Beauty and the Myth

“Alpha Beauties” by Nazareno Crea.

“to me, the perfect beauty has to have a unibrow!”

“Hmm, I’d rather have her shaving off her eyebrows completely and drawing some fake ones very close to her hairline.”

“Never mind the eyebrows, she needs a high forehead… even if she needs to pull some hairs out to get it!”

“my girl is the most beautiful one… her face is naturally white, so we did not have to buy that makeup with lead and mercury. And she has a gorgeous double chin.”

Before you start wondering where this conversation comes from, be assured this talk never took place. These were the beauty standards that men found attractive throughout history in Ancient Greece, Medieval Japan, Italy during the Renaissance, and 18th century France.

There was a time when a girl could not be beautiful if she did not follow the trends.

When Beauty has a price.

Oh, did I say: ‘There was‘?

Ask any friends of yours, primarily girls, how they cope with today’s beauty standards. How they feel about the perfect shapes and flawless faces advertised in today’s beauty and teen magazines. What they think about the unrealistic images of women presented by the media.

Not only are these standards, together with the latest fashion trends, changed every year, even the already amazing looking models have been put under the digital scalpel of photoshop.

You might have considered the beauty ideals from Ancient Greece to the 18th century France as ridiculous, but at least those girls were able to reach those, even if some of them were unhealthy or far from convenient.

Today it is merely impossible for girls (and boys) to meet today’s criteria.

Millions of people are influenced by what society portrays as beautiful. They are squandering their money on changing their appearance, be it by makeup, medication or plastic surgery, all to be able to look like the girl in the magazine, who does not exist.

And although we are noticing a change in those standards, progress is still plodding behind.

Have you noticed how quickly things are evolving in this society? Take for example the technological advancement in how swiftly phone models are following up one another? Always sleeker, quicker and better.

Don’t you ever wonder why other standards never seem to be able to pick up that pace?

Just like the smoking industry, the cosmetics industry is not eager in seeing a change that will reduce the financial numbers at the end of the year. It does not matter how unhealthy the habits of their consumers are; they will not be the prime lobbyists for the needed shift to a more realistic outlook of beauty. On the contrary, they work hard to reinforce those ideals.

“This is what you COULD look like!”

Imagine, you are enjoying a magnificent sunset, the last rays of the sun paint the sky in every imaginable color. Near you, a guy pulls out his laptop, takes a picture and starts editing the colors, adds some filters and when done, shows it to you, saying: “There, that’s how it should have looked like!”

How arrogant would you think that guy is?

Shouldn’t we feel the same of the ones dictating how we should see beauty today?

The problem is not in the attraction towards something or someone, or the lack of it, beauty is in the eye of the beholder.

But there are no universal criteria for being beautiful, and it is not up to society to generalize beauty and put a label on what is attractive or not.

“Real beauty is within.”

We all know the saying: “don’t judge a book by its cover.”

And I won’t deny it;  lasting beauty is something that is invisible to the naked eye.

Still, the saying does not say: “Do not look at a book’s cover.”

Many publishers will strongly disagree with you if you diminish the importance of a book’s cover.

It’s the first element that you will notice, it’s what catches your eye amid the multitude of others books on the shelf. This is why so much time, effort and money are spent on creating the best looking cover.

Just like with a book, your beauty is your cover.

When done well, your body can be the extension of who you are inside.

The way you look, act, move, and talk are all physical acts that will give the beholder an idea of how you think and what your values are.

If you would be creating a cover that does not match its content, the reader might end up dissapointed and lose his interest rather quickly.

As we all are different souls, all with our unique personalities, it is a shame you would try to look like someone else. It feels like everyone is just painting the same painting. Nobody is using his canvas anymore to express who they are.

The saying: “don’t judge a book by its cover”  becomes more obvious when every book on the shelf looks the same, and the challenge to find the right one has become a struggle.

With every passing page, we all are writing the story of our life, and it is up to us to decide what its content will be. It is up to us to determine what strokes will fill the painting…

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