What is Beauty?

Nothing is more attractive than a beautiful person whose image isn't the thing that draws you to them.

— Life is a Recipe

When you hear the word “beauty,” what is the first thing you think of? Was there an image or a person that seemingly popped into your mind automatically?

We normally associate beauty with perfection. The perfect body, the perfect skin, the perfect look, full lips, full lashes, full everything.

Sometimes, social media disrupts our notions of reality. We live in a society that thrives on our self-doubt and self-consciousness. It’s a society that worships and idolizes superficial lifestyles. The most popular television programs are those that are lifestyle and reality-based. They promote a reality that is far from realistic.

What makes them want to be painfully skinny and not celebrate the beautiful progression of age? One can’t help but wonder, what was lost inside? What is happening inside that propels a person to not want to age gracefully? I’m not saying that there is anything wrong with taking care of oneself. What I’m speaking of is when it becomes an obsession. When a person decides to alter themselves to conform to a certain standard of beauty, in essence they believe society’s message: You’re not enough.

The other day I was quite saddened when I met a dear friend for lunch. I always considered her to be a very beautiful woman. Not just on the inside, but also very attractive on the outside. She came for our lunch date, and I was shocked when I saw her face.

I could clearly see that she had filled in her beautiful eyelashes with false ones, which gave her eyes a slight raccoonish look. Her once natural lips protruded out almost duck-like in fashion. You know the look; it’s quite off-putting. Her flawless skin glowed but her expression was frozen in a perpetual gaze from all the Botox. But my heart went out to her. When did she lose the plot? How did she lose it? Here was one of the most attractive women I know – reduced to following what society defines as beauty.

I know this is a cliché, but most of what we consider beauty really is skin deep. It doesn’t have to be that way for us. If one knows themselves and is comfortable and confident in who they are, they carry a glow that’s unexplainable, but also undeniable.

Life is a Recipe - What is Beauty 2

I’ve spent time with people who may not look like society’s standard of beauty, but they are so confident in who they are and in what they have to offer that their personality radiates with joy. And joy is infectious and extremely attractive.

How does a woman deal with constant criticism and comparisons? Would our lives really be different or better if we looked like reality TV stars and fashion models that possess an almost unattainable idealized look? The world is constantly changing its definition of what beauty is, and if we don’t find inner beauty inside of us to center us, we allow society to exploit us.

When we believe what society tells us about beauty, and feverishly try to attain it, we allow ourselves to be manipulated into a form of slavery that instead of producing happiness, it engenders selfishness, vanity, and even lower self-esteem.

So what really is inner beauty? I read a quote once that read “Nobody will ever love you as much as an artist can. On your worst days, they will find poetry in the knots of your hair.”

An artist sees the world and creates something visually arresting by virtue of imagination. I think we often miss the art of existence, because every one of us is a work of art, perfectly flawed and odd, and unique, and unusual. These are what make real beauty. After all, how much value would a piece of fine art have if every person owned the same painting?


Life Recipe:
What is Beauty?

  1. Take a moment to prepare to look within yourself. Remove yourself from the busyness of the day and clear your thoughts.
  2. Note what your self-discouraging thoughts are and where they are coming from.
  3. Identify what's not true about those thoughts.
  4. Reconnect to the ideas about yourself that truly represent who you are.
  5. Think of one specific person who you have the power to encourage before the day ends. Follow through on this opportunity.

Lunch Recipe:
Pomegranate Raita

  • 1 tablespoon red onion (chopped, finely)
  • 1/3 cup Pomegranate seeds
  • 1 green chili (chopped, finely)
  • 1 tablespoon cilantro (chopped finely)
  • 2 large cucumbers
  • 2 cups of yogurt
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ teaspoon paprika
  • chili powder (to taste)
  • ¼ cup of Water

Instructions for Pomegranate Raita

  1. Take a large bowl and add in yogurt.

  2. Add cucumber, onions, chilies, cilantro and pomegranate seeds.

  3. Mix well.

  4. Add salt, paprika, cumin powder and chili powder.

  5. Stir.

  6. Chill for 25-30 minutes.

  7. Garnish with cilantro and pomegranate seeds.