‘Why do smile so much in the pictures?’, my girlfriend remarked.
What´s wrong?, I said.
´Well, you don’t look like a writer from your pictures?´, she said.
´Really! What is a writer supposed to look like?´, I enquired with a hawk-like interest.
´Well, you know…Messy hair, lousy clothes, geeky glasses,…a look and expression that screams .that they don’t give a damn to the world and what it thinks. They don’t even give a damn about themselves. And, they are serious….dead serious…like they mean business…to change the world or something on those lines. Not, smiling happily and contented like you and looking all pretty and nice in some great outfits.´, she said.
´But a writer is real right. I am not faking happiness and this is me. I like to dress and express myself through my outfits too. Fashion and style is not always frivolous you know.´, I enlightened her.
´´Well! You and I know that! But try telling that to strangers who read your articles. Fashion and style is frivolous to writers. They just don’t give a damn.´ she argued. ´Let me show you.´
And she took me to her room and opened her laptop. She browsed through google images and showed me several pictures of Arundhati Roy.
´Look at her! She doesn’t care about her messy unkempt hair…the silver strands in them or her wrinkled up saree with mismatched blouse. That´s the look of a writer. Bingo!´, she screamed in euphoria.
So, we went around discussing and arguing more. Well! She was a very good friends and so we both had the liberty to disagree with each other´s views.
My argument was do I have to mould myself to fit a certain impression of the profession that I am in. Whatever happened to bring Ýou´ to the table wherever you go.
The fact is I write well. Nothing can change that fact whether I look or don’t like a writer.
Recently, Sania Mirza came to the ´Koffee with Karan´show. Karan Johar asked her whether it doesn’t bother her that her dressing style might alter people´s impressions about her as a serious tennis athlete and clothes send a message of frivolousness unlike other sports stars.
She justified her stance that this is who she really is. She loves fashion, glamour and style. And she is also a Tennis sports champion having won many world titles. She agreed that most sportsperson were simple but that was their personality. And this is hers. She wasn’t unapologetic about it and she said people´s perceptions didnt bother her because she was focussed on doing what she needs to.
Isn´t there a saying on the lines of ´you make the outfit and not the other way around´? So, is seriousness ascribed to only professions such as medicine, teaching, writings and the likes and frivolousness attributed to the fashion and glamour industry?
Aren´t there glamorous doctors just as plain jane actors?
What about the popular adage – ´Don´t judge a book by its cover´´?