Sunscreens are not cosmetics!

It is officially summer in Chennai, the place said to have perpetual summer. Dozens of sunscreen advertisements pop up wherever I go. I roll my eyes at them because I know that at least half of them are useless, while the rest are missing the point. As someone who suffers from photosensitivity and has to wear sunscreen year round whenever I head out in the sun, let me debunk the misconceptions about sunscreens. I will also help you in identifying the right sunscreen and finding out whether you need one in the first place. Continue reading

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Shortness of Life

We spend our life pretending that we will live forever. Death is something that we assume is always years away. We know we are all going to die eventually, but we always ignore this fact. When a loved one dies, it hits us hard and we regret the many things that we wanted to do with them or for them. We regret not having spent quality time with them and not having been in touch with them frequently because we were “busy”. We remember the fight we had eons ago and wished we had apologized or didn’t make a big deal out of the conflict. We regret not expressing our love. Continue reading

Judging a book by its cover

Take a moment to go through the two descriptions below and think about what you read:

She carried herself well in a sleeveless, animal printed, cropped top paired with denim shorts. Her striking makeup looked great on her. The red streaks in her hair complimented her top. Her accessories were matched to be in fashion. As she walked in, she had an air of confidence. Her long strides were perfection. She could totally pull off being a model.

Across the hall, there was a woman dressed in a simple classy ball gown. Her elegant outfit was matched with beautiful pearl accessories. Her subtle makeup looked natural and enhanced her beauty. Her hairdo was in line with the overall graceful look. When she greeted her guests, her warm smile, and soft voice made her look like the perfect host.

What did you think of the two women described above? Continue reading

The Day I turned Egalitarian

I was born a feminist. I remember many instances of my childhood where I’d question the cultural customs and proverbs that dictate the roles of women and/or degrade women. I’ve argued so much with my mom about these that she would call me a lawyer.

There may be a range of definition for feminism, but I take it to mean that men and women should be treated equally. I know some of you would immediately ask why this is called feminism and why not something like equalism if equality is the thing that we are striving for. Continue reading

Brain over Beauty

In the first episode of the TV series ‘House’, Cameron is shocked that House hired her because of her good looks. House asks her, “Would that upset you, really, to think that you were hired because of some genetic gift of beauty instead of some genetic gift of intelligence?” Only then it hits me that intelligence is also a genetic gift, just like beauty.

Why do we glorify intelligence while we think low of beauty, as if it is some unearned gift? Why is it that a beautiful, brainy woman wants to be called intelligent and not pretty at work? Here are some points why this might be the case: Continue reading

I can’t drive and that’s okay!

When I tell people that I can’t drive a car or ride a bike, they are surprised. They assume it is because I’m an Asian girl who fits the stereotype. They assume I’m not bold or confident enough to learn the skill.

They ask “How can a working woman in her mid-twenties not ride a scooty or drive a car? How do you travel then? Aren’t buses tiring? Why would you spend so much on autos?” I want to answer them that Continue reading