People, Beauty, Media
Make Believe Perception of Beauty
There is a lot of pressure in society to look beautiful. It seems that being beautiful today is based on our outer appearance as opposed to the beauty of our hearts. With all the beauty ads, flawless airbrushed models in magazines, beautiful celebrities who have been primed, probed, Botox-inflated and filled with 20 units of ReJuveDerme (Juvéderm) or more to look drop-dead gorgeous, it’s nearly impossible to retreat from the pressure to look beautiful. Have we all bought into this misconception or scam because we think it promises better economic opportunities, happiness, a wealthy husband or wife, fame, success or freedom? If so, where did this all come from?
What happened to the days of old when we were largely influenced by people of good character and charisma; someone of substance, kind-heartedness and wit? Is that not important anymore? Has beauty become like a thief in the night that snatches our innocence, our inner being, our inner beauty and replaces it with a sea full of lies: vain, judgmental, self-absorbed, conceited, arrogant, egotistical and narcissistic attitudes? I ask these questions because each and every day the obsession with wanting to look beautiful has completely taken over our lives and our thought processes. We see it manifest daily on TV shows like Skin Deep, Vanity Insanity and the great influx of popular reality shows.
It would be dishonest of me to say that it has not influenced my thinking in some part or parcel—how could it not? We live in a world with this magical make-believe craze to always have a picture-perfect image when we should be advocating a societal notion to have a picture-perfect character, thus loving ourselves despite our flaws and imperfections. Now, don’t get me wrong, there is nothing wrong with wanting to look beautiful or even enhancing your features in some way if this is what makes you truly happy and if you are truly doing it for yourself and not to appease others. However, there is a problem when you become obsessed, allowing vanity to take over your entire life.
When I look around, I see beauty in many different things: people, animals, places and objects, and I appreciate the comeliness of their characteristics. The loveliness of different cultures, races, ethnicity and the many multi-cultural blends and mixes. I often think to myself that it is the dissimilarities within an individual, person or race of people that make us who we are and I value these differences. Whether born of African, Aboriginal, European, Asian or South Asian ancestry, beauty in each heritage is what we as a society should try to embrace and welcome as opposed to promoting an ideal image of what being beautiful should be.
We’ve all heard the old adage, “beauty is only skin deep”—but is it really? This notion of inner beauty is light years away from the well-rehearsed beauty image of today which is based on the typical features of the elite, the favoured, those of European decent with Caucasian attributes such as blonde hair and blues eyes while all else are deemed as unattractive or described as having “exotic features.” Spreading such contagious propaganda permits a standard of beauty that causes resentment and dissatisfaction when not achieved and when individuals do not fit the ideal societal beauty image some are often ostracized within their communities. So I ask who is to stop this make-believe perception?
Well, I’ll tell you who…everyone is held partly accountable. We live in this society, we make up society, we are society, it starts with us. As such, it is our duty to instill in our children during their fundamental years how important it is to love themselves and be comfortable in their own skin. Educating them about the different cultures, races and ethnicities that make us all different with beautiful features instead of focusing on what others believe is beautiful. We are all beautiful no matter what anyone says, no matter what society feeds us. It is up to each individual person to decide what will be ingested into the spirit and what he or she will believe as a result of that ingestion.
- Simone Da Costa