BarAThon, Blog Challenge

The Fault in our Stares |BarAThon|

This image was captured by me at Hampi in 2011. A group of gypsies were staying in the guesthouse who would gather around in the evenings to perform with drums and other musical instruments while one of them twirled a ball of fire all around his/her body with great dexterity. I had never seen anything like it before and was absolutely mesmerised by it.


There! Look at it! She has pierced her eyebrow. What on earth is wrong with these people?

Nudge. Wink. Point with lifted eyebrows n tilt of head – object of our introspection – a midriff exposed on a thin young girl in the mall.

He has a tattoo – did you see? He looks well-educated and even then he has done this.

My god what is she wearing? Didn’t she look in the mirror before stepping out today? This time we are offended by a not-so-thin womanly form who btw seems content with her look!

All day long something or someone catches our attention, leading to a judgemental stare. 

Judgemental – as it’s outside our approved notion of purview.

Why do we indulge in such biases?

Why must we condemn someone’s choice, just with a look of ours?

Why can’t we be accepting of others choices for themselves?

Why is it so difficult?

I say it’s because of our years of generic conditioning fuelled by the standards of whats “morally” right and wrong.

Things have just been handed down to us over the years and accumulated in our heads forming a perspective that is so skewed that we give instant acceptance vis-à-vis the conditioning; without ever using our brains to question its sanctity!

So we have now formed a vicious circle of image/body/slut shaming in our heads, social circles and lives to the extent of risking our mental health and peace for it.

I say the fault lies in our way of examining things and giving it an easy acceptance as we are too scared to be judged in a similar manner if we don’t follow the prescribed path!

So someone’s conscious decision to not have children means infertility without a shadow of a doubt.

Someone’s decision to be Gay means they are mentally challenged and need to be “cleansed” of the “impurity”.

A single woman means non-marriageable material or a fast woman with dubious character. Worse follows if she speaks her mind, attends parties alone and heaven forbid if she smokes and drinks too!

A divorced woman means someone who couldn’t live up to the marital standards of her in-laws and husbands and is very much damaged goods.

And last but not the least, a rape survivor is branded as someone who asked for it.

I say shame on us and the system of thinking we have devised around us.

Shame on us for being so unsupportive and cruel in our attitude towards such lifestyles and mindsets.

When will we change the fault in our stares?

Come support this initiative with your opinion if you feel strongly about body/image shaming; for I am hosting folks writing their thoughts, experiences, opinions on this topic on my blog for next few weeks.

This post has been written for the first prompt of the #BarAThon ” The Fault in our Stares”  – I am looking forward to hearing from my readers on this with bated breath!!! Cheers.


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54 thoughts on “The Fault in our Stares |BarAThon|

  1. I couldn’t find the “like” button but I did enjoy this post. Agree that instead of judging, we should look inward. Cheers.
    @simplymarquessa from Simply Marquessa

    1. Thanks Pooja. The moment I saw this prompt, it lined up with an ongoing blog campaign that I have initiated on my blog.

  2. I agree with you that people are quick to judge based on what society says people should be like. It frustrates me no end…all the examples you’ve given are valid and accurate. It’s about time people stop judging and start accepting. Nice start to the challenge! 🙂

    1. Thanks so much sweets. We really need to self love more first and then only will this acceptance trickle down. I am trying for this to be my theme for this marathon. Hope to see your guest post on it soonest. Cheers doll

  3. I could only nod along to what you’ve said in your post! Spot on! I have also attempted to put up a piece on this theme with a slightly different take on it. Do read mine and let me know what you think. Best for the BarAThon Challenge, Shalz!

    1. Thanks Esha and goes with out saying that I will read yours too. The moment had read this prompt, it sat in so well with a campaign I was working on for guest posts on my blog. Watch out for those too- would love to hear your thoughts on them.

  4. ‘Live and Let Live’ I wish we could all follow that motto. Also, I do wish we were charged for the number of opinions each of us seem to profess. I am a work in progress trying to figure out where I stand in a number of the issues you have mentioned in this post: I am training my mind not to body shame, to be a feminist, to think about my parenting choices- which in a way sums up my theme for this blog-a-thon. I am glad a lot of people are talking up about these issues now.

    1. Thanks Namy. More power to you on this- I say let’s confront such thought n issues and together discuss them to a positive ending.

  5. Yes, indeed shame us for our choice but people who don’t have anything better do with their lives than casting judgment. Makes me wonder on the kind of adjectives I can come to describe them, I better refrain. It’s extremely sad and you nailed it…how! There are some people who don’t have anything better to do and lack foresight or intellect.

