A New Standard of Beauty

According to the dictionary, beauty is defined as a characteristic of a person, animal, place, object, or idea that provides a perceptual experience of pleasure or satisfaction. Beauty plays a part in the study of aesthetics, sociology, social psychology, and culture. An “ideal beauty” represents an entity which a particular culture or society admires and possesses particular attributes that fit their definition of beauty. Some see beauty as balance and harmony in nature while others see it more subjectively as the old saying goes “beauty is in the eye of the beholder.” As history has shown us, sometimes beauty is evolutionarily determines as some societies value certain traits above all others as likely to enhance survival of  the perceiving human’s genes.
The definition of beauty changes from culture to culture and society to society even country to country as there is no universal definition of beauty since certain traits defined as beauty are prized more than others in the world.Both men and women need to realize that applying some sort of standard to everyone will not work as it causes more problems than solution, so my aim here is to give you the beauty perspective around the world as my definition of beauty has changed so has the world’s definition. It is impossible to live up to an image of a perfect Barbie and Ken even the fashion industry’s ideal of beauty. In end, we must all be happy with our own bodies and minds as we must live in them. My advice men and women, boys and girls treat each person as a human being and love them or like them for the sum of their parts and not the narrow definition of what is perceived to be “ideal” as this does not exist.

Being beautiful in Brazil means being passionate and uninhibited. This “bare all” mentality is easy to observe when you walk the beaches of Brazil and see the barely clothed bodies of all shapes and sizes. Brazilians are equally willing to admit when they have had plastic surgery such as liposuction and breast reductions typically begin between the ages of 16 and 22, however the posterior is rarely messed with.

Everything has beauty, but not everyone sees it.“-Confucius
To love beauty is to see light.“-Victor Hugo
People are like stained – glass windows. They sparkle and shine when the sun is out, but when the darkness sets in, their true beauty is revealed only if there is a light from within.”-Elisabeth Kubler-Ross

In, Japan the most common surgery performed in 2010 was performed on Japanese women’s eyelids as they seek to look more like their western counterparts and feel less self-conscious. Straight hair has become the “norm” in Japanese culture since Japanese women are know for their straight hair, so women with curly or wavy or kinky hair straighten it to be “Japanese.”

Life is full of beauty. Notice it. Notice the bumble bee, the small child, and the smiling faces. Smell the rain, and feel the wind. Live your life to the fullest potential, and fight for your dreams.”-Ashley Smith
“Of life’s two chief prizes, beauty and truth, I found the first in a loving heart and the second in a laborer’s hand.”-Khalil Gibran
“The pursuit of truth and beauty is a sphere of activity in which we are permitted to remain children all our lives.”-Albert Einstein

Several tribes and societies throughout continental Africa especially the Hima Tribe in Uganda like women who are built like their cattle even sending their ladies to a “fattening hut” for two month before marriage to make them presentable. In Uganda, owning cattle is prestige, while prestige and beauty are interchangeable.

The soul that sees beauty may sometimes walk alone.“-Johann Wolfgang von Goethe
Beauty has a lot to do with character.“-Kevyn Aucoin
Since love grows within you, so beauty grows. For love is the beauty of the soul.”-Saint Augustine

In China, paper white skin is prized dating back to Imperial times when darker skin was associated with field labor which is a taboo that remains in present day China. The western idea of tan skin equals beautiful has slowly changed the Chinese tradition, however the traditional skin whitening of Japan and Thai culture still remain strong.

Think of all the beauty still left around you and be happy.”-Anne Frank
“There is no definition of beauty, but when you can see someone’s spirit coming through, something unexplainable, that’s beautiful to me.”-Liv Tyler
“Beauty is unbearable, drives us to despair, offering us for a minute the glimpse of an eternity that we should like to stretch out over the whole of time.”-Albert Camus

Between Burma and Thailand where the Kayan tribe dwells, brass rings stacked on your neck from the age of five would be seen as a sign of sheer elegance. As a female ages, more rings are placed around the neck to showcase beauty and status.

“A mode of conduct, a standard of courage, discipline, fortitude and integrity can do a great deal to make a woman beautiful.”-Jacqueline Bisset
“I do not have much patience with a thing of beauty that must be explained to be understood. If it does need additional interpretation by someone other than the creator, then I question whether it has fulfilled its purpose.”-Charlie Chaplin
“Beauty is truth’s smile when she beholds her own face in a perfect mirror.”-Rabindranath Tagore

In New Zealand, the Maori tribe see women with their lips and chins tattooed as the quintessential definition of beauty. Called mokos, the tattoos represent a rich tradition of Maori ancestor warriors who painted their faces with charcoal before battle eventually become permanent. The markings are signs of sensuality to attract the opposite sex.

Let us live for the beauty of our own reality.”-Charles Lamb
“We live in a wonderful world that is full of beauty, charm and adventure. There is no end to the adventures that we can have if only we seek them with our eyes open.”-Jawaharlal Nehru
“I define nothing. Not beauty, not patriotism. I take each thing as it is, without prior rules about what it should be.”-Bob Dylan

In Ethiopia, the Karo tribe uses scarification on a women’s abdomen to attract a husband. The process begins at childhood and ends when the women is ready to marry and have kids. The definition of beauty throughout the African continent differs of course.

If you look closely at a tree you’ll notice it’s knots and dead branches, just like our bodies. What we learn is that beauty and imperfection go together wonderfully.“-Matthew Fox
“Personal beauty is a greater recommendation than any letter of reference.”-Aristotle
“Beauty is ever to the lonely mind a shadow fleeting; she is never plain. She is a visitor who leaves behind the gift of grief, the souvenir of pain.”-Christopher Morley

In the Middle East beauty is connected to the unseen or a smell or a glimpse of as women are covered head to toe with black called abaya with sometimes only the eyes revealed or sometimes a glimpse of henna tattoo even colorful fabrics, scarves and jewelery.

Beauty is less important than quality.”-Eugene Ormandy
“The beauty of a woman is not in a facial mode but the true beauty in a woman is reflected in her soul. It is the caring that she lovingly gives the passion that she shows. The beauty of a woman grows with the passing years.”-Audrey Hepburn
“Our task must be to free ourselves by widening our circle of compassion to embrace all living creatures and the whole of nature and its beauty.”-Albert Einstein

In the western world the standard is different as achieving the “ideal” drives some to the extreme of plastic surgery, implants, hair extensions, hair color to fitness, diet and cosmetics. The definition is very narrow as it requires women to be skinny, tall, and “good looking” with perfect teeth, hair and fashion. Some men even go as far as to want a women who never complain, works 24 hours if possible, fashionable, a fighter and a Jane of all trades. The door does swing the other way as women expect men to live up to the same impossible standard. How do you define each term? Where does a perfect Ken and Barbie exist?

“It is time for parents to teach young people early on that in diversity there is beauty and there is strength.”-Maya Angelou
“The beauty of a woman is not in the clothes she wears, the figure that she carries or the way she combs her hair.”-Audrey Hepburn
“Everyone has their own insecurities, regardless of how you look or how people perceive you, but sometimes people give their insecurities too much power. Defining beauty is simply a matter of opinion. For me, real beauty has very little to do with the structure of someone’s face or body.”-Devon Aoki

It is easy to be beautiful; it is difficult to appear so.“-Frank O’Hara
Beauty is an outward gift which is seldom despised, except by those to whom it has been refused.“-Edward Gibbon

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