2 April 2013

Beauty, do you have it?

So today, whilst I should have been doing some of my final pieces of work before the Uni year is through, I have instead found myself deep in thought. I saw a lovely young girl on Twitter today talking about receiving hate (we'll get into that one later) and it made me very sad to see. And so I have spent the afternoon deep in thought, contemplation, confusion. I wanted to share those thoughts with you. I hope these come out in some sort of easy reading, understandable words, opposed to a mass of jumbled thoughts. We shall see.



Beauty. 

What is beauty?

According to the ever handy Internet...

"The quality present in a thing or person that gives intense pleasure or deep satisfaction to the mind, whether arising from sensory manifestations, a meaningful design or pattern, or something else entirely.

Pretty boring definition, isn't it? To be honest I find most 'dictionary' definitions of words to be really over-rated. 

Beauty can mean so many things. Yet it is one of the things we, both women and men alike, beat ourselves up over throughout our lives. Even from the moment we are born, the word beauty is thrown upon us. But why is it so important?

To me, in school, I learnt that beauty was for the popular girls and the lusted after boys. I spent years in various schools seeing girls who had what I thought I needed, and what I thought I wanted. Beautiful long hair, pale English rose skin, slim and petite figures. With beauty comes friends. Sure, even those ugly ducklings in us have friends, but let's be honest here - the beautiful people in school always had the more friends, they were more popular. Fast forward to my late teens where I start going out 'clubbing' (I actually detest that word) and it was still evident there. The beautiful girls got the attention, the drinks bought for them, that gorgeous boy who you spent all night drooling over? They got his number. The beautiful girls have it all...

Or so I used to think. I used to have an exceptionally distorted opinion on what beauty meant, what traits constituted a beautiful appearance. I have spent far too many years of my life wondering what other people think of my beauty. If I wore this outfit, would people think it suited me? If I wore my hair like that, would I be as beautiful as her? If I spent months dieting, making myself, let's be honest, utterly miserable because all I honestly want to do is eat a full English everyday, would I eventually become beautiful like that slim girl?

I even came to hate those who are blessed to be beautiful on the outside. I would resent people who had what I didn't, who looked a certain way which I couldn't achieve, who could pull of the trends I would never dream of even trying on in a shop dressing room. I wear makeup, because I don't think I have a beautiful face and I don't want to show my face bare to the World. I straighten my hair most days, because I grew up believing that curly hair wasn't the desired style of hair, but instead, smooth, sleek, long locks. I try and wear clothes that I feel myself in, but won't make me be laughed at and mocked by the crowds for - because trust me, if I felt I could, I'd happily spend every day in my pj's or my makeshift DIY Jack Daniels dress made from an XL men's t-shirt. But I don't. I don't brave the World bare faced, I don't always wear exactly what I would like and I spend far too much time worrying myself over 'putting my face on' and 'sorting out my hair' than I actually think is healthy. 

Beauty is an easy word to throw at someone to define who they are or what they are worth. But are we really doing any of us any favours by deciding who is and isn't beautiful? 

To me, when I meet someone new, I no longer look at them and think 'Oh my God this person is beautiful, they must be such a nice person, why can't I be like them!' Instead when I meet people I get to know them, I ask them about their interests, I see what I have in common with them. If we all spent forever making friends or associating with people based on beauty, well, the World and our lives would be pretty darn dull. And of course I know beauty isn't something that everyone holds in high regard. But it is so, so prominent in our society, in our everyday lives, in our thoughts and opinions, that no one can say beauty does not in some way or another, impact on their life.

We shouldn't be in a position where people think they have the right to decide someone else's beauty, and tied to that, their self worth. When I see hate spread around I often wonder whether the people doing it really even consider for a moment the affect a few words on the Internet can really do to someone. I doubt they do. So let's have a little honesty here. 

Not everyone will like everyone. I know that from first hand experience. There are people who strongly dislike me and for whatever reason, I, as a person, leave a sour taste in their mouth. There are people who find it right to spend their days either trying to find dirt on me or creating gossip about me, because that is what satisfies them and makes their day a little bit more worthwhile. There are people who will make up lies, come to assumptions and have a good little giggle among themselves about what a horrible person I must be. And that's fine - It really is. Everyday people say to me "I can't believe you don't say anything" and it leaves me wondering, shouldn't I care more? But I don't. I am happy to sit here and distinguish between real life and and trolls on the Internet. Trust me, I've had worse. I'm not the one making a fool out of myself. I'm not the one laughing and bitching and not realising how instead of making me look bad, you're actually showing people what you are really like. And I'm more than cool with that. But until you know someone, until you can say "I've sat down with this person, had a cup of tea and we spoke for hours about this that and the other", until then, you can make your assumptions, throw your accusations, but you don't know me. And that is the missing key. That is why bitter filled words will not affect me.

