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. 


Friday, 30 August 2019

25 Years Young

Age? Is just another number right? Something man made to remind us how close we are to death (not to be morbid) or to label us. So you've guessed right, I've turned the big old or shall we state young 25. Had this been a few years ago I would be sobbing continously in my pillowcase, shouting 'WHY GOD WHY, WE HAD A DEAL! LET THE OTHERS GROW OLD NOT ME!' (A great time to be quoting some FRIENDS!)

However, age is just another number right?

A phrase that is persistently repeated to me, especially as your years increase. Not that I deny this phrase because in all fairness it is just another number. Ask me how do I feel or the peculiar question you get asked on your birthday.. 'do you feel 25?' How the feck do you feel a number? One minute your 24 then the next you're 25, instantaneously you're meant to become this new complete sagacious being. MIND BOGGLE.

To answer... no I don't feel 25 nor do I feel 35 or 18 or whatever number you want to propel at me. I just feel me. I feel what I'm feeling at this present moment. I'm embracing my new profound character as the time goes by, improving relentlessly on myself inward and outwardly.

Inevitably, I have considered age to be a weird concept to myself. However, something I have realised over the years, age is just passage of time.. time. Another concept I have always queried. Most importantly it's what you do with that time, how such a beautiful gift is valued and spent.

Although, you can't escape this dreadful label of being a certain number, I try not to put so much attention on age. But rather just embrace it in a way, meaning I still carry out wishes or promises I made to myself years back thinking I would have it completed by a certain age. Instead I just take my time and still go forth, there is no rush. Taking each day as it comes and being with the present is my focus.

Over time I have succumb to the idealisation that yes I am this age, but it doesn't define who I am at this present moment. Nor does it upset or worry me that I have or have not reached this precise goal or stage in my life by this specific age or time. We are all on our own time wave, certain lessons or experiences we encounter is for us at that particular time in our life for a reason, so live it and seize it.  Sometimes we have to endure certain mishaps whether bad or good first to reach certain dreams and goals which we wished we could have attained earlier but in fact it just wasn't our time then.

God's timing and universe timing.

The past year, I am not ashamed to admit that I have been reading countless numbers of self-improvement genre type books. Even though I know majority spits out the repetitive blasé phrases or advice of 'read books and drink water' (okay slight exaggeration, I do love you self-help books!).
Though I cannot fault the one thing that always reoccurs in these books, the word - Gratitude. A gracious word that I have lived by for the past year extensively and I couldn't recommend it any higher.

Whether I am down in those dreadful dumps or on the dreamiest of cloud nine, I incorporate this mentality into my day everyday. To be thankful. To be thankful for any situation that directs towards me, for losses and gains, no matter how minuscule or micro-scale I feel or the experience I am entailing. I will point out at least 3 things that I am grateful to have in that present moment in time.
Tapping you into the sheer reality that not everything is the end of the world, if anything just pushes you that extra mile to go harder, a sense of relief. Deep breaths.

What's more, in the last year especially I have learnt to be even more accepting and understanding to this extremely wild world we live in. Instead of going head in with emotions I take a breather and consider the situation and those around me. Not an easy thing to comprehend I tell you but overtime you get familiar with the concept that the world doesn’t evolve around you *raises eyebrow*.

So here’s to another brilliant year ahead of me, whether 25 or 65 I’m still going to be me, but maybe a much wiser and put together 65 year young Mira would be great! ;)


Tuesday, 9 July 2019

Books that shaped my life

From a young age, I was always yanking my mum along to our small local library, because I was forever losing my library card; which in return meant mum's card was needed to snag myself some good reads. The tall standing aisles and shelves overshadowing me whilst I lose myself overwhelmed by the many choices of books I could possibly read. Hiding away reading the blurbs or in all honesty a few chapters, lost in another dimension or illusion that the author had created in these non-fiction stories. Hearing the faint sound of my mum yelling for me which unfortunately ushers me back to the sheer reality of me sat in the library corner, surrounded by the many books I have already flicked through and finding them a potential temporary new home. Temporary? Yeah about that.. That's if I ever managed to get myself to the library with my stack load of books, I had idly waiting in my bedroom for months waiting to be returned.

