Wednesday, May 7, 2014

The Perception of Beauty

I have always found the perception of beauty interesting.
Everywhere, there are different ideals of beauty.
Here, we want to be fair. We spend money on whitening creams, slathering ourselves in an effort to make ourselves two tones fairer.
I'll be honest with you, I have been guilty many times of using whitening products. I think I'm a pretty fair Chinese girl, and I don't need whitening creams. But somehow, I find myself sneakily reaching for one...
I've always found fair appealing, and I've never understood girls who got a tan. But recently, I started finding golden brown skin rather attractive. So when I went to the Philippines, I baked myself in the sun and even rubbed tanning oil on my stomach to make sure I was an even shade of brown!
So now, i've come back, and I'm feeling a little confused.
On one hand, I find myself too dark for my liking now. Maybe this idea of 'fair' is just so deeply rooted in me that it's hard to get out of my psyche.
On the other hand, when I see really fair girls on the street, I find them looking rather pasty and un-appealing looking. Tanned people look too brown.
So essentially, I find people either too dark or too fair. Everyone seems to be too yellow, too brown, too white, too pink, too patchy. Am I being very politically incorrect here? I really am talking about skin tone colour here. I'm also a little annoyed because I overdid the sunblock on my face when I was in the Philippines, so when I wear makeup I look like a mini geisha with white skin but with a brown body. It. is. Not. A. Good. Look.

I think my perception of beauty is shifting, but I'm unsure of what to. I do find that a tanned person looks like there's a little more character than a totally pasty white person, as if there's been a little injection of color in the skin.

But, beauty is really more than just a skin color. Dark, tan, fair. I grew up with the ideal that Western beauty was THE beauty. Big eyes, long lashes, nice noses. In that sense I think it's very similar to Indian beauty, because they have such amazing features. In comparison, my slitty eyes and small face seemed so insignificant. You grow up watching these Hindi movies where women are curvaceous, soft, with big, glamorous hair and perfect makeup. I, on the other hand, was a bean pole with glasses perched on my oily nose.

Fast forward now, and again I find my perception of beauty shifting. I now find myself gravitating very much to Chinese faces. I don't know if it's because of relevancy, but I rather like the oriental shape of the eye. Or maybe, this is just my subconscious way of self defense - I've grown up my entire life with people laughing at my small eyes (including Chinese people themselves). Which. Is. Annoying.

What I find great, though, is how diverse beauty and perceptions are. I had this guy friend, and we used to talk about who we found pretty and who we didn't. The people he found pretty, I found totally unappealing. Those that I found pretty, he was scratching his head. I guess males and females have different ideas of what's beautiful too. I found the girls he liked too feminine, too submissive looking. He found the girls i found pretty too outlandish.

Or maybe it's just a choice of preference.

it's interesting how our tastes evolve. I look at pictures of the clothes I used to wear and sometimes I am a little mortified and understand why my boyfriend asked me to change. (I was very angry when asked to back then)

What annoys me most, is people who try and force their perception of beauty (or perception of anything, for that matter) down another person's throat. Just leave it. Sometimes, we just find different things beautiful. Let it go.

To beauty, in all forms!  But most importantly, beauty on the inside, as cliched as that might sound, trumps it all.

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