But there are people who words do affect. There are people who will see something said about them, be sent a message, read something, and it will emotionally and mentally break them. Some will shed a tear, others will find themselves in uncontrollable hysterics. Everyone deals with things differently. Everything has a reaction. Everything. The Internet was invented, among many things, to be a way for us to explore a World we could not reach, to connect with people no matter where they are. To learn. Why chose to use something so big and powerful to cause nothing but upset and destruction?

I don't care whether you are a size 8 or a size 28. I don't care if you're a pale beauty or woman of colour. I don't care if you are a bacon addict like me, or vegetarian or vegan. I don't care if you're blonde, brunette, ginger... You get the drift. One person's taste will never be the same as the next person's. We are all individual and unique human beings who deserve to be treated with respect, love, compassion. Be nicer to one another. Compliment friends. Encourage people. Give people the hope and confidence they might be lacking. Be a friend, not an enemy. 

You are beautiful.
YOU are beautiful.
We are ALL beautiful. 
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58 comments

  1. Awh this was a such a lovely post :) it has made me smile. you seem like such a lovely person! i love reading your blog and twitter and Instagram (OMG Stalker lol).
    There should be more people like you !
    Alex ox.
    http://champagneandlemonadeox.blogspot.co.uk

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    1. Thank you Alexandra :) And I am glad you enjoy my blog and other networks :) xo

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  2. I love this its so inspirational and everything youve said is completely correct, we should be supporting, getting to know and making friends with each other not tearing each other down :) this is so posisitive and not negative at all! Great post, i really enjoyed it xx

    Www.beautyeverafter.net

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    1. Thank you! I'm really glad you enjoyed the post. I definitely agree - We should all be more supportive and positive towards each other! xo

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  3. So true. I really believe in the old cliche that 'beauty comes from within' ... I think that if a person is lovely on the inside, they appear beautiful on the outside. No matter how physically beautiful a person is, if they act in a horrible way, they begin to appear ugly inside and out. I also think that magazines, airbrushing and plastic surgery have gone too far and promote a totally unrealistic concept of beauty which can be particularly damaging to young girls who think that they should look like that.

    (long comment!) Sophie xxx
    I left my heart in Miami

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    1. I agree Sophie. Beauty isn't just what we can see on the outside! Magazines do far too much airbrushing for my liking. It's OK if you can distinguish between models and real life girls (not that models aren't real life girls too, but it's their career to look a certain way) and it can be very negatively influential on vulnerable men and women alike! xo

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  4. I loved this post! We're all unique diverse individuals and beauty should never be one certain look. Everyone is beautiful! There is one thing I do believe though and that is that if you have a beautiful personality then people will see that and it shines through. A pretty painting is great to look at but soon gets boring, personality is truly what makes a person beautiful and being bubbly and confident are quite possibily the best qualities a person can have.

    Gem x
    http://www.gemmameansjewel.com

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    1. Thank you Gem, I'm really glad you enjoyed the post :) And I completely agree with you! xo

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  5. Great post! I admire you're honesty, Ive felt like you but ive never been brave enough to voice my opinions.
    xoxox

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    1. Thank you Sophie. Why not try writing a post about how you feel? I am sure it would be positively welcomed :) xo

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  6. This made me have big grins. I'd have tea with you any day, no matter what we may come away thinking about the other.

    Have a lovely day!

    ~M~

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    1. Thank you! I am glad this post made you smile and that you enjoyed it! Tea is a great way to get to know someone :) xo

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  7. Such a lovely post Sophia! There is soooooo much emphasis on how we look in today's society and it really does drive me loopy!! I wish everyone could accept people for the person they are and not how they look. We can't choose the way we look and our DNA after all. I've had many an insult nd prediction thrown at me for being a slim blonde haired blue eyed girl but if people really got to know me they'd realise I'm probably the exact opposite of what they think!! I try to have the same mind set as you and never judge people unless they've given me a reason to (i.e insulted/hurt or upset me or someone close to me). I really wish more people could take these views on board - the world would be a much happier place if they did and us girls could stop spending so much time worrying about our appearance and things that really don't matter in the grand scheme of things!!

