Monday, June 30, 2008


It is of no doubt that most of us have heard or used this proverb more than once in life. This phrase is intellectually deep and indeed beautiful in thought. Yet in today’s society, how true is it? How many people actually believe that beauty is but skin deep? How practically realistic is this phrase?

It is a fact that underneath our skins, we’ve nothing pretty-mere flesh and blood wrapped around our skeletons. We all know this but the majority of us tend to forget this in life thus making the statement “Beauty is but skin deep” sheer myth.

We live in a society where, in my opinion, most people have a much distorted image about “beauty” (I will focus on female beauty since most of our male counterparts have not yet reached a die-hard-NEED-to-be-handsome level). Supermodels, actresses, beauty queens and soap opera stars are our “model” beauties and the benchmarks for being ‘beautiful’. Yet people seem to forget one major public secret about all these goddesses-that they have the money, expertise, time and commitment to live half their lives in beauty salons, parented by make-up artists and fashion designers, and married to cosmetics and hair care (because in their case, being beautiful is what ensures pay).

Our society today, defines a beautiful woman to have fair skin, healthy looking hair with a few highlights, a slim champagne glass figure with the right sized breasts, waists and hips complimented with well maintained fingernails, toenails, etc.

Most of us, subconsciously or not, tend to think of fairness and slimness as ‘beautiful’. Well then, what about those dark skinned people and those of us who have some spare kilos and curves.

A dark face, in 75% of situations, is perceived to be unclean and unattractive. A ‘fat’ figure is not, in many cases, given a second look (except may be in a jeering manner) because it is automatically labeled ‘ugly’.

Fair or not, these are facts of today’s beauty scenario. Who sets these measures? Fashion designers, advertisers, Holly Wood….? Whoever it is, we find many so-called-non-beautiful women caught in dilemmas of low self esteem and weak personalities. The question arises as to whether these so-called-less-fortunate-beauties nourish their ‘non-beautiful’ label given by society, by thinking themselves that they’re not beautiful. This negative perception once felt, will register deep down in our minds and bodies and will cast its shadow in almost all our activities; socializing, employment, courting, marriage, “fitting in”,etc

In my view, it is more tragic to have negative thoughts about your own self than other people having them about you. Why waste time grumbling and shattering your dreams thinking about changing others’ perspectives when you can actually change the way you perceive yourself? If one doesn’t think one’s beautiful, how can one except someone else to?

My personal belief may not count much yet I strongly deem that true beauty is about being happy and proud to be who you are, irrespective of what you look like. Confidence carries a lot of weight in ‘feeling’ beautiful and that’s what really matters. It is a fact that one’s feelings are portrayed by one’s looks, self conduct and behaviour. So an unhappy, low confident woman cannot be expected to ‘look’ good either. It doesn’t matter if you’re slightly curvaceous, fairly dark, shorter or taller than average measures or not up to ‘beauty’ standards in any way, as long as you respect and love yourself, you will be beautiful. This is not the temporary kind of beauty, rather the everlasting kind that will not decline with the years.

Just think. Between a Rose and a Jasmine, which looks more beautiful? Which smells sweeter? What really matters in a flower-looks or fragrance?Beauty lies in the eye of the beholder, thus no one can truly define ‘beauty’. Yet no one can label one as ‘beautiful’ and the other as ‘not beautiful’ either.


  1. I agree with you that beauty is indeed skin deep, and underneath we are all bone,flesh,blood etc.

    But I disagree with the fact that our perception of beauty has been conditioned by soap operas, super models etc.

    Beauty is what we humans define as being biological attractiveness or in more simple terms whether you are biologically 'successful' or not.

    For example a woman with an hourglass figure, shiny hair and fingernails is more likely to be healthier than a woman who doesn't posses these traits.. in short beauty helps us decide whether one is biologically healthy or not w/o having to go through the medical records of the opposite sex.

    Therefore our perception of beauty or attractiveness changes over time... for example a few centuries back a large stomach was considered endearing as it represented wealth and prosperity.
    However today we associate a large stomach with disease, as our knowledge of the inner workings of the human body grows so does our sense of what is considered beautiful.

    For example I would find a woman with perfectly done hair, fingernails and good dress sense more attractive than a woman who does not, as it represents a degree of sophistication and class.
    While also illustrating the amount of attention a woman devotes onto oneself... a woman that doesn't take care of herself, would also not be very skilled at juggling home and work effectively, raising children etc.

  2. Well I was going to have a post just like this... but you beat me to it!

    OK I agree with you on a lot of stuff and it's true that Hollywood has made the 'normal' person be a WASP (White Anglo Saxon Protestant.

    Almost all action heroes are white dudes. It seems like everyone should be white, and it bothers me more that there is not only cream for women to look fairer, but also men!

    This obsession with a fair woman seems to be more of an Asian thing, because from my experiences abroad guys will go ape shit over a hot dark skinned woman. Personally I've seen hot women of all colours and even shapes.

    The colour of your skin doesn't matter, but we're all still reeling from the after effects of colonial mentality where being white was best.

    And I'm aware that Hollywood HAWT women are all just mirages (another post idea gone... sigh).

    But I may yet save the rest for another post and another day!

  3. hmmm....interesting discussion u guys have ere..well have to agree with all ya...but bawa i dnt think most in our society looks at women that way,most tend to look at the situation jus as Horton explained, mere beauty....

  4. personally i find tanned women way hotter than fair women..

    but just fort the record fairness is a sign of biological superiority among women, as it enables them to synthesize Vitamin D better than dark skinned women.

  5. well bawa, about your first comment, in my opinion BEAUTY should NOT definitely be confined to outer beauty (biological beauty).. what i believe is that Beauty is all about who you are underneath.. your values and basically your innerself..

    also, you may find that in MANY (not all) cases, a true woman with all the qualities we expect of her will not be one who indulges herself in looking beautiful.. rather she is someone who works hard to be beautiful inside.. remember,most roses have thorns...

  6. looking forward to your post on that foxhound..