Beauty beliefs start early in life, I think. When my dad gifted me My First Barbie doll with a pretty white frock and a plastic body, she was my first definition on beauty. The definition has changed dramatically over the years; from a Bollywood actress to a Hollywood actress, from a pop singer to a woman in a corporate suit, from a friend to an aesthetic.
I was in the auto-rickshaw on my way back home from office the other day, battling the usual traffic and potholes that take you right down to hell. As I waited anxiously for the signal to turn green, I saw something. An image that has remained in my memory ever since. A poor old beggar woman was sitting on the pavement. She had deep wrinkles on her face, and the way her sari hung on her gave away her malnutrition.Ordinarily, I wouldn’t have been moved by this sight.But, then I saw her extend her right hand in front of her and smile. I couldn’t help but stare. It was only after a few seconds that I realized there was a broken fragment of a mirror in her hands. She adjusted a few strands of her hair, opened her eyes wide and smiled.
And in that moment, she was the most beautiful woman I’d seen.
And I realized that beauty can never have a base value. It is such a fragile commodity, subjective by its very definition, that there is no generalized basis for what one may consider a thing of beauty. With Photoshop, touch-ups and cosmetic surgery being the talk of the day, this may come across as being a superficial argument. But it truly is a wake-up call to me. For every day I wake up feeling fat, zit-prone or having an electric shock inspired hairstyle, I think of her happily. 🙂 These days when my male friends look at the “Beautiful” women who have perfect skin, hair n whatever n comment, I smile. I smile coz I believe that someday a man will come who would see the beauty I contain within me and love me inspite of me having far from perfect skin n looks!
“Socrates called beauty a short-lived tyranny; Plato, a privilege of nature; Theophrastus, a silent cheat; Theocritus, a delightful prejudice; Carneades, a solitary kingdom; Aristotle, that it was better than all the letters of recommendation in the world; Homer, that it was a glorious gift of nature; and Ovid, that it was favor bestowed by the gods.”
Surely, beauty lies in the eyes of the beholder!