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Perception of beauty. It can be such a personal thing, and certainly something that evolves over time, and can be guided in a positive direction.
An advice I would give my younger self is ‘Don’t sweat the small stuff including beauty.’
Nearly ten years, marriage and motherhood later, I have come to a wholly different perception of Beauty.
I remember my earliest days as a freelance writer – my very first project was with this international fashion magazine. In one of my conversations with the client, he told me how he was tired of the standard ‘cookie-cutter’ fashion models invading the international fashion ramp walks and print magazine ads. This client was ruing the racism that exists within the parameters of beauty in the international fashion industry. He longed to see more diversity in the forefront of fashion – tall women, short women, white women, black women, brown women, yellow women, thin women, fat women, young women, mature women, old women, etc.
Come to think about it, it is indeed pretty ironic. While fashion per se’ is self-proclaimed and marketed as an infinitely creative and liberating process which is designed to break down all social norms and conventions, it was terrifyingly narrow in its perspective and binding when it came to definition of Beauty.
Pre-puberty adolescent girls (the cream being the Caucasian, blonde and blue-eyed ones) who are under-nourished, stripped and intellectually dimmed to the point of looking blank and soulless like zombies on the ramp are continuously being promoted and marketed as the highest hallmarks of Beauty.
Like the client, my perception of Beauty has radically changed over the years as well. I have realized the futility of trying to hold onto something that is transient, chameleon-like, and simply fated to fade out and lose its lustre slowly but surely over time.
Don’t get me wrong. I still like to dress up and look good. And that in itself is a creative process of self expression. But I have realized that Beauty is honestly something you don’t have to fret or even feel insecure about.
And this realization dawned upon me when after motherhood and post a few kilograms gained, I was still getting my fair share of attention, both male and female. In fact, I am being loved, admired and accepted whole-heartedly, a lot more now than in my twenties, when I looked an ideal version of myself physically. So, what exactly changed?
In two words – my perspective!
No longer is my identity or self worth attached to the external, peripheral things, such as a job title/career, bank balance/wealth, family lineage, a certain physical standard of the perception of Beauty etc.
In my thirties, I have found a liberating sense of confidence and real pleasure of being in my own skin, being authentic and true to myself. Accepting all my flaws… whatever they may be. And boy, I sure have loads of them. Some which are an ongoing ‘work-in-progress’ and the others which don’t matter to me anymore. And if those flaws of mine bother others, it honestly is their prerogative and none of my business.
I love my short height.
I love my Mommy body with all the stretch marks, cellulite and thunder thighs.
I love my stubby nose.
I love my dusky skin and husky voice with a slight stutter.
I love my straight, silky hair.
I love my eyes and lips.
I love my hips that most certainly don’t lie.
I love my big bubble butt and I certainly cannot lie anymore about it.
I love my new found confidence.
I love my adventurous spirit.
I love my streak of curiosity to get to the bottom of things and get the whole cat out of the bag.
I love putting on makeup not to hide my flaws but to celebrate my all.
I love my femininity.
I love the reader, interpreter and writer in me.
I love the daughter, mother, wife, sister, daughter in law and friend in me.
I love the teacher in me.
I love the natural conversationalist and ‘people’s person’ in me.
I love the kind old soul in me.
I love the ´champion of underdogs´ avatar of me.
I love the ´ready to take on the world´ challenger in me.
I love the cook in me.
I love the artist in me.
I love the flirt in me.
I love the clown in me.
I love the wanderlust in me
I love the ‘dance like no one’s watching me’ me.
I love the cry baby in me.
I love the girl and woman in me.
I love the devil in me.
I love the angel in me.
I love the liberation of letting go… of matching up and tying up with my self worth to worldly standards of the acceptable… including Beauty.
Beauty is thankfully, not about angles or curves anymore.
Beauty is Affirmation.
´Taking joy in living is a woman´s best cosmetic´- Rosalind Russell
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Published here earlier.
Image source: shutterstock