The Quest


In one way or another, we as a race are in search of beauty. The physical beauty in ourselves, the kind of beauty we connect internally with, beauty in the symmetry of life, beauty in uncertainty/ adventure and above all the beauty in the mundane.  We endlessly and tirelessly pursue beauty openly or incidentally because beauty is the tangibility of love. Just as the definition of love eludes us, beauty too cannot be outlined into a singularity. This long explanation boils down to the simple phrase ‘beauty is in the eye of the beholder’; which has been taught and drilled into our heads as children. However, as I get older, I realize that for something said so often and learned so early in life we as a species have failed to recognize and accept that everything is beautiful.

It’s amazing how lately I’ve been coming across people who don’t love themselves. Individuals who loathe themselves! It rakes my brain all the time. The saddest are the ones who don’t even “like” themselves. Every now and then I hear or read about people who had to go through hell to finally acknowledge the existence of their beauty: internal and external. As if said beauty is the princess at the end of a Super Mario game. It is who we are, not some treasure we are rewarded with upon concluding a quest. We are and will always be born beautiful; worthy and extraordinary. I know that, thankfully. However, this makes me wonder who or what has created such an outbreak of self-doubt and displeasure? Who is/ are to blame for people who feel bad about themselves? For individuals who do not deem themselves worthy of the word ‘beautiful’?

                “Often times, the world both, directly and indirectly, tells us that we shouldn’t be happy with ourselves if we don’t fit a certain standard. Scars to your beautiful is a reminder that beauty isn’t only one look, shape, size or color. It isn’t even always tangible. It comes in an endless amount of forms and we need to acknowledge that”- Alessia Cara, Scars to your Beautiful.

It is easy to blame mainstream media, after all, they only advocate a single appearance, semblance, and look. It is always the slender, tall, fair beauties that make center stage; and if you don’t fit the criteria, they make you look the part. That has come not to bother me rather it has become common and ordinary; because even forever loses its appeal if you are guaranteed immortality.
 I wonder if these standards of beauty started out to make those with these attributes feel good about themselves? Or, are these beauty standards used to marginalize and control beauty itself or just to commercialize it? I wonder about this because historically every human tribe and clan had its own sui generis definition of beauty. And the fact that somehow today beauty has been trimmed to one or two variations is a thought we all should ponder upon.

I sure do not have answers to these questions. In actuality, I don’t think the answers truly matter. What I do think matters is the highlighting of the infinite faces of beauty in our societies, and celebrating them with equal vigor. This is why every campaign or initiative whether Dove’s beauty campaigns or DNCE’s Toothbrush music video is a step towards the right direction. It is so easy to forget and push away reality when it comes to our own beauty. However, one must remember just as light cannot exist without darkness, that ugliness or our perception of it cannot exist exclusively without something of beauty.

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