bare-legged Barbie doll with her male friend, Ken, or Snow White and Cinderella with their prince charming, it has been a systematic manipulation of the innocent minds.
Now, the social media propaganda has not spared any aspect of human life. Selectively picking those features which appeal to the eyes, and thus projecting them to be the definition of beauty, is the norm in the media. Models parading on the ramp displaying ostentatiously their perfect figures, actors dancing to the tune with perfect sway, the picture-perfect looks of young girls and boys in the advertising world: all have redefined beauty in the real world, and anything beyond does not fit the pre-defined criteria.
Thus, every average adolescent struggles with his or her self to fit in to this definition, so that they feel accepted by the propagandists. The result of which is apparent: many feel dejected, and suffer from inferiority complex. This is also one of the reasons, for many psychological problems faced by the youth in the modern age. While some are bullied and criticized by others, some succumb to their own pressure to match, to the unrealistic standards.
The ripple effect of this can also be seen in the matrimonial advertisements, where an average boy seeks a perfect looking girl as his bride, and vice versa, an average girl wants a prince charming to be her groom. So much so, even husband and wife are dissatisfied with each other for not making up their looks, to match the perfection.
In a race to be in pace with the mainstream, and copying them in every aspect, we forget our mission as Muslims. While we try to groom our external self, we deface and bury our spiritual self in the darkness, never to see its reflection again.
Posting selfies and pictures of one-self, to be liked by others, is like selling one-self, at the meagre cost of acquiring nods, thumbs up and the applause of others.
In Islam, Flaunting one’s external beauty to seek appreciation is sinful, and so is commenting and making fun of people for their appearance. No individual has any right to comment on the creation of Allah ta’ala.
Yes, as humans we do need to take care of our physical selves, but one should not get obsessed with it. The real identity of every human being is the soul, or ones spiritual self within, whilst the physical body is just a medium to carry out the actions intended by the self.
Metaphorically saying, as the value of the cage is gauged by the bird inside, the value of every human being is measured by the good character he or she possess, like modesty, humility, generosity, piety, wisdom, empathy etc.; and not by one’s external appearance. The focus of every young adult should be to better the human inside, rather than competing for the perfect body and classy look. It is high time to shun the media propaganda, and redefine our lives in terms of reality