…they say. But, sometimes I wonder what beauty really means? Tall? Slim? Fair? Big eyes? What exactly? Everywhere, I am treated to the same bullshit. Fair is beautiful. Slim is beautiful. But, how do we know what someone else would consider beautiful?
As a teen, I was never confident about my physical appearance. I was always too tall and too fat to be considered beautiful, in the conventional sense. Privately, I wished I could become 2 inches shorter, lose a few inches around my waist and acquire that perfect, toned and clear skin. It was only much later that I realized that perfection was not always desirable. In college, I realized that I was better off than at least 90% of Indian women. I realized that people did not always judge others by their looks, unlike what I had experienced in school. I realized I could still make friends, no matter how I looked and that what was inside was more important than external beauty.
That said, even today, I sometimes feel insecure. Insecure about my physical appearance. This insecurity goes away very soon. Sometimes in 10 minutes, but never lasts more than a day. But then, it sets me thinking. Thinking about why we, as human beings have such rigid and inflexible notions of beauty. In India, fair is beautiful. In Europe, tanned is beautiful. Everywhere in the world, being reed thin is beautiful, never mind if you are anorexic or bulimic. Why are we, as human beings, willing to go to such extreme lengths to acquire that elusive beauty? Cosmetic surgery, skin treatments, botox…name it and we have tried it. Why? Why can’t we accept that we are imperfect and that is why we are human? Why can’t we accept the other’s imperfections as endearing? I wonder if I will ever get an answer to that!