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Often, when I teach a course in Gursikh Yoga - Kundalini Yoga as taught by Siri Singh Sahib Harbhajan Singh Khalsa Yogiji - I begin by asking if there are any shallow people present in the class. Except for the odd joker, the response is typically an awkward "no."

We are not made shallow. We are deep and profound by our nature. But that awkwardness comes from the reality that mostly our habits are not rooted in our spiritual nature. Our habits are for self-gratification and the gratification of others. They are not deep.

Typically, we are profoundly lacking in self-esteem and self-discipline. As a result, we are ready victims for every unrighteous, unholy scam on this Earth. Ever scammer can slice and dice us and eat us for breakfast. And this goes on every day.


One of the worst examples is the so-called "beauty industry." Just look at it! Its shameful work begins in the impressionable minds of little girls. Overtly and covertly, from the adults in their lives and from media, thousands of times each day, these sweet innocents are told how they must look to be "beautiful," to be "attractive," to be "successful."

Hardly anybody bothers to tell these sweet souls that the Creator has already endowed them with infinite charm, beauty and grace. Just to be a girl, a self-confident girl, is a wonderful, wonderful thing. Such charm, beauty and grace comes just once in a lifetime and it cannot be bought in any adult shop at any price.

But the insidious hook is planted, the merciless trap is baited each day and every minute. Every moment, the priceless charm of a young woman is lost to the ruthless exploiters, the "beauty" companies, the greedy mongers of womankind.

The bait is the very thought "You can be beautiful, if you just… (fill in the blank.)" For some young innocents, it is make up they are sold, as though there were some fault, some shortcoming, to "make up" for. For some, it is a haircut, a hair styling, a hair colouring, to fit their need to fit in with "the crowd."

The most insidious aspect of this ugly industry is when it convinces young women and girls that they must shave the hair that grows naturally on lips, their arms and legs and private parts. The logic presented goes like this: "Hair on the face, et cetera does not look 'feminine.' If you shave it off, you will look less masculine."

Let us pause for a moment here and recognize two things. One, our bodies are the outcome of an infinitely intelligent design evolved over thousands of generations. We call it our "DNA," our genetic blueprint. It determines exactly what our body needs at every stage of our life. According to this design, every human typically becomes hairier at puberty, and at this time, young women tend to develop very fine hairs on their upper lips. There is nothing unusual and nothing unfeminine about it. Two, so far as we know, every great woman up to the 1900's - every Queen Victoria, every Catherine the Great, every Bibi Nanaki and Mata Sundari - kept her hairs and didn't bother about them.

Now what happens when these innocents begin believing they look less than beautiful and start removing their hairs in the belief it will make them look more feminine (starting a flow of profits to the Gillette company, the depilatory cream companies, the waxing companies, the laser companies and all the rest)? Why, exactly the opposite! The young woman, whose belief in her own intrinsic beauty has already been taken from her, finds that with every shave and every treatment, the hair she has declared her enemy returns stronger and thicker - and now begins to really look like a man's! And so, begins the fight of her life, a losing battle costing her many thousands of dollars over her lifetime, but a profitable business for the corporations and individuals whom, lumped together, I call "the ugly industry."

There are no words adequate to depict the rupture in the human psyche that happens when just one person stops believing in themself, in their grace, in the wisdom of their body, in their capacity for self-renewal. But in my view, when an entire gender, half of humanity, is subjected to this kind of vile social agenda, it should be exposed, shamed and the perpetrators brought to justice.

The cost to everyone when the self-esteem of so many of us is compromised, when young women are made slaves to the dictates of a vicious and inhuman industry, and set at odds with their own bodies is just incalculable. This is not a woman's issue. This is an everybody issue.


I am not the first to condemn the ugly industry. I borrow the term from Anita Roddick, the fiery activist who started The Body Shop in the 1976. But I certainly hope I am not the last. Hashtag: #UglyIndustry

Related article: A Call To Kaurs

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