  6. How true! We point fingers, stare unabashedly at people who don’t seem “normal”, but are we normal, ourselves? Live and let live needs to be the motto we ought to follow and the judgmental stares be done with!
    Loved your concept, Shalz and the idea behind it!
    All the very best!

  7. Judging people by their looks is something that everyone succumbs to, sometimes even without knowing that they’re doing so. Lack of other information about the person being judged is another factor which helps judgmental people to come up with erroneous conclusions. The simplest solution I can think of is for all of us to be open-minded, and tell other people off if they make erroneous judgements. Only then will we be happy to be our true selves.
    It’s a splendid cause to support, Shalini. I do hope your posts inspire people to give up this bad habit of judging people by their looks!

  8. The various examples you brought forth of how we judge anyone and everyone who doesn’t fit our definition of “good boy or girl” due to the years of social conditioning is really awesome. Diversity in its true sense is still an alien concept to us

  9. Minds are getting narrower while we are supposedly moving towards progress. Loved your honest point of view and candid use of words. The time to sit back and wait for the good guys to come, is over. We need to be more proactive and take matters into our own hands. Inspiring post Shalini.

  10. You slashed it right with your post, Shalz !!! Powerful, thought provoking post. Body shaming is a curse to the society. Looking forward to read more mind blowing articles like this …..

  11. I must admit I’m a bit stumped by the prompt but you did beautifully with your post. So true about how we stare and judge. I’ve done it, too. Why do we do it? I like to think I’m open minded but I could do better. Thanks for this thought provoking post to remind me not to stare and judge so much. I know nothing about another person’s journey and it’s not my business to dictate how they should live anyhow.

    1. Thank you for making my day Cathy with this comment. Much appreciate your candour in accepting your own thought process too. Loved the way you have encapsulated it as another’s journey…… that’s exactly what it is and we must all be mindful of our own journey first!!! Cheers

  12. It’s always so easy to point fingers at others. I met an American citizen recently and she told me that if a woman had piercing (ears, nose etc.) it was seen as loose woman, as recently as 5-10 years ago. whereas in India piercing ears and nose is related to a cultured or married woman! The fault does lie in our minds! Nice post

  13. Not sure where my earlier comment went 😐
    You’ve hit the nail on the head Shalini. We need to talk more openly and frequently about these biases to make people aware that this kind of judgmental behaviour is a curse for everyone.
    Loved the picture you’ve selected from your collection.
    Looking forward to more of your inspiring posts in the days to come.

    1. Oh that’s too bad-guess my website is acting up. I will chk spam. Apologies for that Era.
      Thanks for appreciating my post so much, especially the pic. I hope my future posts won’t disappoint either. Cheers

    1. You said it Roshan- the younger generation esp on social media are such a disappointing lot. Our twitter trolls are a huge examples of this. Thank you for sharing your thoughts so candidly.

  14. We are all guilty of judging people by the way they look and as you said it is a result of the way our brains have been conditioned by the society! But we must have an open mind and that is the need of the hour!

  15. Very strong message indeed. We all need to inculcate this in our own selves and teach our children the right way ahead. I hope it happens in this lifetime, that I see a society who does not judge you… very well described!!

  16. Completely agree with you Shalz. We do judge people with a single glance but isn’t that also ingrained in us that a man is judged by the company he keeps, clothes maketh a man? It’s strange how we are taught to judge people by what pass of as proverbs and aphorisms….?

    1. Ha ha ha yes I hadnt considered that…. True Sunita!! I find the whole concept of judgement very abhoring!! Wish it would stop and we would just Live and let Live!! Life would get so uncomplicated! Cheers 🙂

  17. This is so true, S! Things happen and we look things that way it has been thrusted upon us. But pricks my heart sometimes is when I see children as young 5 have that judgmental look and say statements that they have been learning from the adults!


  18. You spoke my mind. So many people judge for things that are simple personal choices. Great post.
    And that picture is marvelous – I loved how you got it on time and so perfectly. Well done!

  19. We grow up hearing judgments. From parents, teachers, neighbours – we’re introduced to this unhealthy quality of judging others at a young age. Children learn what they see and hear. If all children are groomed in a loving, accepting atmosphere – what a difference it would make in this judgmental world, wouldn’t it?

  20. One must suffer from serious issues of their own to judge people in this manner. We do need a more accepting society. You expressed your views brilliantly.

  21. It is easy to judge, but difficult to introspect. Easy to fix blame on someone/something, but difficult to empathize. Which is why, we should all make a real effort to be kind, more than anything else.

  22. Body shaming has become the norm of the day. Criticizing and judging others for their choices come easily to us. Wonder when we will let go of these prejudices!! A wonderful take on the prompt, Shalini!

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