Decolonize Your Beauty
It has always been easy to point at features that stand out: big nose, thick eyebrows, fat cheeks, big moles, stretch marks, big breasts, small breasts, too tall, too short, so skinny, so fat, thin hair, frizzy curls, tiny mouth, pulpy lips… Honestly, the list is endless and I don’t have time to write it all. However, it seems that there are specific features of beauty commonly agreed upon, although no one sent me the rulebook yet: you already have a picture in mind, there’s no need for me to describe further. But this picture isn’t you, is it? it’s too perfect to be true.
First of all, I don’t blame you. You’ve been consuming since your early age westernized media content. Even in your country, the beauty standards imitated that of the West. We never really learned to enjoy originality and difference. That’s why many celebrities look almost identical. But where’s the beauty in being alike? I’m not trying here to define some new beauty standards. Your perspective of yourself is what mostly matters. So you’ll be beautiful the moment you see yourself as such, only. But hear me out:
You can do fifteen surgeries: narrow your waist, widen your hips, fill your breast, flatten your nose, inject your lips, infuse your jawline, remove your moles, tattoo your eyebrows, whiten your teeth, relocate your ears, transplant hair, undergo weight loss operations, lift your cheeks, reconstruct your chin, change the color of your eyes… and you’ll never be satisfied with yourself. If you want to do any of these out of true personal conviction, with no ‘colonized’ influence, then go ahead and do it proudly and I’ll be your number one supporter. But if you want to do it in order to tick the ‘common beauty standard’ boxes, then I suggest you start learning how to love yourself and how to be comfortable in your own skin instead. I warn you it’s a very hard process, but you should never change yourself to fit in.
You think a small nose will get you a compliment? Think again. Aphrodite, the Olympian Goddess of fertility and beauty, as portrayed in Greek sculptures, had a relatively big nose.
You think perfectly shaped eyebrows will make you remembered? Think again. Frida Kahlo, Mexico’s most famous artist, became a feminist icon with her monobrow.
You think your weight determines your success? Think again. And tell me how many people remember the size of those who really left an impact in this world.
You think looking like everyone else will make you pretty? Think again. you will never stand out.
Embrace yourself, decolonize your beauty, look at your body positively. Decolonizing beauty is not an easy process. it takes time. you have to deconstruct everything you’ve been taught and reconstruct it again. you have to change the unified lenses in which we see the world. It’s never easy to be truly free in this globalized world because we consume a lot of Westernized media. remember that trends come in waves: In ancient Greece, connected brows were considered a symbol of intelligence and purity. Black teeth, until around the 19th century, were a sign of beauty as well in Eastern Asia, mainly Japan, and some groups in Latin America. During the Renaissance, women took pride in their weight and curves as it showed a sign of fertility. What I am trying to say is that there is no standard for beauty and the latter is in fact in the eye of its beholder. Every detail you have makes you ‘YOU’ and I don’t think you can get any prettier than your truest version. Embrace your uniqueness and don’t let photoshopped, professionally taken, edited pictures on media platforms ever make you doubt your beauty because my dear, God’s work was never less than a masterpiece.