Archive | July 2015

Definition of Beauty – Subjective or Relative


What is beauty?

Is it universal? Can beauty be measured? If it is measured, how does one measure it?

Is the length of your hair? The texture of your hair? The size of your eyes? The colour of your eyes? The tiny waist? The size of the breast? How skinny one is? The size of the bums? The expensive weaves we don on our heads? The wrinkle-less face? The ‘secret’ and never-to-be-mentioned monthly botox injections? The skin complexion?

“Beauty itself is but the sensible image of the infinite”

 – George Bancroft (American historian)

According to the online Cambridge Dictionary, beauty is “the quality of being pleasing, especially to look at, or someone or something that gives great pleasure, especially when you look at it.” and “a quality that makes something especially good or attractive.”

India Arie put the body image issue in a more clear picture in her song, I am not my hair:

I am not my hair
I am not this skin
I am not your expectations no no
I am not my hair
I am not this skin

Good hair means curls and waves
Bad hair means you look like a slave
At the turn of the century
Its time for us to redefine who we be
You can shave it off
Like a South African beauty
Or get in on lock
Like Bob Marley
You can rock it straight
Like Oprah Winfrey
If its not what’s on your head
Its what’s underneath

Does the way I wear my hair make me a better person?
Does the way I wear my hair make me a better friend? Oh
Does the way I wear my hair determine my integrity?

Do we judge other’s beauty based on how we relate with ourselves? Do we justify who we are by judging the physical appearance of others? Do we hide our weaknesses by being harsh to those who are not beautiful in our eyes? Are there not bigger issues that we can spend our energies on; terrorism, hunger, wars etc?

The tradition has always had people defining beauty with regards to the physical appearance of the object, with women, it is usually with how their bodies are shaped or any attribute that is found in their body parts. It seems like body image has more influence in defining the beauty of a woman than her intelligence or the kind of person she is.

The interpretation of beauty usually leads to comparison among the objects or people involved.

The need by many women to look beautiful has resulted in intense competition which usually leads to resentment, envy and frustration. Women around the world go out of their way to achieve what they believe will make them beautiful; because of the belief that light-skinned black girls (usually referred to as yellow-bones) are beautiful, many black young women in Sub-Saharan countries use skin lighten products to lighten their skins; in certain Asian countries, a pale, white skin is deem to be attractive and women usually apply skin-lighten products to bleach themselves. In the Western culture, women prefer their faces wrinkle-free, tanned skin, and long, silky hair (usually in the form of weaves or wigs).

Other people define beauty in simple terms; take for instance, the Karo tribe of Ethiopia, the more body scars a woman has, the more attractive she is or the Kenya’s Maasai tribe who find shaved heads and long, stretched earlobes (both men and women wear metal hoops on their stretched earlobes) attractive.

When people see some things as beautiful, other things become ugly. Tao Te Ching

Society has planted and watered the distorted body image and has set rules for what is deemed beautiful and what is not. Hollywood celebrities and the media has not made it easy for women across the globe with this issue – one moment the media will celebrate a certain celebrity as the ‘IT Girl’ and the most ‘beautiful’ woman because she has ticked all the boxes in their physical body image requirement and the next they move and replace her with their latest ‘victim’, it has also lied to the society through their use of Photoshop. The media has even gone to the extend of ‘body-shaming’ other celebrities that they deem their physical appearance to not attractive enough. Reality stars, singers, actors and other celebrities are secretly filling up cosmetic surgeons’ labs in order to reshape their body parts to fit into the ‘required’ looks and most of them even go to the extent of lying to their followers by telling them that they are au naturel which  fuels and heightens the feeling of low self-esteem and insecurity in most of these unassuming women and girls.

Women need to know that we are all different and there’s no need to ever feel insecure about their looks and that beauty is a simply a matter of individual perception or illusion. We all need to embrace our diversity and believe that beauty is subjective (or relative?) and as such, all sizes and shapes are beautiful and attractive.

We are not our bodies but our bodies hold within the real us – they beauty of a being is in how they carry themselves.



A Beautiful Friendship Closure

Image source:

Image source:

Sometimes you realise that people that you have held close to your heart have slowly drifted away from you and at that point there is nothing you can do except to accept that you have to set them free – you have to give them their wings and hope they will be happy wherever they go. The whole thing about true relationships, more especially friendships, is that they require no chains in order for it to stay because it is rooted in the heart.

Recently I was sadden to find out that one of my closest friends have drifted from me but at the same time I was happy to know that, she is in a better stage in her life and that she have found other people that she can call her friends; all I hope is that they may treat her with the love and respect she deserves. The thing is, she is one of the few wonderful people that I know. People drift apart not because they stop caring about each other, but because of circumstances in life. The thing to always remember is to never ever hold anything against your former friend just because they have outgrown you – just appreciate the good times you shared with them and go on with your life, you never know, you might find another great friend along the way.

On the same token, a few weeks ago, through the help of someone I used to know (whom I sadly have to unfriend on Facebook – I had to in order for me to keep my sanity (long story)), I managed to get in contact with my best friend from Junior (high) school and boy was I the happiest person in the world. The thing is, I love this girl – I’d probably go to hell and back for her (not literally – hey I have to stop somewhere… but I guess you get my grip, right?). She is the most down to earth person that I know and she does not suffer from attitude ‘illness’ – she is one type of person when going through bad time, you will rarely know it because she always have a smile pasted on her face. Between the two of us, I’m the most serious one and she’s the one everyone is easily drawn to.

Back to the topic, sometimes it is wise to set someone go without the bickering and causing damage to the relationship – it shows maturity. And at no cost should you blackmail them to be with you because through that, you may create your own hell on earth. Beautiful and unbonded things can turn hell into heaven and anything that is chained will only result in pain. Letting go does not mean you are throwing in the towel but simply means you appreciate that there are things that you cannot change and also not everything stays as it is. Is life – just learn to enjoy it to its fullest!

With that said, I wish you all the best in your relationships. 



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