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Thursday, 19 May 2011

Real Beauty is Skin Deep

I, like millions and millions of people around the world, found my own mother the most beautiful woman in the world. Mom was a widow for last 40 years of her life and she only dressed in white.

Many years ago, when I lived in Surinam, Parimaribo, one of my friends invited me for a wedding ceremony. I asked my mom to accompany me. She wore a plain white silk sari, her hair rolled up into a small bun, and no make-up at all. For jewelry there was just a pearl necklace, 2 gold bangles and her diamond ear-rings (that she wore all the time). My friends were impressed. Next day when they met me, they told me that my mom was the most fashionable lady they had met. My jaw dropped. Fashionable? I thought my friends to be crazy. How could they call my mom fashionable when she was dressed so simple? She had no make-up on, no flashy clothes, no fancy handbag and no matching shoes. I looked closely at my mom to try to figure out fashionable element in her and discovered that my mom wore grace and a smile – maybe it was that what they perceived as elite. Who-so-ever met mom were always in awe with the way she carried herself.

Real beauty is skin deep, which is cliché but undisputable fact. One status I read recently on FB said “Search for truth and you shall find beauty, search for beauty and you shall find love, search for love and you shall find God, search for God and you shall have them all”

There are hundreds of ads on TV that show products that promises beautiful body, smooth and clear skin, long flowing hair, a group of admirers who will go ga-ga and drool over our physical beauty. I have met many people who fall for these products and who will swear that they will strive to be beautiful. I envy them when I see them dressed in most expensive finery that the money can buy. I know I cannot afford those things and even if I could, they won’t suit me. Every time I look into the mirror, it puts me into a pause mode. Not having a perfect figure is the big disadvantage. My mind drifts back to one nagging question “What will people think?” or maybe, I get conscious that some may feel sorry for me that nothing really suits me and am still trying so hard to keep abreast with fashion fads, which results into even more depressing mode than looking at the ugly figure in the mirror. I cannot change that so I stopped trying. I decided if anybody needs to see the beauty in me, they need to know me because I will continue to maintain the inner beauty instead.

Beauty has different meaning for different people, like in the video of Gul Panag, where she talks about women empowerment, of respecting oneself, which is also one facet of beauty, of building one’s pleasant quality.

Some time ago, one of my friends’ #FF me on Twitter as ‘beautiful people’ asking her followers to follow me. I was flattered. Now this friend is my virtual friend whom I have never met, (and not sure if I will ever meet her) so naturally she is not likely to learn about that image that haunts me everyday from the reflecting surfaces. For her, I am the person whom she knows through my writing abilities, through the range of my work with mentally challenged, through my choice of my friends’ circle, through my lens at photographs that I post on my walls. I have never tried to make any impression on anybody but sub-consciously, my thoughts get translated and interpreted into the messages that reach out to people who care.

A beautiful face can easily be Photo-Shopped on virtual wall, it just requires the right kind of tools to brush away the scars and blemishes but can our thinking and beliefs be hidden from the real world?

What kind of beauty is that if we wear it with an attitude? When we show no compassion for our fellow human being and are so occupied with our own self that we just don’t care?

We may have walked the red carpet with a crown on our head, have brought home thousand of gifts from our admirers during the beauty pageant, or even hosted ‘Get Gorgeous’ shows, but the fact is that besides being beautiful, we need to be draped with beautiful habits too. We throw away the dirty cotton swabs on our dresser after cleaning our face, the lipstick cover is missing, the talc powder is sprinkled everywhere and we wait for somebody else to clean our mess? Cleanliness is next to spirituality. If we cannot keep our environment clean then the bad vibrations that surround us, results in bad temper, restlessness and unstable mind. The bad mood seeps out of our thick face-pack showing the ugly chip of our character.

However rich our finery is, however expensive our cosmetics, the real beauty will never get a chance to shine its worth if it lies burried under the layers and layers of our bad attitude; the ugly lines of bad manners will continue to crinkle our face.

This Indiblogger contest is what kick started my thoughts on ‘real beauty’
Note: This post is written as a part of What does real beauty mean to you?? conducted by  Yahoo!! Real Beauty in association with Dove !!

and this is what I received as a gift hamper as a token of appreciation
Thank you Dove and Indiblogger.....


  1. Hats off to your Mom...
    You have done great job there.

  2. hats off, pushpee, my instincts says that this post will be one of the top post.. here is a heart expressing what does true beauty means

    Someone is Special

  3. why is this post not on the top? Excellent. Promoting right now. Do read mine. I haven't been to your blog but am bookmarking it for future reading. All the very best to you .

  4. Very well thought about & written. I also thought your mom would have stolen the show with her grace that day.
    And you are no less, oh my beautiful friend.
    I am glad to have you in my circle. :)

    Nisha - Le Monde-A Poetic Travail


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