    Fabulous post - absolutely loved it!!

    Xx.

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    1. Thank you Kayleigh, I'm really glad you enjoyed the post! I am the same - I wish we could be more accepting of everyone, no matter what they looked like. More fool those who judge you before they know you and assume they know what sort of person you are because of your appearance. Here's hoping one day more people think like you, I and all the other people who have commented here, because we'd certainly all be much happier! xo

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  8. A beautiful post darling, thank you so much for sharing this. I was eager to read as I'm currently organising a 'Dare to Bare' feature with make-up free snaps of beauty, fashion bloggers and anyone who loves make-up etc. I want people to feel and know that with or without make-up you're beautiful.

    Elizabeth xo

    www.candyflosscurlscupcakesandcouture.com

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    1. Thank you Elizabeth, I'm really glad you enjoyed it. Your 'Dare to Bare' feature sounds fabulous! xo

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  9. Very spot on post! Without a doubt society's perception of beauty and its importance needs to change drastically.

    Charlotte x

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    1. Thanks Charlotte, I agree! But I think it will be a long time, if ever, until it does! xo

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  10. Amazing post, all very honest and very true about how beauty is perceived now which is quite sad to what it really is. Love it

    Rhiannon x

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    1. Thank you Rhiannon, I'm glad you enjoyed the post. xo

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  11. I love this post love.Amazing lady that you are ;)
    xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

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    1. Thank you Wendy, really glad you enjoyed it xo

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  12. Lovely post. You have always come across as such a strong confident person its surprising that your not and feel the need to put your face on. Not that that's a bad thing.

    I can relate to the going out clubbing. I have always been the fat friend and the one with the camera mainly so I can control what photos of me get made public.

    I have never really worn make up and actually feel more conscious when I wear it as I wonder if people are thinking who is she trying to impress. I wear it on a night out. But day to day it's not for me.

    I've never really had am issue with hiding behind clothes and have been on nights out where I've been wearing the same as a thinner person and seen them walk out or away from me! Not entirely sure what I make of that I mean they clearly looked far better than I did.

    Ok epic comment is over. Xxx

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    1. Thank you Stefi! Oh I can seem very confident on the outside, but I have more than a few of my own insecurities! It's just all about putting on a brave face and a smile and facing each day as best you can in spite of those insecurities! I won't let them spoil my life! :) I was the same with going out - I'd take the photos or control what photos were taken and shared of me! I am still the same now, in any situation involving a camera! Thanks so much for your comment Stefi xo

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  13. This is such an amazing, inspirational post! I agree with everything you have written :) I hate it when people pre-judge others by their appearance but I feel in this day and age, that's normal which I really don't like and I don't think it should be normal to do that! xx

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    1. Thank you Becky. I agree. It's become completely acceptable for people to judge and make remarks on someones appearance, and hardly anyone bats an eyelid. And that's not right! We all need to learn to be more than a little kinder to each other xo

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  14. Brilliant post Sophia - sounds like once you started you just had to keep going until it all came out! I've been there - I expect we all have in some way or another. I suppose as I'm getting older I'm starting to worry less about what people think and just do my own thing - (not completely - it's still there deep down)! I just don't 'get' the nastiness - it's destructive and I've got no time for it. So much more rewarding to be positive and spread good things rather than bad! Next time there's a bloggers meet up I'm doing my best to get there and have a cup of tea or two with you! xx

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    1. Thank you Jenny :) Definitely, I never intended for the post to be this long haha! :) I think as I get older, I too worry less. I certainly have less worries than I did five years ago anyway! But I suppose that just comes with maturing and the more life experience you gain! But some things definitely stick with us and I don't think everything can be dealt with just by each individual. I would adore to meet you at a future meetup! :) xo

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  15. I think we can all relate to some aspects of this post at some point in our life or another. Its easy to get jealous of the slim girl, the pretty girl but at the end of the day they probably have equally as many insecurities as you and I. The fact that you learnt that being jealous and resentful gets you no where is great and more people should think like this rather than immediately judging someone based on their appearance.

