By Hye Joo
New Organizing Project blogger
beau·ty [byoo-tee] –noun, pluralThe quality present in a thing or person that gives intense pleasure or deep satisfaction to the mind whether arising from sensory manifestations (as shape, color, sound, etc.), a meaningful design or pattern or something else (as a personality in which high spiritual qualities are manifest).
The world we live in is undeniably perceptual. Almost everyone lives and believes in certain stereotypes and false myths. In America, where culture and race is so diverse, stereotypes are easily seen, heard and felt. One of the biggest stereotypes that I have always been aware of is beauty. In the girls’ empowerment group that I’m apart of, we frequently talk about what beauty really means to us. It’s hard to ignore what people say “beauty” is, because after all I am a girl, too. I unconsciously but constantly care about how I’m presented.
What does beauty mean to you? How would you define the term?
I asked some of my friends what they consider beauty is. One said, “Beauty is a lot of things; like how beautiful someone (especially women) can look, or how they dress and do their hair and makeup; sense of fashion.” Most of the others’ responses were similar to this.
I think it’s kind of funny how when we talk about what beauty is in a very formal setting, almost everyone would include in their answer something like “a person with a very truthful mind and personality” or “the nature and scenery.” But when we talk about it with a friend, we say “pretty people; like celebrities” or “glamorous girls” with skinny bodies and pretty looks.
I can’t say I don’t stereotype about what beauty is either. It’s impossible to avoid the influence of the mainstream media as they define beauty to be tall, skinny, white, skimpy clothes, make-up and heels. We look at magazines and we are swamped with information on how to make our skin look good, how to lose weight or get fashion tips so we can dress like celebrities. On commercials and advertisements, models pose, luring you to buy products. And on top of all this, people are turning to plastic surgery to look beautiful. Unfortunately, how we are presented has become one of the biggest factors in judging a person.
Beauty is something every single person is born with. It’s up to us to define it and reveal it in our own unique way. There are so many ways to represent yourself.
To all the girls out there who are discouraged because you do not fit the imaginary checklist of qualities a beautiful girl needs to have: DON’T. After all, being confident about yourself, who you are as you are, is the most beautiful thing.