There is nothing more rare, nor more beautiful than a woman being unapologetically herself, comfortable in her perfect imperfection. That is the true essence of beauty. – Steve Maraboli
I would like to know myself better. I felt that lately, I am drowned in hero worships of Victoria Secret Angels and fashion models here and there, and the sweet talks of advertisements for getting a slimmer body, a beautiful and fair complexion, or gorgeous flowing locks. While I know it is not wrong to take care of oneself, in my case, I am beginning to wonder if I have lost myself in extremes of vanity.
Do not take me wrong. I respect every woman’s choice. Every woman would love to look good and feel good. Every one of us would like to go to dermatologist and have our skin tested and treated for whatever we think is a flaw. We spent a lot of money on membership fees to gym, yoga classes or Pilates. Because we were taught that looking good is associated with a healthy body. But, while I bank on the physical aspect of beauty, I may have forgotten to cultivate inner beauty. In my rumination, I was struck with questions. What does it really takes to feel inner and outer beauty? Are society’s criteria of beauty dictates our self esteem and a place in the millennial world of evolving fashion and latest and expensive beauty products? Is being fair skinned the new measure to be accepted in society and viewed as cultures and a member of the upper class? What is really is beauty? And how can I, as a woman, empower other women to see themselves beautiful and accept their flaws as part of their attractiveness?
I asked few women around, some were my colleagues, some were my friends and I threw questions to random strangers I met in the train stations and malls. I did not make questionnaires or made definitive research methodologies. And I found out that these women, believe it or not, were greatly influenced by what was being advertised in the television or magazines. I have realized that society really played a great role in how we see ourselves and how we deem our esteem and beauty.
Young women I have talked to, claimed that being beautiful is having a slim and sexy body, that’s why it is imperative to go to the gym or have a healthy eating habit. Majority claimed that they have undergone dieting, missing meals and have taken pills to reduce their weight to achieve a skinny body. While it is difficult to lose weight unsupervised, many women succumbed to depression and harsh methods of dieting just to get skinny. Some would miss meals for a day, then eat the next day and go through yo-yo dieting. Others will simple collapse in the middle of their activities because of the absence of food which obviously fuels your body to go through the day.
Being fair skinned also is a major trend among Asian women. This has been greatly influenced by the olden Spanish culture that white skinned are royalties while the tanned, olive skinned or brown skinned are the slaves of the colonial era. In Korea, the rich spend thousands of bucks to get treatments for Botox and be dewy faced. Such vain practices were being received with such fervor among the neighboring Asian nations and in the US. In the Philippines, the use of Glutathione to achieve a fairer and smoother skin is being abused here and there, even by non licensed individuals. We have realized that being fair skinned, with good skin and good outward appearance will give you better customer advantage than that of the brown skinned Filipino. I have been an observant of such behavior in public and it is really demeaning.
Having a nice hair, color or texture is also vital in women’s view of being beautiful that’s why we see more colored hair than the natural black.
Some would attribute feeling beautiful when they have the latest arm candies, accessories or clothes that make them feel superior to others.
Sadly, being beautiful now has such fickle standards. Our view to feminine beauty has been distorted by what we see and read in the social media. You can’t be classified beautiful if you’re not fair and flawless or sexy and slim. You can’t feel beautiful if you’re being in simple garments. It has to be flamboyant, eye catching, revealing.
We failed to realize as women, being beautiful is innate. It is already within us, emanating from our being. We failed to see that beauty lies in our wisdom, our capacity to understand how complex it is to be a woman, but we try each day to face our flaws. We are flawed, yes – emotionally, mentally or physically. But our beauty lies in our acceptance and working towards becoming a better person than we already were. Our beauty lies on the strength from the pain we go through every time – rejections, ridicules and heartbreak as we wake up the next day, for a brand new courage to deal with things one step at a time. Our true beauty lies on our goodness, our genuine kindness and compassion for other people. It is when we lose ourselves in the process of empowering other people that we become empowered and beautiful as well. Our true beauty lies on the force within us to be able to carry an unborn in our belly, whether planned or unplanned, and our greatest gift to nurture the young and adults alike. Our beauty lies on our extreme patience to deal with the daily surprises that life throws in our way every now and then. Our true beauty is the acceptance of our physical deformities, hidden or visible, that we can bravely wear them like battle scars in public. Our true beauty radiates in all the good things we do, the kind words we say, and the compassion we extend to others. Our true beauty lies on our hands that helped our hearts that loved deeply, and our minds that pondered on positive and courageous thoughts. True beauty lies on accepting one’s self and never ever be swayed by criticisms or be lured by the media propaganda.
Sure, getting aesthetic support helps our sense of well being. But, we should never forget to cultivate the inner beauty within us. As they say, it doesn’t matter if you have a good face as long as you have a great heart. I’d say, it won’t hurt to be both, a beautiful face and a beautiful soul and heart.
Keep your shine on, loves. You are quirky, yet beautiful in your own ways. ❤