Feminism Fodder

Real Beauty

Beauty lies in the eyes of the beholder

And yet, we are bombarded with what exactly is beautiful in not-so-subtle ways by magazines, television, movies, and other forms of the media. Brad Pitt. Angelina Jolie. George Clooney. Aishwarya Rai. Apparently, they are all epitomes of beauty. [Doesn’t matter if you or I don’t agree that Brad Pitt, Angelina Jolie or Aishwarya Rai are not beautiful…the large majority has been taught that they are!]

While different countries and cultures have their own standards, one common rule of thumb to identify ‘beauty’ in a person is the need to be skinny. A size zero as well. And it’s not just women but men too who have the body image pressures these days thanks to ads on building muscles or male models who are very skinny. In countries like India and some other Asian and African countries, real beauty is sold via fairness creams. Yes. If you are light-skinned, you are beautiful. It’s easy to get down and depressed by the manner in which beauty is sold to us. Especially if we buy it and succumb to nose jobs, botox, liposuction, boob jobs and other forms of plastic surgery.

However, I do believe that real beauty is different.

To me, real beauty is…

…the laugh lines at the corners of a person’s eyes and mouth. They signify a lifetime spent smiling a lot.

…the worry lines on your brow. It shows you have lived a full life with family, friends and work to have enough to worry you.

…the stretch marks on a woman’s breasts and hips. They signify a time spent enjoying good food, putting on weight and losing weight.

…the scars left by a major operation. They show that you are living now and have overcome some kind of physical setback.

…the darkness of your skin. It shows you enjoy the outdoors.

…the roughness of a person’s hands. They signify hard work.

…the blisters on a person’s feet. It means you have walked many a mile to get to where you are.

…the glow on a person’s face on seeing a loved one. It signifies that they are loved and have people they love around them.

…the genuine smile on a person’s face. It shows they are content with their life.

…the tired smile in a single parent’s eyes at the end of a working day when they see their kids. It shows they missed them and are working for them.

…the shining eyes of a person on hearing someone else’s good news. It means they are kind-hearted and capable of empathising.

…the plain face of a person alight with happiness. They symbolise hope and help bring you out of your blues.

…the wrinkled and crinkled faces of an elderly couple. They symbolise a lifetime of togetherness. 

Imagine seeing all this in a person as compared to a stone faced and made up Aishwarya Rai or Angelina Jolie or Brad Pitt?

You decide — who is truly beautiful?     

This post has been written for the Real Beauty contest held by Indiblogger in conjunction with Yahoo and Dove

What does real beauty mean to you? Is your perception different from what most people imagine beauty to be?

If you like this post, please go on to the IndiBlogger page for this and also vote for the post by clicking the Facebook ‘Like’ button on that page. Be assured that I’m not going to spam you with emails requesting your votes. 🙂 Please also share your views on real beauty in your comments on this post.

Dove Real Beauty on Yahoo! India

Until next time,


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  • tikuli
    30 May 2011 at 5:16 am

    There is element of beauty in everything. Its the way we respond  to life around us that matters. Yes Ash and others you mention are genetically physically good to look at but my perception of beauty is all the things you listed and many more. simple things in life, simple pleasure and an open heart and mind. ATB

  • dhiraj jain
    30 May 2011 at 5:40 am

    So far the best post written for the  real beauty contest ..Absolutely loved it.

  • Psych Babbler
    30 May 2011 at 6:12 am

    Totally agree Tikuli…there is beauty in everything if we look for it. For
    the record, I don’t find Aishwarya beautiful…like I commented on your
    post, some women (and men) may be physically beautiful but their characters
    can mar that. Good luck to you too…

  • Psych Babbler
    30 May 2011 at 6:12 am

    Thanks Dhiraj for the lovely comment! 🙂

  • Nicole Bataclan
    30 May 2011 at 8:48 am

    adored this, and love your writing style! kudos to beauty! 🙂

  • Psych Babbler
    30 May 2011 at 11:31 am

    Thanks Nicole! Really appreciate your comment… 🙂

  • Prateek Bagri
    30 May 2011 at 4:41 pm

    A new perception toward the beauty. Ah! I said somewhere beauty is a variable, differs from person to person. Sadly some men cannot look beyond the “curves” .

  • Psych Babbler
    30 May 2011 at 9:46 pm

    Definitely…beauty is in the eyes of the beholder. I can say that because for some reason, the guys I find attractive makes people look at me like I’m nuts. And at the same time, I do not find the likes of Brad Pitt, Angelina Jolie or Aishwarya Rai attractive. George Clooney is different! 😛 And you know, it’s not just the men who cannot look beyond curves…some women too have certain physical attributes they look for in men…so it goes both ways.

