I am the best in the business for a reason. I know where to look, and precisely what to look for.

You first start with the feet; painted nails but only in pastels, heels visibly soft and pink like a baby’s cheeks. Next, the legs; hidden of course under a lovely pleated shalwar, with the exception of ankles maybe, tulip shalwars are quite the trend these days, never jeans though, churidars can pass if of a tasteful color. Then you move to the torso. Aye don’t tell me I’m objectifying. I have been thriving since before you were a wee thing, sucking your thumb. Listen, shush. Kameez down to the knee, an inch above or below works but never two. Tailored just perfectly, not too tight, never too tight because that’s a covert statement. We don’t invite that. We don’t entertain that. Spend as long as I have in the business, and you’ll figure it out. Now shush again, let me finish.

 Legs, torso. Make a note: sleek, slim, hair-free. Slick and glossy. I don’t endorse thick, curvy or hairy. Aye don’t tell me what century this is. Traditions don’t bat an eye over it, we don’t either.

Move to the face. First, the skin: white as a cow’s milk, fresh like lilies with petals sprinkled with water. Lips, pink, maybe slightly wine stained. But never never scarlet red. (Side note: wine in smaller sips, on social occasions only. Yes, there are ways to find out but that’s stage three. This is stage one)

Next, nose. Not too small, not too long. Never sharp, that’s indicative of shrewdness. A beautiful, slender one is the ideal.

Eyes, not too far apart. Not too small as if they’ve sunk inside the skeleton. Not too large as if they will pop right out, or reach and sneakily wrap their gaze on another, one not meant for them. Always always, looking down. Eyelids swept, but again: only pastel colors. Bold is not beautiful.

Last and most important: hair. Shoulder length, acceptable. Anything below, too much. And I cannot endorse that. I have a brand, an image. The ideal length: right up to the waist, thick and lustrous. Pulsing with beauty.

Are you noting this down somewhere? 

Bareerah Y. Ghani is an MFA candidate in fiction at George Mason University. You can follow her on Twitter @Bareera_yg where she usually whines about first drafts, and the stress of having an ever-growing TBR list. When she’s not reading/writing, she’s usually watching reruns of The Office or finding new tunes to play on her guitar.

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