Ever changing ideals of beauty

Beauty is in the eye of the beholder, right? Well, not strictly so it seems. The search to find and define the very essence of the 'it' that beauty represents is an age old problem, one that has troubled scholars, philosophers, mathematicians, artists and societies for centuries. It is not the context of the beauty we view but the very nature of beauty itself that has historically held our collective intrigue.  Whilst the nature of beauty itself seemingly remains unchanged, our views on what is deemed to be beautiful, has continually moved and changed with perceived, or some might arguably say manufactured, cultural and societal needs, wants and desires. The focus has shifted from the analytical to a more passive stance, many of us no longer question what makes something or someone beautiful, or indeed why we believe that to be so, instead we’re inclined to question why we are not beautiful and why we believe that to be so.

Beauty has evolved away from the exploration of theoretical notions based on form, symmetry and relative ideals to become an idealogical concept, a manufactured vision to aspire to. No longer is it something which prompts deeper enquiry or reflection, rather it seeks to create a quiet sense of unease, a sense that if we could only do/have/be then we too could experience such beauty for or in, ourselves. The nature or essence of beauty has been usurped by a manufactured concept, a louder voice, an unreal visual representation of what beauty really looks like.

An idealogical concept of beauty has been created, commodified, packaged and sold, creating an intangible notion of something which can be bought or fixed; by default, it devalues or undervalues ideas outside the given narrative. The unreality becomes the reality, steadily we become conditioned and compliant with the norms presented, our sense of unease no longer a signal that something is wrong with the picture, instead somehow, something is now wrong with us.  We feel ashamed and we feel lesser.

Semantics or not?

in·dus·try  (nd-str)

n. pl. in·dus·tries

  1. Production and sale of goods.
  2. A specific branch of manufacture and trade

Beauty is an industry. A roaring successful giant, a concept, not a product,  that is produced, manufactured and traded. But that’s not to say that the beauty industry is beauty in itself, rather it produces, manufactures and trades an idealogical concept of what beauty is in order to sell itself. In doing so, it sells us short and in turn, we sell ourselves out. But just how do we reposition ourselves, regain the value in our individuality, harness the power of our own beauty?

Here at Happy Remarkable You, we’ll talk a lot about skin health in context with beauty because the notions of taking care of ourselves, respecting the skin we happen to be in and honoring our individuality is what we feel really helps us to look and feel beautiful, and by our own measures and standards.

Our daily mantra would look something like this, how about yours?

  • Real beauty and real women simply don’t exist. We are simply a we as we happen to be and of female form, whatever shape that takes. Real men don’t exist either. They are men in men shaped form.
  • There is no shame in being ourselves. We are enough.
  • It’s ok to take care of ourselves. Eat well, sleep well, live well. Experience all, exclude nothing. Take care to take care.
  • Change is good, action only when it comes from your own head and heart.
  • Let your ideals be your own.
  • Shame is not the same as truth. If you feel ashamed of how you look, readjust your focus then take a second look.
  • Dare to be fully ourselves. Seek to find the you in you and live, love and honour it fully.

We’re really keen to hear what you all think, feel and know about beauty, yourself and each other. How can we create a kinder, gentle sense of perspective, how do we refocus the lens and begin to tell a different story of beauty?

N x

Posted on December 19, 2013 and filed under Q and A.