Are You Beautiful?

Are You Beautiful?

Some people just look beautiful while some are really so. But it took me almost half my life to discern this truth.

A poetry lover, I had always believed “beauty lies in the eye of the beholder”…that the beholder has to be beautiful (to distinguish) never passed my mind or I couldn’t believe eyes are so different!

Who cares about inner beauty while growing up? A child doesn’t even know such a beauty exists and an adolescent would scoff at it!

Try telling a teenager to dress modestly and her dagger eyes would convey all! All cultural norms are thrown to the winds to acquire the so-called beauty.

Youthful attractiveness is a natural yearning and there should be no guilt about the desire to look beautiful.

The moment we become aware of physical charm and magnetism, we try our best to look good. The efforts never cease even if the awareness of ‘inner beauty’ dawns on us!

It is personal grooming, peer pressure to look beautiful and slim that molds our thoughts about beauty.

While youngsters feel that branded attire makes them look good, the latest beauty product makes their skin glow and the vogue of the day has to be followed, real beauty remains as elusive as getting nearer to your first crush!

It is the outer beauty that gets an immediate attention.Beauty quote

Inner beauty reveals itself slowly and only if you have the inclination to perceive it.

Eventually it is what kind of human being you are that matters but we come to know a person only after we remain in constant and consistent touch.

True beauty doesn’t radiate from the face, which has been daubed with cosmetics.

A gentle and a quiet spirit, the glow that you can feel within, the spark that brightens your smile, thoughts that guide you out of your own darkness…beauty is as simple as that!

One of our family friends’ beautiful daughter Sam visited me after a long time. She had this young, short and dark man by her side whom she introduced to us as her fiancé. I looked at him and my first thought was… ‘Is Sam going to marry this man!?’ Hardly a match for her!

During my conversation with this man I realized what a wonderful communicator he was, what a warm heart he possessed and with what ease he had endeared himself as a member of our family. ! I could catch the positive vibes that he emitted.

The same moment I felt guilty of judging him. Despite holding many workshops and discussions on topics of human interest and virtuous living, knowing very well that physical appearances are but a sham…how could I jump to such a conclusion!

We admire inner beauty yet get carried away by appearances.

“Outer beauty is like a decade; it doesn’t last forever. While inner beauty stays permanent like an ocean. By all means, hold strong to your inner beauty.” – Edmond Mbiaka

Societal pressures and touchstones define beauty for us till we learn we have been looking at superficial beauty, enhanced just to look appealing.

Even Google understands beauty in those terms, which have been set by people. Try to google the words ‘beauty images’ and see what you get!

Try looking up again with the words ‘images of beautiful men/women’ and the results would be almost the same.

I couldn’t find any suitable pictures of beauty that could resonate with this piece and therefore decided to create one with eyes!

Thank you for reading this. Please share your valuable reflections.

If you have liked this article, please share it at your favorite social networks.

Balroop Singh.

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37 thoughts on “Are You Beautiful?

  1. I agree, Balroop, that inner beauty is really what matters. We find out quick enough that outer youthful beauty fades. Then what are we left with? Hopefully an inner glow that radiates through our skin 🙂

  2. The inner beauty, as you’ve said, is something that blooms within us with time. A teenage mind seldom has the wisdom or understanding to grasp it. 🙂 Inner beauty is what we wear naturally, instinctively, and are seen by those who don’t let themselves dazzle by the physical attribution.

    Nice piece of thought here, Balroop… 🙂

    1. Hi Mani,

      Love your insights. I wonder who feeds the teenage mind and why they give more importance to physical beauty…isn’t peer group, which is influenced by our societies the root cause?
      If we ‘wear’ inner beauty naturally, then why does it get warped by opinions around us?

  3. “Inner beauty is as elusive as your first crush” Great line! An evergreen topic too. Inner beauty is the ocean while yes, physical beauty has a shelf life. I have witnesses some very beautiful people turn ugly, simply by their behavior. The spirit is powerful. Great post, Balroop. Good subject to contemplate. 🙂

  4. I agree with you Lisa…behavior makes all the difference and some people never bother to learn or improve. That is the real point of contemplation! 🙂

  5. I am not sure if my comments have gone into the spam box.

    This post brings out the lovely, fluffy feelling in me. Sometimes, time help us to recognise and value the gentle, quiet spirit in others. Coupled with magnetism, it enhance our inner beauty. Like a good quality Cabernet Sauvignon, one takes the time to savour the complex notes.

  6. This is such an important topic, and so well written, Balroop. “Inner beauty reveals itself slowly” You are so right in saying this. Sometimes it can take a while to see inner beauty because it can be hidden in the way we choose to do things, the way we speak and the way we act. It takes time to get to know a person, and one choice doesn’t define us wholly.

    Looks is just one part of us. Then again, the way we groom ourselves can say something about us. It can say that we are vain about our looks, but on the other hand it can say that we are being creative and experimenting with fashion or “art”, and expand the way we think.

    1. You are right Mabel. I have some fond memories of my grandma who was a very simple lady but had strong opinions about people and situations. As a child I couldn’t appreciate her but when I look back I can say her beauty was unmatchable…perspectives about people change as we mature and understand them better.

      My own experiments with life have taught me how to acquire some elements of real beauty, which I picked up along the way with my interaction with various kinds of people, some who inspired to be like them and some who unconsciously taught profound caution. 🙂

      Thank you dear friend for a thought-provoking insight.

