Vow, a Nepali Magazine invited Malvika Subba to share her thoughts: how she feels at her age now, what makes her feel beautiful, and what is her perception of beauty. Here is what she had to say.
I was never a beautiful child, I was the ugly duckling in school, and I used to wear thick glasses. I was a tomboy and I still am. Even after winning Miss Nepal, I didn’t care much about how I looked. Much of which can be attributed to my upbringing; I was brought up to believe that women should be intellectually powerful. My mother does not wear makeup and I didn’t know how to put on make up till I participated in Miss Nepal. Back then, makeup was never my priority, but I think with age and wrinkles, laugh lines and under-eye dark circles, I have started to feel that I should put on makeup and make an effort to enhance myself. I actually feel that women don’t make an effort to look beautiful for others, rather they do it for themselves. Over the years, I have realised that whenever I make an effort to look my best, I do feel better, happier, more confident and powerful. I have never felt that I was a beautiful person, but I have always thought of myself as an attractive person. At my age now, I think appearance is secondary. How a person talks, behaves, carries themselves, and whether he or she can hold a conversation or not, is more important. During my teens, I did have my insecurities, and there was a lot of peer pressure. Fortunately, the technology wasn’t as advanced as it is today. With digital media and everything else, there is greater emphasis on outer beauty and looks now than ever before. Teenagers are doing things and dressing up as if they are much older. I tell youngsters that they can always look pretty, and that makeup is our best friend even when we are in our 60s or 70s, but that they should rather focus on intellectual development, which will make them a much stronger personality in the long run. If you’re beautiful but dumb, that beauty is worthless, especially for women. You will be labelled as a “dumb bimbo” and no one wants that label. When I was 21, I wanted to be 21 forever. And when I turned 25-26, I was like ‘I need to wear anti-wrinkle creams, and when I turn 30, I should have Botox done.” Seriously, I have this belief that growing old means looking haggard and wrinkled. I am trying to be comfortable with what I am right now. I think late 20s is a very good age to be in. We’re more comfortable with our own selves. Nowadays, they say 30s is the new 20s and 40s is the new 30s. Basically, earlier I never imagined that I would be the way I am today at this age. I feel much better now than when I was in my early 20s. I feel much happier and confident. Surprisingly, for the last two years I have been receiving more compliments than ever before. I think I have grown as a person every year, and likewise, over the years, my beauty regime, eating habits and dress sense have also changed. And since I have been working in the corporate sector for the last one and a half years, I dress accordingly. The only thing I don’t do is exercise as I am a lazy person, otherwise, I try to do little bit of everything and take care of myself. Today, I feel beautiful when a man looks at me and tells me that I look beautiful. If a 23-year-old guy hits on me and wants to date me, that too makes me feel beautiful. My friends are my biggest source of strength, and we have made it a point to compliment each other on the slightest of details—this again makes me feel beautiful.
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