Sybil Shaibu column: What does beauty mean to you?


Over the years the definition of beauty has evolved and it’s interesting to see what beauty has come to mean to different people.

Some define beauty as; qualities in a person that gives pleasure to the senses.

Others also say beauty can be interpreted in so many ways while some say beauty can be considered shallow or indulgent. Interestingly, when many hear the word beauty they immediately think it’s all about the physical.

Beauty is more than what is seen on the surface. It refers to qualities both internal and external. Beauty means feeling comfortable in your own skin, body, life and appreciating your imperfections. One thing I have come to understand though is that, like many things in life, beauty is relative. That means what one individual considers as beauty may not be beauty to another person.

Others might agree that beautiful person is made of much. The physical beauty is a contribution but it is not the main thing. A beautiful person should be someone who is beautiful mostly on the inside. The way they think, the way relate to people and their character all come together to make one beautiful.

There’s the need however to create a balance between the beauty on the inside and out. This is necessary because beauty is a means of empowering yourself, taking pride in oneself. As the saying goes “Beauty lies in the eyes of the beholder” and more so as it’s said “A thing of beauty is a joy forever”. A beautiful person is one who knows their worth, so self-confidence is also beauty in itself. Whether it’s because of makeup, nice clothes or body structure, it’s having confidence in yourself and what you feel makes you beautiful is what counts as beauty.

Another school of thought defines beauty as the good character traits more of virtues than vices. A beautiful person is one whose character is genuinely good, has integrity, is generous, compassionate, has empathy, is loving and kind.

For better or worse, the bottom line is that research shows beauty matters; it pervades society and affects how we choose loved ones. Thus, striving to appear attractive may not be such a vain endeavor after all. This isn’t to say plastic surgery is necessarily the answer but if it beauty for you why not?

In as much as society has defined or set the perimeters for what beauty ought to be, jumping on that band wagon could be detrimental. That would mean shifting the goal post anytime society does so.

It seems that beauty is a mindset, you can feel like a queen, feel powerful, strong and beautiful, through appreciating yourself, both your favorite and least favorite parts.

But the most important thing to remember in the context of this article is that whatever you need to do to gain that confidence is your choice. If you want to put on makeup, wear clothes you consider as fashionable just to feel beautiful then do it.

You can appreciate and love your curves, imperfections and everything thing else in-between. And guess what? The world would still be critical of all you see as beauty but regardless still be you, whilst still making choices that add to your beauty.

Beauty isn’t about having a pretty face, beauty evolves so be you. One time it would be about having a pretty mind, another time a pretty heart or a beautiful soul. But personally I believe loving yourself is the true definition of beauty.

But as you go through these evolutions don’t forget to take the time to look inwards and assess the whys of your struggles with beauty, pin point the pains and rationalize them. This will help you navigate life a bit better.

It’s so easy to fall into the trap of what society sees as beauty, per the standards with social media, but if we continue to remind ourselves about what beauty really means to us and not how it is seen in the public eye, perhaps we can gain that confidence and self-empowerment to consider ourselves and everyone else beautiful. Understand a person then you can tell if they are beautiful or not.

>>>The writer is the Lead Consultant at SHIFT HSRV a Human Services Company & a member of the Ghana Psychological Association Ghana. Phone numbers 0244961743. [email protected] Social media handles shifthsrv (Facebook, Instagram, Twitter)

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