Beauty is painful and it does not come cheap; no matter how you look at it or others look at you. The road to beauty is paved out for us woman from our earliest memories as a little girl. We imagine ourselves as fairy tale princesses, damsels in distress being delivered from imminent doom by a handsome prince on a valiant white horse. We steal away into our mommies closest to play dress up. We find ourselves becoming artists with her make-up, draping ourselves in her clothing and sinking in as much glitz, glamour, frills and frocks as we can possibly bear before drowning in a sea of material and cosmetics. We stare at ourselves in the mirror and speak ever so sweetly to the inner woman saying, “Where are you my beauty”? You smile and flirt with yourself as to draw out the woman of beauty that you only imagine is hidden between the layers you have attempted to place upon yourself. When all the while, maybe she was already there but for some reason you just could not recognize her by merely looking upon your own reflection. You might possibly be the other girl; a bit of a tom boy, if you will. You know the girl that can’t really relate to dollies, high heels, make up and tea parties; no. This lil’ one is adventurous, a risk taker and dares to run with abandon as she frolics through the mud. She’s the sporty one who is considered ‘one of the boys’ in the neighborhood. She too gazes at herself in the mirror after a nice hot bath to wash off the day’s fun. ith just a smudge of bath soap still bubbling from her cheek she gazes at herself in the mirror whispering, “Where are you my beauty”?
At a young age we begin to model our identity through image perception and self-awareness. Through the years our culture and environment will feed us girls what it believes to be beauty. When we are young we are impressionable, trusting, imaginative and believing. Many will find themselves succumbing to what has lured, tempted or convinced us is the road to beauty acquisition that may not truly reveal or display what beauty really is. Once we take the bait we are quickly caught up; hook, line and sinker. The results can be emotionally devastating or emotionally freeing; the choice is hers and only hers.
Many women have found it a duty to stay on the road to beauty. They look to the media, magazine and peers, as to what ‘they’ say beauty is. They find themselves looking in the mirror and not seeing what everything around them has said dictates her beauty. This road has now caused her to become a slave to the cosmetic shelves, beauty salons, fashion outlets, diet counters, surgeons and the like to feed the need to be ‘that beauty’. The age at which these young lassies start to implement these modalities can lead to much emotional and physical digression. For decades eating disorders of a variety of sorts have disabled women both emotionally and physically and for some, even mortality. However, more and more awareness is rising to make changes within cultures throughout the world to change the way it defines beauty. Over the last few years many countries have implemented legislature, ethics policies and education within the high fashion and ultra-chic modeling industry. Israel has passed a ruling that media publications must provide a written notice when they have produced a photo shopped model to make them look and appear skinnier. Women following this road to beauty often times become very disillusioned and exhausted in their attempts to paint on pretty in order to be deemed ‘that beauty’.
It’s not much easier for the woman who resists the external influences that egg her on every day to be the perfect 10, the picture of beauty. She is insistent that she will swim upstream to discover her beauty. She takes a philosophical or psychological approach to being the example of the beautiful one. Yet, in this endeavor she finds that her very character is under scrutiny. If she wants to reveal an internal beauty then she will have to become a woman of substantial character and she finds that everything about herself now seems to be placed under a magnifying glass and her very essence is under question. This road can lead to a time of depression as she sees the flaws within herself and yearns for the roadmap to navigate her to the place of ethereal beauty. The place where she displays beauty through her behaviors and mannerisms and has a special way about herself, as she simply, ‘is’.
Whichever road you are on to discovering your beauty; it’s going to be painful. You may find that applying beauty is the answer for you. You already know that it comes with a price tag, both financially and emotionally. Too, you may be the one who has embraced the beauty that can only be revealed from the inside out and you’re not impressed nor do you participate in the outward adorning of yourself to define beauty.
If you’re the girl that has discovered that you can have both; then we applaud you. We know who you are just by looking at you; it emits itself from the inside out. It’s great to see that you’ve stepped away from the mirror to allow the world to see ‘beauty’. That we too embrace the often coined phrase, “Beauty is in the eye of the beholder”.
Remember, at the end of the day, the choice is yours; all yours.
“May she be granted beauty and yet not
Beauty to make a stranger’s eye distraught.
Or hers before a looking-glass, for such,
Being made beautiful overmuch.
Consider beauty a suffering, this road offers inasmuch”
by Zina Docto
Zina is the founder of “i AM WOMAN”: Educating woman to discover their health and beauty from the inside out: overcome weight issues, sickness and disease.
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