I would like you to explore beauty with me. What really is beauty? Mankind spends millions, even billions of dollars each year in their quest for it- you know those age defying looks, flawless bodies, you name it. Does mankind look in vain? Do all those millions, yet billions of dollars find us the beauty that we search for?
The definition of beauty has been a long debated subject. I can’t even remember why I decided to write about beauty but as I have been reflecting on the subject, it has seemed to me that as societies have changed and ideas have evolved, so has the standard and measure of what is beautiful and what is not. Just think of it!! Do you remember a time when for a woman to even deserve the title – beautiful, she had to be very slender? Do you think that this could be the reason why beauty pageants have typically attracted women who fit that description?
Let’s talk about social media. Have you noticed how some aspects of social media seem to be challenging some of the ideas that we’ve had of beauty and what it is? I think of social media pages where women showcase their natural hair. Remember a time when hair needed to be a certain way to be beautiful? What about pages where women share ideas about how they to go without makeup and where bigger sized women exchange ideas about what outfits to wear? You name it, it is there and from all corners of the world, silently challenging some of the ideas that we have grown up with, ideas mostly penned by media.
Did you notice how in 2019, all the major beauty pageants that took place in America were won by black women? Did black women suddenly become beautiful in 2019? Absolutely not!! However, I believe that the definition of what beauty is has evolved in the last little while because at some point, black women were not seen as representing beauty. So then again I ask the question. What is beauty? Does it have anything to do with one’s skin colour or the way clothes sit on one’s body? Just questions, no answers, challenging your understanding of beauty and what it is and isn’t and the very sources from which your ideas may have come from.
Another question. Is it possible to spend millions of dollars on physical enhancement surgeries in a quest for beauty and still feel miserable and lacking in beauty?
I believe that our societies shape the ideas that we have of beauty and what being beautiful looks like. Could it be that regardless of what society says, for every individual, real beauty begins with a sound mind? When I imagine a sound mind, I imagine a mind that is able to cope and maintain healthy relationships, one that is balanced and well-grounded in what is true, one that is secure and positive. The list can be longer.
One of my favourite quotations has been credited to Eleanor Roosevelt and it says, “No-one can make you feel inferior without your consent.” I not only like this quote, I believe it is true and also believe that one who has a sound and healthy mind is capable of practising this principle. With a sound mind I believe that if society were to label one as lacking in beauty, one would be strong enough to look themselves in the mirror and say “No!! I am beautiful.” Don’t get me wrong. Looking good is awesome but is there any value in focusing on how we look on the outside at the expense of the heart and mind? Inner beauty- that’s what they call it.
I believe in God. I believe that He created this world in all its splendour. The mountains, the seas, the waterfalls, the animals, the purple, yellow, orange flowers, the little shrubs and the big trees- everything. I believe in the creator God and often marvel at His great sense of beauty and organisation. I think of how the flowers for example come in different colours and varieties. Very beautiful and yet different. Pretty much like us humans isn’t it? Beautiful – yet different.
If you do not believe in God and the fact that He created you then I have a question for you. What if God really did? If He did (which I believe), that would mean that you are part of His wonderful and beautiful creation. He made all things beautiful – including you.
So back to the question- What is beauty? It’s now up to you to define it for yourself. I hope that whatever your definition, it may be grounded in the truth and not societal pressures. I hope that you do not always feel pressure to look a certain way and spend large amounts of money to be whom society has said you should be in the name of beauty. I hope that you remember that society’s measure of beauty is always changing but the creator God never changes. When He sees you He says, “I made you fearfully and wonderfully my child.”