Beauty is in the eye of the beholder Nicole John

2016-07-20 06:00

THE saying “beauty is in the eye of the beholder” is one we, as women, are all too familiar with, but do we really know what this means?

The literal meaning of course is that the perception of beauty is subjective depending on each person’s likes and dislikes. However, society is fixated on dictating what beauty actually is making it seem as though there is only one beholder - society and its expectation.

As a result, many women try to emulate the women they see in the glossy Western magazines and mould themselves to that image in order to fit the ideal picture of what a beautiful woman is. Society’s idea of a size zero model, scantily clad, with flawless skin, is the image some women try to conform to. They no longer find happiness in their own skin, but rather spend time and money, trying to replicate images of women they are exposed to in the media.

Compounding the issue is the phenomenon that is the selfie and the wonderful filters for pictures on hundreds of applications that can be downloaded onto our phone. Thinking back a few years this was not something people even thought about. Nowadays you find people taking hundreds of selfies and posting pictures that sometimes end up not even looking like themselves. We’re all looking for the perfect shot - the one that we think will get the most likes on Facebook and be admired by all our friends. But what image are you trying to emulate? It’s the image that society has put out of what perfection looks like.

The truth is - there are millions of women in the world, each with their own gifts and talents and beauty no one person is the same, and we come to realise this as we get older.

What society fails to teach children, especially girls, is that beauty is subjective. People are attracted to different features. Teaching girls to be comfortable in their skin is important and will help, not only with their self-confidence, but prevent them from eating disorders, emotional issues and the like.

As you get older you learn that what society deems beautiful is not really what people look for. Unfortunately, it is an ongoing struggle for women to learn to accept who they are and what they look like.

We are all guilty of looking in the mirror and wishing we had curly hair instead of straight, longer legs, perfect teeth, flatter tummies, the list goes on. It’s common for many women to want something they do not have. It takes a strong woman to look in the mirror, see her flaws, accept them and walk out the house exuding confidence.

Audrey Hepburn, British actress and humanitarian once said: “The beauty of a woman is not in the clothes she wears, the figure she carries, or the way she combs her hair. The beauty of a woman is seen in her eyes, because that is the doorway to her heart, the place where love resides. True beauty in a woman is reflected in her soul. It’s the caring that she lovingly gives, the passion that she shows and the beauty of a woman only grows with passing years.”

We’d all do well to remember this.

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