  7. Beauty exists in the outer and inner; its externality manifests in the beauty of nature, art and architecture, and in the physical forms, based on proportion and ratio. Its internality resides in beauty of the spirit expressing itself in affability and refinement of character and deportment. It is more like music, the highest form of art, felt mostly at the experiential level. Nice to read your reflections on the subject, Balroop.

    1. Thank you Raj, for your reflections and giving a wider dimension to beauty…my focus was on people and therefore I have not talked about nature, art and other forms of beauty, which possess the potential to exalt us to unknown horizons and only have the outer contours to admire…I have addressed them in many of my poems and other pieces.

  8. What a loaded topic for women! I wonder if, when young, we are rather like colorful birds or grooming primates, preening to attract the most desirable mate. In our older years, no amount of makeup (or now, surgery!) can disguse ‘life on the face.’ Our sorrows and joys, our anger or fear. Yet it is (so) difficult to pull away from social norms to discover and witness inner beauty. At least for me, it’s about appreciating what lies within; valuing it more, for what can be done about aging? Yet the opportunity is there at any age, if we might avail ourselves of it. A big challenge sometimes!
    Many thanks for a fine post. Aloha! ❤

    1. Hi Bela,

      Many thanks for sharing your pearls of wisdom and taking the discussion further into those realms of reality we often ignore or try to vault the signs of ageing! Have you noticed that some people do not acquire inner beauty even with age? Is it intentional or arrogance? Is it ignorance or just a power game?

      1. Ohgosh yes, I do notice it. Age brings to the face how we have lived our lives. Suffering is all over it, or kindness, or meanness. Yet I’ve also seen careworn faces where a person has learned from their struggles, but the die is cast when it comes to looks. So I try not to judge a book … etc. Have a great weekend, Balroop! ❤

      2. I too try not to judge a book by its cover and run into such persons, who have either refused to learn or must have been to arrogant to let suffering ennoble them. Wishing you too a wonderful weekend dear friend. 🙂

  9. I have always thanked my parents for giving me the best of their gene pool, but I didn’t become truly aware of that really meant until I was many years older.

    Growing up, I was tall (5’8″ when I was 12), black-haired, and had (and still have) brown eyes that bordered on being black. At that time in America, the ideal look was to be 5′ foot 2″ and have eyes of blue, along with the ability to fill out the top of a sweater. I believe that makes 3 strikes. One more strike is that you had to have poker straight hair and be a non-ethnic looking person (something for which my Armenian self could not possibly have been mistaken.) Middle school was surely difficult…

    Since then, as you have so eloquently pointed out, I have always been aware that to truly see a person and to appreciate their beauty, one must look beyond the package to see what is inside. I distinctly remember the NYC garbage strike many years in the past. Since no one was picking up the garbage and no one could dump dump their garbage, some people resorted to wrapping their garbage up in beautifully wrapped packages and leaving them at train stations, bus stops and in unlocked cars for some “poor”, misguided thief to pick up and run away with, only to receive a very unpleasant surprise upon opening the package.

    The message echoes yours. People are not garbage, to be tossed away on appearances alone. Not everyone is lucky enough to have a pleasant or beautiful visage so that they are positively received upon entering a room. That doesn’t mean that what awaits inside is not worth peeling open, one layer at a time. Thank you for blogging about this.

    1. Hi Becky,

      Thank you for sharing such a balanced view with an interesting metaphorical anecdote, which I had not heard! It brought a smile to my face though it must have been a harsh reality for people of those days.

      I appreciate your tell-tale kind of approach to any topic and leaves me wanting for more. I wish such a friend lived next door! But I have always been unlucky about good friends. Either I couldn’t like friends who seemed fake or the ones I liked moved away…if not they, I happened to move!! Harsh realities of life! 🙂

      Many thanks for the visit dear Becky. Love and hugs.

  10. The problem is not many are like Sam.
    So they go by outer beauty, even knowing very well that it might not work out in the long-run, if the inner one is not up-to-the-mark!

  11. Inner beauty counts for so much. I’ll admit though, it’s often irked me to no end to be seen as or referred to as a “pretty girl.” There’s soooooo much more to a person than their outsides.

    1. Sure, there is! Pretty is considered to be a synonym of beauty. Once when I asked my students to distinguish between the two words, most of them gave blank looks and only a few could actually explain the difference.

  12. When I graduated high school, I was 5’0″ tall and weighed about 90 pounds. Over the next two years, I grew seven inches and gained fifty pounds. Yet, when I attended my 50th high school reunion, it was that small boy that everyone remembered. To my surprise, however, they remembered an energetic, earnest, friendly person, and not the “ugly duckling” that I recalled being. I guess there is something to that “inner beauty” thing after all. 🙂

  13. Interesting topic Balroop. Outer beauty is like the packaging, and inner beauty is the quality of product. It is natural to get attracted first by the appearance, but whether the package is attractive or not, it should not stop us from checking the quality, for that is what matters in the long run.

  14. “We admire inner beauty yet get carried away by appearances.” Great line.

    Whoever said ‘beauty is wasted on youth’ was dead on. I feel like we appreciate what we have when it is fading and only when it is fading do we reflect on what is important and who we are.

    Why does it take us so long to feel beautiful?

  15. As someone whose gravatar wears a paper bag, I’ve never had any problems with being considered outstandingly attractive. I find I care less and less about looks as I get older, both my own and everybody else’s. I’m much more interested in what people are like. 🙂

  16. Maybe Webster’s dictionary should change the meaning from “a combination of qualities, such as shape, color, or form, that pleases the aesthetic senses, especially the sight” TO “qualities such as shape,color, form, feelings, actions, especially pertaining to manners and respect – also known as inner beauty”…

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