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Defeating unrealistic beauty standards

Set beauty standards are a result of society. Society and media have reinforced these beauty stereotypes over centuries. They have instilled in us what makes one beautiful and women spend their whole lives trying to achieve that to feel happier and content.

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Defeating unrealistic beauty standards

Set beauty standards are a result of society. Society and media have reinforced these beauty stereotypes over centuries. They have instilled in us what makes one beautiful and women spend their whole lives trying to achieve that to feel happier and content. Not everyone is born white, with a perfect nose, long silky straight hair, and a perfect body. Society and media have reinforced these beauty stereotypes over centuries but now times are changing. Young girls are being aware that these stunning tall ladies they see on TV are not the definition of beautiful. That one does not have to look like.

Being fair skinned is beautiful

One of the first things that may pop up in your mind when you think about beauty is fair, white skin. It is not your fault that you have unintentionally associated fairness with being beautiful. Children, especially girls have often been told that they should apply lemon or honey on their face for fair and glowing skin, as if their skin is not perfect enough. Random aunties suggesting whitening creams to young girls form a sense of insecurity in these immature minds. Girls then grow up trying everything they can to achieve that perfect skin tone. Fair skin does not make one more beautiful or superior and deep skin complexions are equally beautiful.

Being slim is beautiful

Fat-shaming is very prevalent in our society. It is common practice of women exchanging vigorous diet plans to shed some pounds. It is great to have a healthy lifestyle and to take care of your body but not at the expense of your mental health. Extreme diet leads to depression and increases the insecurity one feels about their body. Each body type is different and works in its own way. A particular diet might work for me, but it is not necessary that it will work for you. All shapes and sizes are beautiful, there is no gold standard that one needs to achieve which would make them more beautiful.

Stretch marks are not beautiful

We all have stretch marks on our bodies. Society and media have built this impression on young mothers to get rid of stretch marks fast as this hinders their beauty and their spouse might not find them attractive anymore. Instead of spending time with their newborns, women end up searching and trying all kinds of remedies to get rid of these marks. Stretch marks are part of us being human. It is natural and women all over the world should embrace them.

Nobody should dictate us how we are supposed to look or how we are supposed to live our lives. We know what is best for us. Achieving a particular look should not be our key to happiness, instead we should focus on good character traits. Beauty is subjective, and nobody should be allowed to define it for us. We need to stop going after these unrealistic beauty standards for our own sake.

Cool dressing tips to take the heat off your salads

Been a while since you had an impressive salad? An array of veggies in their season-appropriate vibrant colours garnished with flavourful, healthy ingredients makes you forget about the monotony of the food we’re offered. Plus, healthy salad kits are available in the market these days, meaning one does not have to fuss around with shopping. So here are some essential salad dressing tips for your next day lunch, or dinner, or post-work snack…

Pick something with a rich, buttery flavour

A dressing that has butter and herbs in it is the easiest route to heat. Think raw shallot and olive oil. You can also have a serving of garlic mashed potato along with the dressing and call it an evening meal. But you should definitely pick a thick dressing that’ll add body to your salad and keep the flavours in check. My personal favourite: apple cider vinaigrette. The vinegar keeps the dressing from being too acidic and adds a savoury kick to it.

Don’t compromise on the tomatoes

Choosing tomatoes as your salad ingredient is key. Tomatoes are high in antioxidant compounds that give the salad its creamy texture. It also has strong vitamins A and C, which help protect against certain diseases and also help to fight cancer. So try to include these fresh vegetables in your salad if you can, even if you’re being calorie conscious. I love to layer tomatoes on top of my greens. Roast some cherry tomatoes or make a delicious tomato and goat cheese panzanella to go with my vinaigrette.

Go easy on the cheese

Cheese is the easiest way to sneak more calories into your diet. So it’s time you gave it up and opted for dressing that packs in more flavour than calories. If you can’t resist, just pair your salad with an extra-fatty, high-protein dip or dip your salad in a bit of hummus. You can also use as dressing to make low-carb wraps.

Make the dressing and the salad at the same time

When you take a walk towards the refrigerator, you probably have three possible destinations in mind. One, you think to yourself, ‘I might find some good ingredients that would go well in this salad’; two, you think to yourself, ‘I should make the dressing and the salad at the same time’; or three, you think to yourself, ‘I should just eat a big bowl of salad right now and call it a day’. If you’re making the salad at the same time you make the dressing, then you can spend less time deliberating over the ingredients.

Celery is a beautiful staple in the salad. It works great with raw almonds, apple slices, strawberries and mango. (Source: File Photo) Celery is a beautiful staple in the salad. It works great with raw almonds, apple slices, strawberries and mango. (Source: File Photo)

Make it colourful

There’s a reason so many salads are made with just iceberg lettuce, tomato and cucumber. When it comes to a salad, bright colours are the way to go. Try to pick veggies that have a lot of colour in them — strawberries, cherry tomatoes, mango and pink grapefruit are all great options. Celery is a beautiful staple in the salad. It works great with raw almonds, apple slices, strawberries and mango.

Layer, layer, layer

We all have our favourite salad. I have mine layered with broccoli and carrots. You can also add pine nuts and pecans. Just throw it all together and add whatever you want — a blend of pickled vegetables, avocado, feta and lemon vinaigrette — and you’ve got a satisfying salad.

If you want to add some crunch to your salad, toss in some nuts like almonds and walnuts and serve it with some tahini. (Source: File Photo) If you want to add some crunch to your salad, toss in some nuts like almonds and walnuts and serve it with some tahini.

All in all, cool dressing tips will help you bring out the best flavours from the vegetables you pick.

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