Man has been captivated by beauty since civilization. Be it Helen of Troy or the Egyptian Queen Cleopatra, their beauty created a furore. Their Beauty was legendary as also their beauty regimen.They shaped history.
Closer home, from Madhubala to Maharani Gayatri Devi, Ageless Rekha to Dream girl Hema Malini, million dollar smile Madhuri Dixit to light eyed Asihwarya Rai Bacchan, enthralled Indians by their beauty.
So how do you define Beauty?
It is interesting to note the definitions given in dictionaries :
According to Oxford, 'Beauty is the quality of being pleasing to senses'.
As per Longman's Dictionary 'Beauty is a quality that a person has that makes them very attractive to look at'.
Wikipedia delves deeper and describes : 'Beauty is a characteristic of a person...that provides a perceptual expeience of pleasure, meaning or satisfaction'.
Women have been known to use herbs and cosmetics since ancient times to accentuate their beauty. Applying henna on hands, using kohl to make the eyes look appealing, adorning gajras on their hair to look and smell beautiful, wearing ornaments to enhance their beauty has been the norm.
As a tribute to beauty, Beauty paegents became the norm. In every city, in every country beauty contests were held to crown the most beautiful woman. The Miss Universe Paegeant is an international event where women from across the world compete for the coveted crown. But over the years the definiton of beauty has evolved.
At first we had the 'Beauty Queen'. To qualify for the crown, you had to be blessed with physical attributes. A good height, an attractive face, a great mane and perfect vital stats.
Then we had the concept of 'Beauty with Brains'. In this, girls were shortlisted on basis of their introduction and poise. Out of these, five finalists were selected who were asked the same question.
Next and the current concept of beauty is 'Beauty with a Purpose'. To qualify for the crown, a girl has to have the triple combination of great looks, lots of grey matter and an ability to be an international ambassador to bring about a change in matters concerning our planet, which could be anything from Child Rights to Global Warming to HIV AIDS.
I personally feel that Real Beauty goes beyond the physical persona, deeper into her personality, encompassing her mind, heart and soul .
For too long ,the stereotype of a beautiful woman has been a face with symmetric facial features.It is universally accepted that a woman with a good looking face and a thin body is beautiful. I feel today the definition of conventional beauty needs to change. This obsessive commercialization of physical attributes is unrealistic. Look around yourself. How many perfect faces and perfect figures do you see in your neighborhood?
A woman who is comfortable with the natural features and body given to her by nature, and having the confidence to believe in herself is also beautiful. From there on, it is her mind and heart too that figure. A beautiful face with a hollow personality would not hold ones' interest, but an average looker with an attractive personality and an inner beauty of deeds will shine.
The winds of change are blowing. Companies like Dove are opting for 'real women' to market their products. And beautiful women talk about the importance of believing in yourself.
Real Beauty is an attribute that emanates from the Inside, reflecting on the Outside.
As Kahlil Gibran said :
'Beauty is not in the face; beauty is a light in the heart'.
I think the women below qualify to be called Really Beautiful:
The single Mum who never re marries as all her prospective suitors expect her to pack her kids to a Boarding school.
The working woman who juggles her career with her family, saving all her leaves for the year end, so that she could prepare her kids for exams.
The maid who works double shifts in hospitals to send her kids to college.
The homemaker who trudges miles in drought ridden areas to collect water for her family.
The woman who works night shifts in a call centre, re starting her career after raising her kids, to add to the family finances.
The woman who trades her gold earings to send her kids to college.
The doting Grand mum. From baby sitting to singing lullaby s, she showers so much love on her grand children that they are doubly blessed.
And last, but not the least the Homemaker . The unsung woman, who gives up her career to nurture a family, as the collective dreams of her family are more important to her than her personal aspirations. Undoubtedly she is a major contribution to society, if only her worth, her inner beauty is recognized.
It's beauty that captures your attention; personality which captures your heart.
Long after the physical beauty of a woman has faded with time, it is her inner beauty that makes her truly beautiful. One need not scale heights necessarily to be beautiful.It is small acts of love that add to her personality. Let us learn to look beyond good looks , poise, high IQ to her HEART. For that is where the Real Beauty of a woman lies!
This post is an entry fro the 'What Does Real Beauty man to you' by Indiblogger, Yahoo India and Dove. You can vote for me here. by clicking the 'FB Like' Button