Monday, 28 October 2019

Am I pretty enough? What does beauty mean to you?

I was considering to start the post with the predictable blasé beginning with the definition of beauty. However, let's not beat around the bush. There is no one way to perceive beauty, I feel and understand it to be a multi-faceted interpretation, that comes down to the individual themselves.

In all honesty not until hitting college, around the age of 17. I only started to realise this commotion around looking a certain and particular way. Before then, let's just say it entailed a whole lot of daydreaming into the many dimension of Mira's world. Never really taking an interest into appearance in my high school years. Partially because attending an all girls Islamic high school required us to wear erm.. interestingly modest styled uniforms (best way I could put it). The idea of cosmetics in school would be rubbed off your face by the time you entered the school doors. If you managed to make it through the doors with make up, you were praised by your peers but welcomed with a facial wipe by your teacher.
Oh, high school was a delight!

On the odd occasion however, friends would mention how my nose was not of the usual type but again, not really paying much attention towards this. Lost in the world of Harry Potter, Twilight, films and music my attention was diverted elsewhere. In terms of appearance what captivated me the most would be fashion and a sense of style.

Though, something which stuck with me since teenage years. Remembering vaguely one day when home alone; cosy on the couch watching tv, chomping on my bowl of cereal, when a scene from an Indian movie popped up on the screen. 'BREAKING NEWS' it stated, 'THE MOST BEAUTIFUL WOMAN IN THE WORLD' and right before my eyes the most elegant and angelic face was staring back at me, Aishwarya Rai. Her piercing big green eyes; light coloured skin, silky smooth hair, the jewellery placed so gracefully on her sculpted bone structure and the list could go on. In no doubt I was captivated, mostly by her eyes.

That. Was. It.

I put down my bowl of cereal and hurried into my mums room. As a young teenager, mum never allowed make up to be an option, if anything eyeliner was permitted (Kajol as they would call it in my culture). Rushing towards my mums make up draw and I grab the first thing I see; clear mascara ( and boy oh boy did I think this worked MAGIC), cream concealer, eyeliner and pink lipstick. A mini make over which turned out to be a botched up job of uneven eyeliner, unblended concealer and a lip colour that had me looking ghostly... or shall we en-route the path of ghastly. Infatuated with the thought of resembling such beauty, I carried such acts to do so, knowing full well there was a chance for a right telling off had I got caught.
I didn't bet on getting caught, merely due to the reason that after around 10 minutes glancing back and forth into the mirror, the realisation of me looking remotely like Aishwarya Rai was shattered. Running straight into the bathroom, scrubbing off the disastrous attempt of looking like a movie star to raise my head and see my own true form stare back at me.

BUT... what was wrong with looking like me? 

I would be lying if I said later on in the years I didn't try and attempt to look like someone else again. That was it. As we grow older the thought of resembling beauty that surrounds us or that we are embedded to think is the only type of beauty, we lose sight of our own natural beauty we behold. The beauty of imperfection. Mine being my nose. The crookedness and shape of it that stood out peculiarly from my high cheekbones and almond shape eyes where hides a large beauty spot on the corner of my right eye. Being told from family members that my nose and most my facial features I have inherited from my mum and the way I smile and laugh reminds them of my dad.

A mixture of my parents but uniquely still me.

Why should we want to change the way we have already perfectly been created?
A thought that crossed my mind when 3 years ago I was ready to go under the knife and change my peculiar looking nose that resembled parts of my parents and my identity, to only look like the standardised beauty perceived in social platforms.

I took a stance and instead chose to embrace my imperfect perfect part of me. I chose the much harder root of learning to love every part of me even if certain things I was not quite fond of.
Fast forward to 3 years after and I still get those odd occasion where I will see an image of my nose and think 'wow yuck' (it's still a journey) but overall I love my nose. I love how it fits perfectly with my bone structure, a sense of uniqueness, character and well it's me. It is what makes me stand out of from the crowd.

There is the misconception that what is considered beautiful can only be attained by looking a certain way. One way. Boiling down to the mere fact of the way you look.
However, beauty is so much more than that, factoring in numerous accounts of the way you twitch your nose when you're anxious to the way your cheeks puff out as you smile, the way your eyes light up when you're in amazement, or the sound of your laugh closely resembling the sound of a kettle and the list can go on...
Your Aura
Your character
Your behaviour
These are all accounts of beauty. We are made up of energy that radiates from inwardly to outwardly. This is what we perceive and feel. As humans what we crave and seek.

There. Is. So. Much. More. To. Beauty. 

Of course in the era we live in, it gets that little more complicated. As we integrate social media into the picture. The joys and pain of the internet and social platforms. Yes, I can't really complain as my career consist of it and I wouldn't have been able to share with you my journey and meet you lovely bunch.
Though it's had a very detrimental and influential impact on the way beauty is perceived whether we like it or not. Just before social media we had magazine publications to fall back on which included a miniscule scale of diversity. However, recent years that has tremendously deviated including multiple facets of beauty, ethnicity and religion. This swift change of direction has depicted a more familiarity in what beauty should be perceived as and encouraged confidence within individuals. It makes it just that more real.

Not to say that there is so much more work needs to be carried out as it's not perfect but we can gradually see a positive transformation. The odd occasion when popping into the local supermarket, as you rush past the magazine aisle and you abruptly stop, take a few steps back and think 'why not have a little cheeky browse'. Flicking through heavily edited images of exquisite and glamorous models in such beautiful locations, thinking 'WOW.. bloody stunning.. how effing perfect!' and it whizzes right through your mind like a thunderbolt 'I wish I could look this f**ing hot!'. Working in the industry for a few years now you pick up on what's been photoshopped or edited (with the amount I have been faffing about on editing softwares lol). Whenever a thought like such crosses my mind, I immediately correct myself and remind myself how much planning, make up, editing and work has been achieved for them to shoot all this content. Merely there for consumers to be intrigued by. They are real life people, real humans just immensely edited. They're just like us.
Humans weren't created perfectly nor were we meant to be perfect just like everything else that surrounds us.

We were created to be imperfectly perfect. 

That's how I will define beauty. The beauty in imperfections. 

© ModestMira

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