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    1. Thank you Becky, I'm glad to hear you agree xo

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  16. THIS!!! Oomph. How right you are. More people need to have your mindset. It drives me positively potty when I hear people passing judgement on others they have never spoken to. I really did enjoy this post, and I hope it reaches many more eyes and inspires a few more old souls. xxxx

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    1. Thanks Zoe, I'm glad you enjoyed the post! I agree - I do not understand how you can judge someone who you do not know. But that is a problem with social networking sites - People see a tweet or see someone else making a remark about someone, and take it for Gospel! It's a bit ridiculous to be honest! xo

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    1. Thank you gorgeous :) Glad you enjoyed it! xo

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  18. It's so important that people like you are saying that this isn't ok, is there a single person, using the Internet to communicate on a public platform, either through a blog, or YouTube, or Instagram or similar that doesn't get abuse from people who are otherwise strangers? It makes me hesitant to do things that I want to do with my blog, because of the obligatory trolling that it seems ill have to put up with. I'm relatively thick skinned, but I stew on things and over think a lot and I wonder if it'll be worth all of the stress. Hopefully, if it happens, I'll develop a healthy attitude like yours xx

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    1. Thank you Ashleigh. I think a lot of people can feel put off of saying what they want to, or doing what they want, in fear of the backlash that 'keyboard warriors' may throw at them. But you just have to say 'F'it!' and do it. I am the same - Pretty thick skinned on the outside, but inside and how I deal with things inside is a different story! xo

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  19. Spot on girl, My perception was the popular girls are the prettiest, that being the tomboy odd ball wasn't all that. My husband who I met at this time said for the person I wasn't like the normal ( I was happinest rough housing with the lads and laughing - lots of laughing).
    I was held back that I wasn't beautiful enough to do a beauty course. Its only now as I finish my make up BTEC that it has nothing to do with.
    Beauty is and always will be in the eye of the beholder. X

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    1. Thank you Helen, glad you agree! I am glad you aren't letting things hold you back anymore! And massive congratulations for going out there and doing your makeup BTEC! xo

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  20. Great post Sophia. I wish I was as daring now as I was as a teenager. It's strange to think that I used to have shaved leopard print hair and had so many piercings, I know I still don't look 'mainstream' (eugh what a word) because of my tattoos and 'style' but I am much more conscious when I go out of not wanting to look too out of place in fear of hearing comments about my appearance, but I think a lot of that comes from being plus size too. Then I catch myself and think, you will never get universal approval for anything you do be it how you look, what you do, what muaicyou like etc so why worry, just do what makes you happy!

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    1. Hey Nancy :) Thanks for popping over and reading my ramble! I'm glad you liked the post! I think we've both changed a huge amount, for the better, over the years. There were times I'd go down the Phantom or Echos and completely go out being out there and as visually out there as I could. Now I don't see where I ever got the energy, or cared enough, to do all of that! But I often miss how care-free I felt back then! You are a beautiful, creative and wonderful woman, never forget that! xo

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  21. Such a thought provoking post, i think we have all been guilty of comparing ourselves, it is basic human nature, but you are right, it doesn't mean you aren't valid as a human being, just because you might not match the 'popular' ideal of beauty, as they say beauty is in the eye of beholder. and you are beautiful inside and out.x

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    1. Thank you Becky. We are all beautiful inside and out :) xo

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  22. I keep coming back to this post because I want to comment but don't know what to say. This post is fantastic, you have a wonderful way with words. People on the internet regularly manage to disgust and anger me. A blogger I know who is recovering from an eating disorder gets comments about "piling on weight", it's disgusting how some people act. Sorry, off topic a little there.
    Beauty to me, is in most people in some way,inside or out. Yes there are certain looks I gravitate towards more, but just because someone isn't attractive to me physically doesn't mean they're not beautiful.

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    1. Thank you Katie, that means a lot. I'm really glad the post was an enjoyable read. That is really awful :( I don't understand how or why people would be like that. But it's remarkable how brave and cocky people feel on the Internet. xo

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  23. I spent so long thinking "I'll be happy when" based on people's views on what I looked like and what I weighed. Now I no longer care what people think. I look the same, but now I'm happy. Great post, agree with every word.

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    1. Thank you Vicky, really glad you enjoyed the post and glad to hear you are happier now! xo

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  24. I know exactly what you mean :) I have felt like this for ages, and I eventually thought being happy is what is beautiful :) Great post :) Livi :) xo

    beaumaquillagex.blogspot.co.uk

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    1. Thank you Livi, I am glad you enjoyed the post xo

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