We have been coached to abstract the idea of beauty as being perfect; Perfect physique, perfect eyes, perfect nose, perfect lips, and perfect hair – in other words, too perfect to be human.
It seems to me that once you have moved up your way to the top of the entertainment industry and have being elevated from being a mere human to a super-perfect star, then – and only then – can you be called “beautiful”.
The question of who decides who is beautiful is one that has always puzzled me. So I did a bit of investigating on my own. I asked around for my usual company to define beauty. I got answers like “J-Lo”, “Brad Pitt”, “Halle Berry”, and “Beyoncé”. In some instances, some even tossed out “Genevieve Nnaji” and “RMD”. I rest my case.
Does having a well-toned figure/physique, piercing brown eyes and high cheekbones make you beautiful? And if so, does that mean that I – with my ordinary looks – have lost out on this prestigious title?
The pressure to be perfect, created by media hype, has gotten numerous youths, especially the girls, into a frenzy – so much so that teenagers believe that worthiness is not their birthright. There’s the dieting, the fashion-consciousness – which is just a pseudonym for tighter tops and shorter skirts –, and the heart attack they almost get when a parent suggests a hair-cut. How on earth are they supposed to get Beyoncé’s flowing hair if they are visiting the barber every now and then? And I’m not even talking about the youngsters above their twenties. In the cosmetic surgery-jammed cities of Los Angeles and New York, you get 16-year-olds talking about getting nose jobs and tummy tucks. Whatever happened to “what counts on the inside matters” and “being pure of heart”?
Growing up, I had a cousin who was blessed with a tendency to be chubby and thick, short, unforgiving, stubborn hair (cursed with it more like, she always emphasized). But her mother always assured her that she was the most beautiful girl ever. But uh-uh…she knew better. When she got into secondary school, not even motherly love could pacify her insecurities that just got worse. She thought that if she could put on a little mascara, walk like Naomi Campbell, and fit herself into a dress that Mariah Carey would wear, she too could be called “beautiful”. She quickly learned that trying to meet everyone’s passive expectations was humanly impossible.
I’m not trying to disparage those fortunate ones who’ve been blessed with successes in the gene pool contest. In fact, I’m human enough to turn for a second look each time a girl with a stunning face and an arresting derrière walks by; or to sigh with envy whenever I see a guy with abs worthy of the Mr. World beauty pageant.
I’m also trying to encourage those of us with beauty imperfections. I’m saying that when someone asks you who you consider to be the most beautiful person in the world, you should majestically raise your chin, brush your shoulders off and reply, “Me!” Why? Because at the core of it all, you are perfect, whole and complete. God is your artist. He created you. You are His definitive work that can never be surpassed.