Finally! A New Face For Fashion. Why your kid SHOULD find her beautiful!

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Her spirit is indomitable! Read on to know the story of Laxmi Saa, the acid victim who redefines the norms of beauty.

Imagine the plight of 15-year-old Laxmi Saa. In 2005, she was attacked brutally by a man twice her age, whose advances she had rejected. A corrosive substance was thrown in her face, and she was left to suffer in the agony. She was rescued and rushed to the nearby hospital. She had to undergo nine surgeries since then, and the last one left her in a critical condition.

Acid attacks are not uncommon in India and the victims often suffer debilitation beyond repair. Many such victims give up. But not Laxmi. Today, she is the director of Chhanv Foundation, an NGO dedicated to helping the survivors of acid attacks in India. Laxmi received a 2014 International Women of Courage award by US First Lady Michelle Obama. Her activism against the free sale of acid has lead to it being tightly controlled.

Laxmi, now a mother of a beautiful daughter, is the face of the Indian Fashion Brand Viva N Diva. This gets us thinking, what real beauty is!

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When I look around, I am surrounded by brands and billboards glorifying (or vilifying?) the superficial aspects of beauty. Throughout our life, the standards of beauty are set by the media - advertisements, movies, even stories! Every princess in the fairy tales is one with long golden hair, beautiful face, melodious voice and blue eyes! Every boy wants such a princess and every girl wants to be one!

However, as adults, we know that beauty is much deeper than that! It is in the smile of the innocent street urchin who is enjoying the rain, in the silent 'thank you' by the old woman whom  you helped cross the road. How do we break the stereotype and let our kids understand what real beauty is? Let's find out!

1# Photoshopped beauty is not the norm!

Your kids come across photos of actors, actresses, models and socialites. Most of these are posed photos, airbrushed to perfection! This propagates a false standard of beauty. In real life, these people look far different than what they look on the billboards!

Kids, an advice: beauty is not the sole standard of assessing a person! A beautiful person may not be nice. A nice person may not be beautiful! We need more nice people than beautiful people in our lives.

2# Kindness is beautiful!

Kindness and compassion are taught to us right from the childhood. However, they are rarely linked to beauty. The kind Cinderella has evil but beautiful step-sisters. This connects a disconnect in the mind of a growing child between compassion and inner beauty.

Kids: Trust me when I say that kind people are one of the most beautiful people in the whole world. They have the ability to bring a smile on someone's face. That is the power of inner beauty!

What lies beyond the beauty that meets the eye? read on to find out.

3# Physical beauty is not all

When your kids reach puberty, the insecurity about physical appearance sets in. It is natural, and everyone wants to look beautiful or handsome. But I have seen girls turning anorexic in the quest to lose weight. Kids try out supplements to increase their muscle mass - something not really good for their age.

Kids, and young adults: I understand the urge to look good. Even I try to and want to! However, it makes much more sense in building on your strengths than altering your bodies to fit the norms of the society. Adele is one of the most beautiful singers in Britain now, and she does not sport a 'zero' figure!

4# Look into the soul, the beauty is there

Kids, in all their innocence, sense good intent in others. I realised this when a friend of mine visited us with her daughter. We adored her, and she reciprocated with all the admiration a seven-month-old could gather! While I am not claiming that I have a beautiful soul, her mere presence made my soul feel beautiful and pure!

Kids: Trust your instinct before you trust your eyes. If you find someone with pure hearts, befriend them! On the other hand, if you feel that a person is not nice, however handsome or beautiful he/she might be, you do not want them in your life!

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Laxmi Saa teaches us the valuable lesson that confidence is beauty. Her spirit is indomitable - that is why the inner beauty always wins! If you look in her eyes, you will understand the immense satisfaction she takes in her work, and she is at peace with herself. She will pass on this confidence to her daughter and make the world around her beautiful!

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(Image courtesy: Barcroft India)

Written by

Anay Bhalerao

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