Though that was the thing I absolutely and utterly admired books! I lived and breathed them from the age of 8-9 and here I am writing up a piece on my admiration for books (love never dies). My first faint memory of reading was definitely the Roald Dahl books, particular favourites being 'The witches' and 'The Twits'. What I treasured the most about reading was the arrant fact that my imagination could scarper wild, which coincides with my love for art (maybe another post suited on this specific topic in the future ay). Growing older my introverted ways remained in a sense and I found it wholly exhausting interacting and would most likely shy away. Not that much has changed there in this instance but I have definitely improved massively to some extent. Replacing what should have been interaction with other children I always found myself swaying more towards books. To some degree I considered books to be friends and reading being my world too freely be myself.

Of course phasing through teenage years the standard of books being read had to mature some what, this is where romance really creaked it's way through.
You remember Twilight and Harry Potter right? Yes both of which landed in my teenage era. I was complete and outright obsessed with them both. I would go far as enough to say I would stay up  sitting upright, hiding under my duvets once dad had shouted 'lights out!" My flash torch would switch on and either Twilight or Harry Potter would be whipped out. Reading in to the early mornings disregarding entirely the fact I had school the next morning.. a rebel I was indeed! Possibly the reason  for low performance in school at the time but do I regret.. no not at all.

As my years matured and I made the transition from High school, college and then University, the genres being read evolved with time too. Which is what gives books this remarkable and unique sensation to them, to some extent magical. Depicting a reflection of your mind and soul in that present moment, whilst you evolve as an individual so does your interests in what you read and feel you can resonate with. Speaking on the topic of 'mature novelty' I would be lying if I did say I didn't give '50 Shades of Grey' a little peak, which quickly lost its appeal to me.. not for the faint hearted maybe? However, sadly as you do transition into what they call 'adulthood' your time for reading lessens, which happened in my case anyways.

When graduating from University, with absolute no apprehension of where life is going to take me, or what to do with my life in this instance. I was completely and utterly lost. Experiencing what felt like a mid life crisis, yet mid life was way to far to comprehend and in technicality my life had just started. I was going through the turmoil of heartbreak, health issues, career confusion and the list could go on. In all this despair I began to direct towards my good old friends, books.
However, the genre of books took a complete turn and I journeyed on the path of 'self-improvement' books. I knew in all of this despondency I, myself had to find a way out of it. So that's what I did, I began with me. Reading through numerous of books that could improve my social skills, thinking and reasoning skills, character building, increasing confidence and most importantly how to self love.

Overall, shaping me into the person I am today, of course with extraneous factors playing a role too, but this was my starting point for my journey of reevaluating who I was.

The first ever self-improvement books I laid hands on was called 'Don't sweat the small stuff' by Richard Carlson and 'How to win friends and Influence people' by Dale Carnegie. This really opened up the world of venturing into different avenues of book topics, that could assist with growth in learning and awareness of not just myself but of the environment around me.

My admiration of books has only ever grown over these coarse years, but in this present moment it has been ingrained into my routine and more so my lifestyle. Even if my day or week schedule seems hectic no matter the circumstances a 15 minute read will be programmed in. Its my sense of relief. My peace. Forever grateful I am able to incorporate such a powerful tool into my life. Most significantly, grateful that it has helped me over the years to grow as an individual and it will continue to do so.

Seeking knowledge will always be the key.

I have noted the list of my favourite books below.

1. 'Don't sweat the small stuff' by Richard Carlson

2. 'How to win friends and Influence people' by Dale Carnegie

3. 'The Subtle art of not giving a f*ck' by Mark Manson

4. 'Manifest now' by Idil Ahmed

5. 'The power of now' by Eckhart Tolle

6. 'How to stop worrying and start living' by Dale Carnegie

7. 'The Alchemist' by Paulo Coelho

8. 'You are a badass' by Jen Sincero

9. 'Love & Misadventure' by Lang Leav

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