Norms and 'Society'

By Addina Faizati - 3:01:00 AM


I've been thinking about this topic for a long time ago. This always in my mind until I decided to write it down to relieve my self, and it took me a quite long time to finish the draft. Trust me, this draft of the post does exist since Eid. And I'm pretty sure some of you also experienced the same thing as me.

I personally don't really understand why can't we be a person as we are. I mean, as you want yourself to be. When you don't need to think about how society burdens you with a bunch of questions that perhaps doesn't really matter for their life. Such as; when will you graduate? Why you never (or rarely) go back to your hometown? When will you get married? When will you have a baby? What do you do for a living? Why are you getting fatter? Are you getting darker? Why you always wear a lot of makeup? Why don't you visit me? And so on and so on.

Well, I believe that some of the questions are still acceptable, but it also depends on who asks you that kind of things. I mean, it is not acceptable for me if people who ask that kind of question are not even close with me, or don't even genuinely care about me. But also, the opposite will be so annoying if the people are really close to me so she/he must know my condition. I don't know, or I am the who just being the annoying one here. Also depends on my mood, actually.

Well, let's start to talk about the simple thing first. For example, skin color. As an Asian (South East Asian), and I think Asian in general, the society always tends to believe that the lighter/fairer your skin, the prettier you will be. The fact that as a Malayu race, I have light brown skin color so I will never achieve that kind of 'fair' skin that the media always advertised to us.

Fortunately, for this past three to four year, I accepted my skin color, I kinda have a beige and warm skin color tone. I love my skin tone as it is. Even more, my Italian friends compliment my skin color because I have 'color' in my skin that they want to achieve in the summer (or even darker).

On the other hand, I don't want to make it more tanned either. I just want to make my skin as it is, healthy, and looks good to make me feel comfortable and confident in my skin. I will feel slightly uncomfortable if I getting tanned (especially in the summer) because people (except my international friends) will say the same; oh you look darker now. That doesn't mean that darker skin is worse than my skin color, but, I just don't feel comfortable with my self if I have darker skin. I just feel like, that was not me. This statement also means that I am comfortable with my skin tone, without the need to make it either darker or lighter. I am okay and confidence in my warm beige skin tone.

Another thing that could be the issue, especially in our society is about your body shape slash your weight. I don't always understand why people (again, perhaps it is applied in all Asian, or South East Asian, or is it just in my country?) tend to think that the skinnier you are, the prettier you will be. This is the same case with the skin tone. I was born with this bone and this type of body. I have a curve and will not reach the lean body type, but I accept it as it is. I must admit that the pressure to be skinny has always come from Indonesian friends (or Asian friends), or even more family. I mean, I am not that 'fat' (I'm sorry I need to use this word), I eat healthily, and I'm doing my exercise, but still.

Another issue, one of the crucial issue is about marriage (especially from 25 - 30 years old for Indonesian). People tend to ask about marriage and give a pressure towards this issue. I'm not saying that I don't want to get married, but I will do it when I want to do it, and if I decided to do it, it is not because of the society.

I honestly still don't understand the concept that a marriage should involve the whole big family and society. I mean, I could be wrong and this mindset can change after sometimes, but, at least, for now, this is what I thought about. I don't understand why everybody thinks that they need to be involved in a person (or a couple) marriage. They need to know the date, the details, the couple's plan after, and so on and so on. Why everything has to be complicated when it is supposed to be easy and simple? Isn't it just about two individuals and the core family?

Have you ever thought that perhaps, some couple gets married because of the society, or another couple decided to not get married because of society too? One of my best friends tweeted (you know who you are): "...how marriage as an institution formed and how as religion evolves over the course of years the definition of marriage shifts."

Nowadays, sometimes, other than religion, of course, marriage thingy is just to pleased the society. Don't you think so?

Not that I'm scared of marriage itself, I am more afraid or uncomfortable with the norms and society. It is actually something 'wrong' because I am scared of society more rather than the commitment of the marriage itself. This is not only about marriage, but also a lot of things, what if people do something because of society? What if they don't do it because of the common norms? What if they decided on something just for the sake of the norms and society? Isn't it scary, somehow?

In the end, everybody has their own goals that can't be explained to everybody. Whatever, whenever, whoever, however, it is. Although not everybody wants to listen to your particular reason and thought behind your decision, and not everybody wants to talk about your achievement rather than touch your personal sensitive topics. But in the end, what I'm doing with my life pretty sure won't affecting yours, and vice versa.

After all, nothing matter with your skin color, your body shape, and your decision about life, other than you, and what you feel about your self. So, why can't we be a person as we are?

As long as we don't bother each other, no?


Addina Faizati
Milan, 2018

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