Stories about beauty

The title of the ‘ugliest’ species on earth goes to… us

Beauty lies in the eye of the beholder – it is relative, it is virtue, it resides within one’s heart. Beauty is also kindness and love. But is it really? For all practical purposes, is it really? Lizzie Velasquez’s cyber bullying ordeal 10 years ago was living, breathing proof that all the oft-repeated phrases about beauty being a trait of deeper dimensions are nothing but falsehood. People who found her pictures online were unaware of her medical condition, a rare congenital disorder that prevents her from gaining any weight and expedites her aging process. They found her physical features queer to look at, hence the harsh judgment ensued. ...

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Why, in Pakistan, being a full-time beauty blogger will never count as an actual career

It’s been four months since I started blogging. I’m a doctor by profession and even though it’s been a while, I still haven’t found the courage to tell anyone (apart from a handful of people) that I’ve taken up full-time blogging in another profession. It’s because I know what they all will say. I spend hours writing, editing, and finalising my blogs, yet somehow no one actually takes what I do seriously. I literally put my heart and soul into every post I put up. I hate answering the question, ‘How much do you earn?’ I earn nothing; I can’t because I’m a blogger ...

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Would you buy your children a Malala inspired Bratz doll?

Nothing in our world happens without meaning or impact. In every moment, we absorb different forms of energy from whatever our surroundings hold, especially in the tender stage of childhood. Toys, for one, might simply be seen as objects children play with, but is there a chance that they too have a deeper meaning and effect on the minds and personalities of minors?  Toys also play a part in implementing gender roles – we all have seen little girls playing with dolls, and boys being given toy cars or guns to play with. I, myself, was fond of dolls as a child ...

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In beauty is a wound, Eka Kurniawan proves that he is the literary heir to Salman Rushdie and Garcia Marquez

Every once in a while a novelist surfaces on the literary landscape from a bookishly dormant and reclusive country, whose literature has been ignored and underrepresented in the Western literary consciousness for far too long, and takes the entire book world by storm. Chimamanda Ngozie Adichie from Nigeria, Han Kang from South Korea, Yuri Herrera from Mexico, Aminatta Forna from Sierra Leon and Porochista Khakpour from Iran are a just a few contemporary examples. And now, Eka Kurniawan, a young and precocious Indonesian novelist, is a thrilling new discovery and an exciting addition to the list. In Kurniawan, Indonesia has, at ...

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No, Mr Hakeem, your totkas cannot cure every problem!

Ground some nutmeg powder and mix it with rose water, he said. Apply it on the scars; this magical concoction will make all your scars disappear with just one single application. Oh! You can have perfect clear skin, he said. There is nothing better to be goofed about. One day, while flipping through channels, I stumbled upon a Hakeem on ARY’s morning show. Among many other health and beauty tips, he was generous enough to openly share a remedy that I couldn’t wait to try; I was so convinced by his confidence that there was an organic remedy that could rid me of my scars. I ...

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Chagharzai and other valleys: An epiphany in itself

Every now and then, we hear someone singing odes to the beauty of Pakistan’s North-West regions. Be it by one of those recent sing-along tourism promos running on nearly every news network these days, after a prolonged wave of violence in Malakand Division, or some bunch of local yahoos who’d just returned from a trip from any of the numerous valleys and lakes. The fact remains that the actual beauty and splendour of these areas is still quite underrated, despite all such praises. Even though the last few years’ armed conflicts have labelled the entire region as a no-go zone, ...

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Getting high in Pakistan

I believe words do not suffice when it comes to describing the emotions that run through you when you’re standing at the foot of a mountain. The raw beauty and power of these mighty mountains make you realise how small we really are. No matter how many times I see them, those mountains, valleys, glaciers or plains of multiple coloured flowers changing after every few feet, I am always left speechless. Maybe it’s just me, but somehow, just being there instils this faith that there truly is a higher power out there. To truly understand these mountainous areas and northern valleys, one ...

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Would you get your jaw-wired to lose weight?

“Hey, you have lost weight?” This is a question almost every woman in this world hopes to be asked. Every day, we discuss, think about, act on and cheat on this weight monster. Recently at work, one of my female co-workers proudly announced that her family friends got their daughter’s jaws wired so that she cannot eat or chew. The poor 17-year-old will be living on liquids for the next two years. What is the end result? Of course, she will shed all those ‘extra’ pounds and probably will be able to grab an acha rishta, but how inhumane is that? While listening to ...

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You

In the centre of a wave of silence, where I sit inside a shed, You are the tools that I have used to build this home. When people debate about You, You sneak into the smile that travels across my face. You are in the noise that is aroused but more so in the silence that follows. Because what is every word but a pointless effort to imitate the sweet pleasure which roams casually inside silence? Your name is constantly provoked in different forms, in different accents, and You are denied in different languages, in different ways. Lives are spent in defending ...

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Tweaking a classic: Maleficent vs The Sleeping Beauty

Back in the day, we used to watch cartoons and movies on big cassettes that would go into our VCRs. Now, we are in the era of ultra-thin discs we play on our nifty DVD players. Sleeping Beauty, an absolute favourite, that was made in 1959 also changed with time. Today, it is called 2014’s Maleficent. But is it as good as it used to be? Photo: Fizza Akbar Planning to go to watch a movie at the theatre has never been a quick decision for me, so by the time I go watch a movie, more than half ...

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