Beauty! What a misnomer. The word has managed to build a multi-billion industry with a particular focus on the beauty that any naked eye can see i.e. external beauty. The industry has everything and anything your money can buy to fit your description of beauty. In the era of the Kardashians, fuller lips, bigger butts, smaller waists and bleached straight hair seem to be the trend. We go out of the way to try and paint the picture that we have beauty through makeup, fancy and/or trendy clothes and for some even through plastic surgery. In essence, directly or indirectly, we are made to believe that our identity is centred on our physical appearance.
I find this kind of beauty very challenging because of its fluidity. Society has always determined what is considered beautiful; thus no consistent or objective measure of beauty. Even in terms of science, I am yet to come across some conclusive scientific research that objectively measures it. The ideal beauty over the years has changed dramatically. For example, during the Victorian era, the yardstick of a beautiful woman was one who had a slightly high BMI (Body Mass Index) aka “big boned” or overweight. Certainly, there’s a risk that comes with living up to society’s standards of beauty and even worse pinning our identity, self-worth and self-esteem on our physical appearance. You can only have so many plastic surgeries and so many operations to “fix” yourself: What happens the day it all doesn’t work?
While we spend more time and money to tweak our outer selves, very little of us take the time to nurture or work on our inner beauty.
This is an important yet overlooked aspect of beauty. In recent years, we have seen the rise of the “you’re beautiful” body image movement with catchy lines like “you’re beautiful, no matter what they say” from Christina Aguilera’s hit song. The campaigns are advocating for people to find beauty and comfort in themselves no matter what they look like; advocating for inner beauty. I’ve heard people say, inner beauty is something ugly people say to make themselves feel good.
But inner is possibly the only true and solid beauty one should be worrying about!
Am sure we’ve all come across the prettiest girl in the room with the most f’ed up inner self and it all comes out through their attitude towards other people. They have little or no regards for the everyday common courtesies. What if I told you that by merely practising the common courtesies our parents grew up drilling in us, you could shine your inner beauty?
Did you know that by being courteous to the next person, you could instantly captivate and seem more attractive in the long run? TRY IT!
As the saying by Kate Angell goes “outer beauty attracts, inner beauty captivates”. Being courteous means taking personal responsibility for the way our actions affect others.
The following seemingly effortless gestures can enhance your inner beauty:
I’m sure we’ve all watched Annie, the famous orphan, who always said: “you’re never fully dressed without a smile”. There’s something about the smile that just sends feelings of happiness, hope and positivity to anyone who sees it; let us not forget how contagious it is. So when you smile at someone, not only are you sending them good vibes of hope, acceptance of others and happiness but you can also turn a complete stranger’s whole day around positively. According to this article, people are drawn more to people who seem happy.
Using the magic words (Thank you, please, I’m sorry, excuse me)
For some, the phrase “what’s the magic word” is one of the memorable drills from our childhood. But the funny thing is that these magic words “thank you”, “Please”, “I’m sorry” and “Excuse me” are not just for kids; these are words that we need to continue using even as adults and not just to remind our kids what the words themselves are. These words are effortless to say but have such a powerful ability to create positive interactions. For a refresher on what each of them actually means, check out Emily Posts advice here.
Beauty isn’t about having a pretty face, it’s about having a pretty mind, a pretty heart, and a pretty soul.
Let your inner beauty shine #Monochromist
P.S! Here are some amazing songs to help you celebrate inner beauty!
- Flawless – Beyoncé Ft. Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie
- Beautiful – Christina Aguilera
- Video – India Arie
- All About That Bass – Meghan Trainor
- Born This Way – Lady Gaga
- Unpretty – TLC
— Njekwa Mwamba @Njekwa264