  • Raindrop
    31 May 2011 at 4:05 am

    That was a beautiful description of true  beauty. Loved it totally.
    This has been on my mind since sometime too. I find advertisements endorsing fairness crude. Ditto with the ones endorsing anti-ageing creams for 28 year olds!
    Lovely blog, btw 🙂

  • Avada Kedavra
    31 May 2011 at 4:57 am

    Exactly.. these days in India, the beauty is measured by the fairness of a person. Loved the post PB. I have read many entries for this contest and according to me, this was the best of the lot. Voting for you right away 🙂 Good luck for the contest.

  • Bikram
    31 May 2011 at 11:19 am

    hmmm ..  its how we see , it does  lay in the eyes of the beholder .. excellent post ..

    All the best for the contest …

  • Pesto Sauce
    31 May 2011 at 12:41 pm

    Real beauty lies in genuine smile….you can make them out from fake ones  for they fill with warmth

  • Titaxy
    31 May 2011 at 2:09 pm

    i agree..with everything you’ve put so aptly.

    will go and vote right away 🙂

  • Comfy
    31 May 2011 at 10:35 pm

    I am with you with every word. I might find some of the people pushed at me by the media (not the ones you called out) but when it comes to who do I really want to spend by time with if given a chance, it is the people in your list that I would pick because they are real and live life as it is meant to be.

    Loved this post. 🙂

  • Girlonthamove
    1 June 2011 at 4:18 am

    There is something beautiful and magical in everything… we just have to look at it with the eyes of our heart…:) & I read this somewhere : “People are not beautiful as they look, As they walk, As they wear. People are beautiful as they love, as they are sincere, as they care, as they share.”

    P.S. Wonderful writing. Loved every bit of it! ^_^

  • Girlonthamove
    1 June 2011 at 4:19 am

    There is something beautiful and magical in everything… we just have to look at it with the eyes of our heart :)… & I read this somewhere : “People are not beautiful as they look, As they walk, As they wear. People are beautiful as they love, as they are sincere, as they care, as they share.”

    P.S. Wonderful writing. Loved every bit of it.
    Cheers! ^_^

  • Psych Babbler
    2 June 2011 at 1:14 am

    Welcome here Raindrop! Thanks for the lovely comment! And they are
    advertising anti-aging creams for 28 year olds now??? You are kidding me!
    Haven’t seen that one yet and totally agree with you on that front! Do keep

  • Psych Babbler
    2 June 2011 at 1:23 am

    Fairness creams have been sold to us since I was a kid Ava…I remember
    being gullible enough as a child to wonder if they worked. Sigh. Of course,
    the new trend is now selling it for men too. Thanks for the vote and the
    lovely comment! 🙂

  • Psych Babbler
    2 June 2011 at 1:24 am

    I do firmly believe in that one. Just as an example, I find Adam Gilchrist
    attractive (as I’m sure his wife does too) but all my friends look at me
    like I’m crazy. What with his big ears and everything… 😛

  • Psych Babbler
    2 June 2011 at 1:24 am

    Yep…can tell a fake smile for sure…it doesn’t reach the eyes and hence
    the lack of warmth…

  • Psych Babbler
    2 June 2011 at 1:29 am

    Thanks T…for the vote and the comment…

  • Psych Babbler
    2 June 2011 at 1:38 am

    Yep Comfy…I’m sure we all know so many beautiful people in our lives who
    don’t have any media coverage whatsoever…

  • Psych Babbler
    2 June 2011 at 1:39 am

    Ooh…I love that saying Girlonthemove! It’s so right, isn’t it? You find a
    kind hearted person who may be plain by media standards of beauty a whole
    lot more beautiful than a stunning but arrogant person!

  • Someone is Special
    2 June 2011 at 9:51 am

    this was one of the best post in this contest.. love the beauty in this and the questions asked.. here is a heart expressing what does true beauty means
    Someone is Special

  • Just AWriter
    2 June 2011 at 10:56 am

    very interesting and wonderfully put! 🙂

  • Psych Babbler
    3 June 2011 at 3:04 am

    Oh thanks SIS; I’m truly flattered! 🙂

  • Psych Babbler
    3 June 2011 at 3:05 am

    Welcome here JustAWriter! Thanks for the lovely comment… 🙂

  • Zradar
    14 June 2011 at 11:46 am


  • Psych Babbler
    15 June 2011 at 7:19 am

    Thanks Zradar!

  • plastic surgery new york
    1 June 2012 at 2:07 am

    Great article, I really liked it a lot. There are many different meanings for real beauty.