What does beauty mean to you? Feminine beauty has been construed in many ways and from varied perceptions of the world. It has been depicted through images and concepts that penetrates and rests in our minds, but one simple definition of beauty which we seem to fail to focus on is that beauty is happiness that glows from within.
This line of thought came to me as I stood before my bathroom mirror for several more moments than usual, undertaking an intimate survey of my body. With critical eyes, I noted the tiny indelible laughter lines beside my lips, little spots left by an acne or two, liberal trails of cellulite, jelly-belly from childbearing; the inevitable southbound movement of ex-perky body parts and the countless greys peeking out here and there.
Nonetheless, I also took note of the fact that as detracting and as imperfect as those marks were, the times I’ve felt most beautiful such as I feel at this moment in time are not the times when my skin shone flawlessly, when my body is as tight and svelte as ever or when I was impeccably dressed to suit any standard.
I stood beautiful with my messy locs sticking in all directions. I love the beauty of my washed face, devoid of any makeup, the battle scar of my appendicectomy, the precious blemishes from skin stretched to accommodate the growth of each child borne of my womb, all the lines etched by time; I pulsate with life.
It’s these indescribable sensations of inner joy, respect and acceptance of every inch of who we are that ignites the flame of confidence and beauty that radiates. We are all unique individuals with experiences and memories that form the fabric of who we are and make us our own version of beauty.
As I stood before my mirror in all my personal glory subconsciously performing tweaks, I understood how powerful our perception of our body image and beauty inadvertently affects us. The results in front of our mirrors are not just as simple as they may seem but portray deeper perception of the viewers’ eyes.
We live in a world where body image matters. We live in a world where people find it comfortable to body shame others who fall short of their measuring tape especially when it pertains to the feminine beauty. We live in a world where many are consumed with portraying the right image that in a bid to ‘be that perception of beauty’ they become destructive of both the external and the internal and this makes me wonder; what is the depth of one’s beauty? Is it skin deep or surface shallow?
How critical are you to yourself? Do you feel that as you age you lose your beauty because your body has gone all national geographic heading for different directions and you are losing elasticity due to the force of nature’s gravity that no Wonderbra and Spanx can keep in check? Does the fact that you are ageing affect your confidence? What would you do to keep your perceived reflection of yourself the way you want it?
Ageing is not a permission to let ourselves fall to pieces, however, the older I get, the kinder I am to myself and less critical of those who choose to go the extra length to look after themselves and being happy doing it. I know that body image matters a great deal but in the larger scheme of all things beautiful, it should be about striking the right balance. I understand the attempt of women who refurbish their feminine bits through surgery, breast implants, and other procedures.
Our bodies are mere shelters of who we truly are, and no singular image, culture or concept can define our beauty ‘cos our beauty is made of precious moments of being alive and as is commonly said that beauty lies in the eyes of the beholder, I would assume that the first and most important set of beholding eyes should belong to the owner of the body beheld.