Beauty

To Thine Own Self…Be True

As someone who never has (and never will) live up to any fashionable definition of beauty, I’ve had to learn to find my beauty in many diverse ways, and through that, the unique beauty that exists in every individual.

It’s no coincidence that the fashion and beauty industries choose to idolize a physical standard that only reflects about 3% of the population. After all, how better to ensure a large market for your products?

If, indeed the majority of us were happy with our looks we would not desperately throw away money to change the way we look, and so, money is to be found only by first creating a desire for change, and then by offering, at great cost, ways to strive to reach that unreachable ideal.

More and more, as I exercise my artistic eye through my photography, I expand my concept of beauty. One of my favourite photos taken just days ago is of a homeless man sleeping on a bench in the rain.

The strength of will it must take for someone to stay alive in such appalling living conditions far outshines the ungroomed hair and grubby mismatched clothes. There is, in such strength and in such vulnerability, a stunning example of what humans are made of.

That is truly what I find beautiful.

Beauty is not in wearing a certain size, or having a particular shade of hair. Beauty is not in the shape of your breasts, or the number of inches to your penis.

It’s not muscle definition, eye colour, skin tone or a lack of scars or wrinkles…

Truly, beauty is in how you feel about life, what you do about life, and about how you move through each precious moment you have.

The most amazing thing about beauty is not that it resides in the eye of the beholder, as we so often blithely quote, but that it actually resides in the heart of the believer. When we finally believe in our own beauty then suddenly those around us will believe in it too.

Such belief is like rich soil to a plant. It nourishes and encourages continual growth and well-being. Our sense of beauty is a garden that we must tend and maintain. But not through hair dyes, make-up and plastic surgery. Through good deeds and good attitudes, through good friends and good living…

The title of this essay is of course, a Shakespeare quote from Hamlet…and as I begun, I’ll end…with another quote from the same play.

What a piece of work is man! how noble in reason! how infinite in faculty!

in form and moving how express and admirable!

in action how like an angel! in apprehension how like a god!

the beauty of the world, the paragon of animals! – (Act II, Scene II)

Believe…

C.A. – January 2007

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