Sunday, 18 April 2010

"there are no ugly women, only lazy ones."



I love the quote of this title. I am really interested in the falseness of beauty, our conceptions and social expectations of beauty. What really is beauty? And is it really artificial?

As far as I'm concerned, yes.

I am considered, generally, to be relatively attractive. And in society today, proclaiming that is considered to be some sot of vain, overly-self confident statment. But the fact is it's fairly true. It's like saying I'm average height (which I am), or that I have blonde hair. Why are we so scared (and intimidated by) women who are self aware of their own attractiveness?

The reason I am comfortable enough to say this is because I go to great lengths to ensure that I remain 'relatively attractive.' I don't wake up in the morning looking like this. I spend an hour getting ready most mornings. Washing, drying and styling my hair, doing my makeup and picking something to wear are all elements in insuring I look good. I have my hair cut and coloured every six to eight weeks, I spend a lot of money on clothes and makeup, I wear contacts as I feel more attractive than I do in my glasses, I watch what I eat and regularly exercise. All these elements are artificial, and they constitute my beauty, which is an artificial construction.

And most beauty is. Okay, there are a lot of lucky people who are naturally very attractive. But I am not one of them. It would be very easy for me to be ugly. And the reason I know that is because I have been. I was a fairly cute looking, but overweight child, who was frequently bullied for the way I looked and this led to the insecurities I have today. As a teenager I was awkward, and it took me some time to find myself. But part of me, lot of the time, is reminded of this chubby childhood and awkward growing up. I never felt attractive growing up, and that was because I wasn't.

My beauty takes a lot of effort. And many probably consider it unnecessary, but for me, it is necessary. I can't leave the house without makeup. I hate how ugly and ridiulous I feel in my work uniform.

Beauty is subjective, yes, and it is indeed in the eye of the beholder. But as far as I'm concerned, I do what I can to make sure I am the best me I can possibly be. And yes, this probably makes me shallow. But the truth is, I am incredibly and unbelievably insecure. And I need a layer of makeup, bright coloured hair and a nice outfit to give me a smidgen of confidence.

Is there anything wrong with that?

What are your opinions on beauty? Beauty is ever changing and concepts of beauty are always changing. I believe half the beautiful people in the world are not conventionally beautiful, but it is just something about them. But what is it?

Do you think people have a right to consider themselves to be attractive? I am the patron saint of self deprecation, and I think it is quite a British thing in terms of our humour. Is it okay to consider ourselves good at maths or sport, but not beauty?

What is beauty anyway? Aren't we all taught to believe we're all beautiful? Who sets these standards of beauty which we are supposed to abide by? I read a fantastic post here (oh my god that link just took me about 20 minutes to find!!) about who we trust to tell us we're beautiful. Do we trust boyfriends, friends, parents? Strangers? Do we trust the media and society?

Is it fair that I can be considered attractive once I've put on my makeup and done my hair, but not first thing in the morning?

Another one of my musings!!

Charlotte xx

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