During my commute to Manhattan on the Express Bus one early morning, I had the firm and also pleasure of reviewing the March issue of Appeal publication. I started by reviewing the Letter from the Editor Linda Wells as well as stumped upon this striking tag line, the “pursuit of elegance”. Linda discusses this phenomenon to be just like the search of the American Dream. It is “a right to figure out as well as boost our necessary selves, psychologically and also physically … that goes beyond gender, course, race, age as well as sexual preference.” I thought to myself, “this is so real!” What person today does not want to be and also really feel beautiful? There is no doubt, that we as people are really conscious our physical looks and will certainly do anything to get or to preserve our personal appeal. Our insatiable requirement for all things “beauty” shows that we are done in complete pursuit and also unapologetically so.
According to dictionary.com charm is “the top quality present in a thing or person that provides extreme pleasure or offers deep satisfaction to the mind.” This psychological bond to pleasure discusses why charm plays such a significant component in our lives. We can’t assist ourselves in the existence of points or individuals that contact us to our perceptiveness. Physical elegance, though a matter of preference and also point of view is also identified by culture’s views. In the majority of cultures, the presence of proportion or equilibrium is a figuring out element of beauty because it recommends the lack of “problems” or “flaws”. Face equilibrium, complexion, body shape and also dimension, along with youthfulness are all standardizations of charm. The characterization of beauty however, can not be recognized without likewise recognizing that charm has an additional side to it – One that is not so physical, however instead metaphysical (a much more intangible element ). We can not always see or touch it, yet its presence is indisputable. Keeping that being stated, we can not exclude mental elements such as individuality, knowledge, politeness, beauty or personal appeal as establishing factors in identifying charm.
As I researched more into this appeal craze, I stumbled upon some extremely interesting findings. To my shock, (ok perhaps not so stunned) researchers have actually found that having physical attractiveness can be rather prominent in a person’s life. A person who is taken into consideration to be lovely is most likely to get greater qualities, obtain far better care from their medical professionals, obtain lighter prison sentences as well as earn more money. As if we don’t have enough issues on the planet today, now we understand that uncontrollable factors like our God-given charm or “lack thereof”, is just an additional social obstacle to include in our listing. Whether we acknowledge it or not, and also whether we do this consciously or automatically, this sort of “lookism” has plagued our culture for several years as well as can drop some light on the depth of shallowness that exists in our world today.
This challenging reality certainly impacts just how we view ourselves in addition to others. The pictures we see on tv additionally determine what we take into consideration to be gorgeous as well as is the driving force in the direction of this search for perfection. We invest countless bucks as well as an impossible time buying online or at the shopping malls, acquiring all type of charm products, making nail, hair, face and also botox appointments, reviewing fashion magazines and also taking specific note of what our favorite stars are wearing, doing and making use of to remain slim, vibrant and yes, beautiful.
Let’s not forget, that there was once a time when we were all mystified by the beautiful models and celebrities, who flawlessly walked the red carpets and flanked the covers of magazines effortlessly, or at least so it seemed. We dreamed about being them and looking like them, thinking they were born perfectly that way. Thanks to our growing obsession with celebrity-life, the shameless and countless invasions of privacy through reality tv, the social networks and the “tell-all” craze, we now not only have the information and the knowledge but also access to the once “top secret” sometimes extreme, physical enhancers.
Don’t get me wrong, the “pursuit of beauty” doesn’t have to mean a trip to a plastic surgeon, nor is it an elusive commodity accessible to only to the rich and famous. We can all be physically beautiful! The multi-billion-dollar beauty industry has made sure to fulfill our every beauty need by bombarding us with a plethora of products and services geared towards making us feel and look younger and more beautiful. The opportunities and resources available to us are endless in this department. We have products that make us look younger, products that make our skin smoother, products that make our stomachs flat, products that make our lips plumper, products that give us fuller hair, products that make our lashes longer and thicker, stylists, eyebrow threaders, makeup artists, fashion trends that change every season, adornments like earrings, necklaces, tattoos, hats, etc we all use these things to enhance our personal beauty and attractiveness in some way.
The truth is, however, our pursuit of beauty is not just about exploiting our “sexual capital”. It’s not just the physical aspect of beauty that enamors us. We are in search of a combination between the seen and the unseen – The physical (outer) and the psychological (inner) because they both thrive off each other. I like many, believe that true beauty comes from within. Inner beauty in my definition is that undeniable, profound light that shines from you and onto the world. It is your aura, your spirit, the stamp you leave behind after someone meets you for the first time. My father likes to refer to this intangible, spiritual side of our human nature as the “inner man” or “woman”. Though this “inside beauty” may come easier to some than others, it is the beginning stages to fulfilling this intrinsic desire for physical satisfaction or happiness.
If psychologically we can find the power and confidence to see ourselves as beautiful no matter what, then the world would have no choice but to view us that way. Any physical imperfections that we may think we possess can disappear. Possessing internal beauty is the foundation of the pursuit of beauty. After all, we know that with age physical beauty disappears and there are many uncontrollable forces that can easily take away or lessen our physical beauty, like a severe accident or disease for example. Inner beauty comes from a deeper place. It oozes from your heart and soul and serves as a complementary component to physical beauty.
So why this urgency to want to be beautiful? What lies beneath this so-called pursuit? What is it that moves us into the hunt for near perfection? The truth is, the pursuit of beauty is in fact the pursuit of happiness – they are one and the same. Though Linda refers to this pursuit as being “distinctly American”, to me, it is more so, undeniably human. Whether it is a physical or psychological improvement to ourselves, we are all in search of this completeness. It is a calling to being someone bigger and better than we’ve ever been. It’s about walking out your door everyday feeling like a ray of sunshine, confident with every step you take. It is a goal, a standard to set, that once achieved, is rewarded with a lifetime of confidence, self-assurance, pride, grace, poise and enthusiasm for life.
We, therefore, can not deny that we are in a new era, where beauty and the acquisition of it, is no longer an enigmatic, perplexing phenomenon, but rather an expression of one’s pride and self-esteem. Beauty has now become a lifestyle, and we have learned that physical beauty can not stand on its own, we can only enhance it. It is only when there is complete synergy between the physical (outer beauty) and the psychological (inner beauty) working in complete balance with each other like yin and yang, can we safely say we’ve achieved our goal in this pursuit of beauty and ultimately happiness.