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How Women are Embracing JOLO while Social Distancing

The joy of letting go and being comfortable in one's skin is the new cool

When Kareena Kapoor Khan put up a no-makeup selfie on Instagram, showing her zit, she instantly hit the right chord with many women in quarantine across the country. Confined at home, with no one watching and no particular reason to dress up, many have distanced themselves from the lure of makeup, overzealous routines of planning their wardrobes, prepping up their skin and hair—trimming outgrown strands of hair, tending to visible roots or getting the perfect talons.        

The Coivd-19 pandemic has gotten many women to comfortably shake off other people’s notions of what a woman looks like. Kartika Bali, a fashion marketeer says, “I think I have used this quarantine time to just relax and let go! As a fashion marketeer and a publicist, life has been all about being immaculately groomed for red carpet events for the last 15 years! Whether it’s been meetings, events, backstage at fashion shows, there has always been a pressure to look good, have your hair blow dried, nails done, high heels…all of it.” Bali now spends most of her days in pyjamas and takes work calls parked on the couch at home and she is happy with the “new normal”. “It’s been liberating to kick off those high heels and miss those thrice a week salon appointments! Also it’s been amazing to not have to plan your next outfit and really be comfortable in your own skin! Messy hair, bushy brows are pretty cool,” she confides. 

Kartika Bali, Fashion Marketeer

Kartika Bali, Fashion marketeer

No-makeup selfies seem to be a big quarantine trend. If you scroll through the feeds of Bollywood celebrities, you’d find many from Katrina Kaif and Deepika Padukone to Shraddha Kapoor, Sonakshi Sinha and Sayani Gupta everyone is posting pictures without a trace of makeup or blow dried hair.

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Openly engaging in a little neglect is cool now. Author Aastha Atray Banan, says, “Yes, I am enjoying the joy of letting go. I have hair on my legs, and I really don’t care. I have nowhere to go, and all the video calls feature just my fresh face, thanks to yoga, enough sleep, and less stress. My roots have all turned white, but hey, that’s me. As I grow older, I turned 38 last month, it’s reminded me that’s it’s okay to let go and be completely natural. I feel healthy, and grateful and that shows on my face. And that’s enough for me. For now, a smile on my face is all I need.”

Author Astha Atray Banan

Aastha Atray Banan, Author

Clinical psychologist Harsheen K. Arora is of the view that the lockdown among other things will change the ideal image of beauty. “Social media, TV commercials and movies all projected an idea of perfect beauty, it was used as a yardstick that other women had to match up to. But now with basic salon and other services being unavailable, coupled with the fact that women now have to do household chores and also manage work from home, they find it easier to take a break and embrace their natural selves. It’s convenient and easier,” says Arora. Since many of us now get more time to spend with ourselves, it’s natural to reassess our and beliefs. Arora emphasises, “Women are now valuing the idea of letting go having got a taste of this freedom. The ideal image of beauty has shifted and some may willingly choose to stick to it when all this is over.”

Ratnika Vyas, actor

Ratnika Vyas, Actor, TV Presenter and Model

For someone having grown up with self esteem issues, the current scenario of people embracing their natural selves is a welcome change. Ratnika Vyas, actor, TV presenter and model, says, “I’m someone who hated my face. Well my teens were the hardest. What stayed with me from my school days is a statement by guy. He said that the number of pimples on my face is more than the stars in the sky. With time, I realised my voice and my face are my identity. I am in a happy space now. For facing the camera, I did dress up and did my makeup but now am happy to sit back and let my skin breathe. I don’t fuss about my appearance much these days,” she says. 

Deepica Krishna

Deepica Krishna, Director, Cancer Healer Centre

Deepica Krishna, Director, Cancer Healer Centre, couldn’t agree more with Vyas. She adds, “I am getting more comfortable each day it's funny but true. Have removed my nail extensions,  over grown my eye brows..but enjoying upgrading my skills. 

Nikita Sahay, model

Nikita Sahay, Model

Some are using the time saved from fussing over hair, makeup and clothes to divert their energies into meaningful introspection. Model Nikita Sahay, a regular at fashion weeks, where she sashays down the ramp in constricting garments, high heels and makeup is one among them.“I feel, that we women should utilise this time to look within. How far we have come and how far we plan and want to go. Introspect. And while doing so we need to be comfortable in our own skin,” she says. Her statement lucidly sums up the situation. One thing that we have consciously learnt from the situation is to be comfortable in our skin.