The scandal du jour is Harvey Hollywood Weinstein. Just typing this cretin’s name on my page repulses me. This type of news doesn’t usually pique my interest in the slightest until today, when I stumbled across the first well articulated article related to it: Mayim Bialik’s Op-Ed in The New York Times.
The arguments Mayim has raised pertinent to her headline are not in question or up for debate. She raises sage points and I’d recommend reading it if only for the prudent way of life she has adopted which has kept her dignified and protected from the perils of the likes of sexual predators like Weinstein and co. The only shortcoming I find with her article is on the subject of what constitutes a perfect 10 on the undefinable scale of external beauty.
The subject of a person’s physical appearance has earned its own category within the mental health sphere and with a new generation of children who have never lived outside of the digital age, the concern and widespread discontent with looks and appearances living up to some airbrushed and heavily filtered standard is leading to considerable dissatisfaction amongst today’s youth.
I do not consider myself a “beauty” queen by society or by anyone’s standards and I don’t even really care to. I don’t know what external beauty represents because the picture of beauty that I have grown up to build within my mind is characterised by virtue of a person’s actions, kindness and strength of character. You cannot paint inward beauty on a canvas.
Numerous commentators posit and infer that a perfect 10 on the scale of beauty is essentially someone that turns heads. Well if all it takes for society to turn their heads is the exterior, then society is particularly shallow indeed.
My simple but resounding truth is this:
I am a perfect 10.
Sometimes I put make up on to pronounce certain features and some people tell me I look beyond a perfect 10, how marvellous. Sometimes their compliments affect me and my ego swells. Until I wash my face and wonder whether that has somehow made me less? But I don’t feel less inside, except for the fleeting ego boost I allowed myself to accept earlier.
Other times I wake up and put nothing on my face and some people (one person: my mother) tell me I already am a perfect 10, how marvellous. You know who I believe? My mother. She’s not the bias kind, you see. She is my biggest critic and my muse all in one. In a world full of falsehoods beginning with false (though I’m sure well-intended) praise and reaching to the upper echelons of invented fabrications, my mother gave me the gift of seeing simple truths and in doing so (sometimes successfully) blocking my ears from societies misconceptions of beauty that serve none other than the beauty industry, reconstructive surgeons and pharmaceutical conglomerates capitalising on the insecurities and subsequent depression of the masses.
Here is the simple truth: my nose functions, my eyes function, my mouth functions (sometimes excessively so), my ears function, my eyebrows function (sometimes expressively so), my teeth function. You don’t like the kink in my nose, the overlap in my front teeth, the shade of my skin, the size of my forehead? I don’t really care. I’m liberated from your opinion of my God given exterior visage. Even if I could “fix” anything with the tap of my index finger, I wouldn’t touch anything. Every single part of me (and you!) was designed by the One who created the Heavens and the Earth and everything in between. Why would I alter the fabric with which He lovingly wove me, when every part of me functions to it’s perfect capacity?
Repeat after me:
I am not beautiful by society’s definition or subjective standard of beauty, I do not measure my self worth by the number of likes and comments validating my Instagram selfies, I am not defined by the subjective standard of beauty promulgated by the same institutions that profit from contributing to the manifestation of artificial insecurities.
If the sum of all parts of you function, you are nothing short of the perfect 10.
Put the contour sticks down and paint your insides with the pages of books and the colours of the world by living life outside the frames of shallow mirrors and beauty standards dictated by those that seek to profiteer from your insecurities.
I am far from a perfect 10 inside, but I will never think I am less than a 10 externally because I believe that 10 is the standard formation of us all. The focus, therefore, must really be on perfecting the inward up to a perfect 10 rather than wasting precious time on an external facade that you will never be satisfied with if you continue to abide by society’s definition of it. If it works, performs it’s function, there is nothing imperfect about your outward appearance.
Contentment comes from polishing the inward blemishes not the outward.
“Beauty is not in the face; beauty is a light in the heart.” – Kahlil Gibran