Beauty Redefined

by Genjourist Divi Gupta



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Beauty, as defined by the Oxford dictionary, is ‘a combination of qualities giving pleasure to the sight, mind etc.’ Now, there is absolutely no mention that this combination of qualities have to be perfect as a prerequisite. So, it’s a mystery how we’ve developed a habit of associating beauty with perfection. Is perfection just a path that makes us feel bad about ourselves?

Beauty is a subjective concept and is multi-dimensional depending upon the knowledge of the observer. For instance, beauty, as perceived by a particle physicist, would be completely different from a traveller who would eventually find beauty in slow speed so he could appreciate the scenery, while for a Formula 1 driver, high speed and completing the race as quickly as possible would be viewed as beautiful. Another thing that one’s perception of beauty depends on, is the mental state of the observer. Insufficient concentration or simply not being in the right mood are some such examples that can hamper one’s appreciation of beauty.

Beauty is a state of progress, a phase of development. It is a picture before the artist has carved it out. It is beautiful, therefore, in its time and place. Thus, imperfection in a godly life is really perfection in an incomplete state.

If what we get attracted to is always perfect, eventually getting bored of its perfection is inevitable. Flaws are what make things interesting. They challenge us and in the process, we make some beautiful memories worth cherishing forever. Moreover, nothing that is perfect ever grows.

Across almost the whole world, autumn is considered the most beautiful time of the year. But have you ever wondered why? The leaves spread out on the ground in a haphazard manner isn’t perfect. Neither is an old swing set with chipped paint and wobbly legs. But we still find it beautiful and are reluctant to throw it away for the memories and sentiments attached to it. Similarly, a blossom is beautiful, although compared with the ripe, luscious fruit it seems very imperfect. Or a child, who is not yet a man possessing skill, wisdom, or strength. However, who blames a child for his incompleteness, immaturity or imperfectness? There is beauty in him being imperfect. Same as there is in a child’s smile which can light up the whole room even if he has the front two teeth missing!

Beauty begins the moment we embrace our imperfections as our best features. It is when we drop our act of perfection and reveal our odd, quirky self instead. When we follow our impulses and let our emotions take over. When there’s the wind in our hair making it fly out in all directions and we’re laughing so openly, we sound like an animal growling. Or when we’re singing at the top of our lungs in an imperfect note.

And when we accept the imperfect life and find joy in the little moments of triumph. Media plays a crucial role in influencing the concept of beauty in our minds. Media has defined for us what beauty is, and what it isn’t. It creates an illusion of what beauty is through the TV, movies, and magazines. Even though beauty is a subjective concept, people in the society still feel they need to conform to certain ideals to look beautiful.

These ideals are the ones established by the media over the years. The media and the beauty industry work hand in hand and thrive off the socially constructed insecurities and perceived flaws of people. They influence people in such a way that people undergo surgeries to fix the flaws they don’t actually have. Media has conditioned people to think that any imperfection is a major flaw that needs to be altered and if not altered, they are not beautiful. Therefore, campaigns like the Dove Real Beauty Campaign need to be encouraged. It is a great example to show how people tend to have a different view of what they really look like. Most women in the campaign defined their beauty in the way they feel and not in the way they actually look like or in the way people really see them.

Chasing perfection to find beauty is a journey with no destination. We need to embrace the imperfections. Perhaps, we really need to stop learning the concept of beauty from fairy tales and start believing it by looking at our reflection in the mirror instead.

So, let’s redefine beauty. Let’s think of it as something in which we find pleasure and little imperfections every day so that we never lose interest. Let’s learn that perfection isn’t what matters. In fact, it’s the very thing that can destroy us if we let it.

Let’s take pride in being a ‘Beautiful Disaster’.


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