Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Beauty is in the eye of the beholder

I was reading an article about the 30 things a woman should know by the time she is 30. Although the list was put together by an American journalists, I felt that it could be generalized across various cultures. Let's face it, women are women regardless of their geographical location, whether be it New York or Cairo. We all face similar challenges and obstacles along the way.  As I am reflecting on the life long lessons I have learned, the only thing that kept popping in my head was coming to terms with the notion that "Beauty is in the Eye of the Beholder". I am amazed at how long it took me to come to this realization, despite the fact that it ties into one of my dominating views - Everything in Life is relative. I call it my theory of relativity. 

It took me a while to realize that Beauty, much like everything else, is a matter of opinion. In essence we are who we are. No amount of waxing, plucking, coiffing, or polishing is going to change that. Nevertheless, it doesn't hurt to present ourselves in a nice package. Just like marketing a product, the outer package must appeal to the target audience. This brings us to the notion of "the eye of the beholder". I can hear the collective gasp of feminist at the objectification of women in comparing them to commercial products. But let's be honest, who among us hasn't dressed for the occasion. While getting ready to attend a wedding, we painstakingly  select our outfit and head gear/ hair style to upstage other female attendances and maybe attract the attention of suitable mates (or their mothers;) ). Needless to say, we have all done this at one point or another. In order to be perceived as beautiful, we have to appeal to the notion of beauty as defined by those to whom we want to be perceived. Even the definition of beautiful in its self is relative and the criteria of such definitions vary as much. I would like to point out that I am talking about external appearance. Internal beauty can't be altered, that's just hypocrisy. However, the external packaging of our souls change from season to season.

The bottom line is, dress to impress, that is if you want to leave an impression. Yet if you have the strength to forgo social vanity, for rest assured that you are beautiful in the eyes of those whose opinions matter the most.

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