By Ankita Purohit

The Concept of Beauty and Women’s Perception Since Centuries

Concept of Beauty and Women's Perception

If I ask you what beauty is or how to judge if a woman is beautiful, what would you say? You will exactly convey your own opinions that are based on the surroundings where you were raised into. The subject isn’t talked only in tinseltown, quite recently, but also one of the most talked about gossips among a bunch of adolescents or even adults; since many centuries when mankind turned its nomadic life into a stable society, where a group of people formed colonies and started residing together, to this day, the concept of beauty always evolved.

You are not just confined to be self-critical, but many commercials have actually targeted the consumers (like you) into making them believing that they must not be unhappy and do nothing about their physical flaws, but take a step forward to think about wrinkle-reducing and lip-enhancement injectable. More onto this, surgeries not always turn out into a success, but a nightmare as well. I can mention countless celebrities who used to look beautiful previously but are now a complete disaster because their surgeries went wrong.

There are also tons of cosmetics readily available in the market, fashionable attire, accessories, and what not, without which many women wouldn’t step out of their houses. Would you do the same if you were sitting at home whole day, all alone? Absolutely not! Because most of our lives revolve into thinking how to please people and become socially acceptable. We think that if we look beautiful, people will likely like us back and befriend us; we would then be picked by those who likely take a romantic interest in us, instead of any other individual. Friendships and companionships were always about external appearance, isn’t it?

The social media has contributed a lot in making a person overly-conscious, to the extent that they don’t mind taking hundreds of selfies just to post The One ‘picture-perfect’ look of theirs. The more Likes and Comments they get, the more they perceive themselves as the most desirable women. How many times you have witnessed statements like “Oh! Don’t publish this picture, I look fat/dark/ugly/awful?”. How many of you got anxious if you didn’t reach to the favorable criteria of Likes in your Facebook account? How many times have you compared yourself with other girls while uploading your picture? How many times have you compared the number of Likes you get in general with someone you call (your) competitor secretively?

Even celebrities ain’t perfect. The level of confidence they carry with them is directly proportional to that kind of appearance which they wish to project. They are viewed by the whole world, the media in particular, who wouldn’t even mind climbing trees in order to click their malfunctioned wardrobe, they are the ones who end up being paranoid of their own looks.

I was once browsing on the internet and ended up opening a site in which Bollywood actress Shilpa Shetty was caught with her husband Raj Kundra by the sneaky media who then took a lot of snaps of the couple and intervened their privacy. The thing worth noticeable was she was constantly hiding her face and the media didn’t have clue why was that. It was later believed that she wasn’t wearing make-up and was therefore extremely hesitant in baring it all, the real side of her! In my opinion, she was looking beautiful even without it, but even she is equally delusional as any other girl next door would. It isn’t her fault. Celebrities are made into believing that they should be carrying themselves in a certain way, having a well-proportionate body, with those ‘perfect’ smiles while they make public appearances, and so, by all means, illustrating the falsehood their entire life.

Concept of Beauty and Women's Perception

If I ask men what their definition of beauty is, there would be a variety of responses from different parts of the world. Some like chubby women, others are more into thin, some would admire the athletic build, while others prefer long and silky hair, irrespective of their bodily build. The types are huge, but I have never heard even a single man claiming that they would choose a woman who doesn’t have pimples, or those who wear make-up quite much all the time. They do not mind if a woman develops acne, pimples and blemishes, and so camouflaging through using the concealers and blushers does not make any sense, do they?

I would obviously blame the media who has defined the structure of a woman, that they are supposed to look in a certain way. Most women fail to understand that the pictures they see on magazine covers belong to those models who are just like them, just a few pounds lesser, with a concealed self of flaws that were already removed with Photoshop, before publicizing. It would be unrealistic if you compare yourself with Megan Fox and idealize (only) her as the idea of angelic beauty, because her profession is different than yours. Do you believe that she cooks her own food as well as for her whole family, works 9 to 12 hours a day at workplace? Her profession demands looking good and so she spends hours to workout. She also earns enough to appoint a personal trainer who would advise her what exercises to be done, what foods to be eaten, and so on; the cameraperson does the rest of work.

Similarly, I idealize Aishwarya Rai as beautiful but that does not mean that I would purchase a blue set of contact lenses so that I could look like her. I know that that wouldn’t suit me because I have a different skin complexion and body structure. How about the idea of developing your own worth without copying somebody?

Most women aren’t happy with their bodies and the cosmetic industries just pin-point that. They start believing that they were never born perfect and will never look pleasing if certain measures aren’t taken. Most American women go for breast and/or butt enhancement surgeries in which the size is increased and most importantly, their assets are uplifted as well, so as to get rid of the looseness they ever had before. Do you think that these women would be happy ever after? Certainly not. They would detect something else to an endless loop of deformities.

There is a psychological issue, known as Body Dysmorphic Disorder, in which the person becomes extremely delusional of her own personal appearance that isn’t appealing, has several flaws, and needs to be fixed. This, of course, isn’t true, but the patient goes to any extent in either hiding that perceived flaw or fixing it. The person who is suffering from this needs to join rehab center and other clinics where they could seek help from the psychotherapists, but certainly not a plastic surgeon.

Body Dysmorphic Disorder

I don’t think that the idea of beauty would be the same in other parts of the world as well. Many Asians are obsessed with their skin complexion. Indians are known to like the lighter skin tone, to the extent that these people even reject the marriage proposals if a girl is of darker complexion. Koreans never like the idea of sun tan and so would go to any extent in never letting their skin lose its appeal. This includes sun protection through using sun screens, avoiding sun exposure much as they can. They also invest so much amount of money into the cosmetic surgeries that result into double eye-lids, v-shaped face, etc. Chinese think that if you develop an acne outbreak you must be living the wrong lifestyle and so wouldn’t mind in speaking that right onto your face. The Britishers, although well known for standardizing the White skin tone to something which must be privileged (who had indoctrinated lacs of Indians into believing exactly that, to this day, that the dark complexion is dirty), now believe that the fake tan is sexy! The middle-eastern women are believed to be appealing if they have a shiny and clear skin and a heavy body. It is not uncommon that they go for fat-reduction surgery before they get married because they reach to significantly higher body mass, even more than 100 kilograms. Confused?

So, what’s your concept of beauty? Truth be told, “Beauty lies in the eyes of beholder…”. Ever heard of somebody marrying a blind woman or a woman who had been a victim of acid attack? The acid completely voids their face that even cosmetic surgery cannot replace. If you, with a perfect physical appearance, with no such kind of disability, feel conscious of even an acne outbreak, can you imagine what level of courage it takes to face the world that always tends to criticize or feels sorry for these ladies?

Just stand in front of the mirror now. Yes, now! Now let in all the criticisms you have got so far. There comes a point when those negative pattern of thoughts would stop. This is the real side of You, with no flaws. You never criticized yourself at the first place, people did. Break this pattern.

Accept for what you are. You are beautiful and you cannot be replaced by someone else. Objectification isn’t sexy, it’s more like something that convinces the world that only looks matter and not what you contribute to this society. You are the one who can break this myth. Show your deaf ear to the spectators and embrace those who accept for who you are, even if you start aging because it is a sure fact that you will grow old and eventually die. This is maturity, a feeling that explains a lot about countless series of life’s experiences you have encountered so far. I don’t say that stop every damn thing and start looking unappealing and untidy; but I wouldn’t encourage the concept of obsessed thinking because your fellow mates think so, either.

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