Redefining and Reconceptualizing Beauty
In the wake of the recent sexual assault scandal that rocked the world, I have been thinking a lot about what beauty means to me. So often we find ourselves looking in the mirror and condemning something we have worn or an hairstyle we have made because we think it won't be beautiful to other people, but really who makes these rules? Who decides what is and is not beautiful.
Recently while watching one of my favourite shows, The Real, Loni, one of the hosts, commented on this. She was in tears over how brutal 'women' had been to a friend who wore what she could afford to a red carpet. She continued, saying, that if she were to remove her own wig on the show, a lot of people would laugh at her saying she was not beautiful. It got me thinking about what we females do to support this patriarchal, sexualized society. We feed the hate with our comments on who wore it best, why they should have worn it a certain way; instead of focusing on what lies inside. How you dress, how you wear your hair should not define us and no one should make you feel bad for preferring jeans to a dress. When men wear whatever they want, usually no one condemns them but the same females who should be on your side are the ones who'll raise eyebrows when you dress comfortably and wear what you want.
Personally, this is one topic that hits home. I have had to fight to dress however I want. I remember a few years back when my friends felt I needed an intervention on exactly how to dress beautifully else I would remain single. Of course, I was hurt and I spoke against it ( Let's not even begin to look at how wrong that sounds). My friends were speaking from the ideals of a society that puts beauty on a wrong pedestal that we all have to reach out to without regard to the inner values and preferences of each individual; forcing women to put on the skins of others because it makes them beautiful. This wrong and unfortunate definition of beauty has led many to depression, sexual harassment and so many other ills. Like I read somewhere, we need to start with ourselves. Look in the mirror and see your own beauty. Beauty is not defined by what you wear but by who you are. What do you have? What can you do? What are your values? Until we start to see beauty this way, we will always be wrong.
Our definitions of beauty feeds the sexual objectification of females. We are asked to dress a certain way, draw our brows a certain way, straighten our hair a certain way as if natural hair is not beautiful in itself, wear a certain type of shoe. Really why do we all have to look the same!
Beauty should be you, it should be me dressing how we want to, modestly and comfortably without pressure. Beauty should be from within.