I recently read an article in the Daily Mail which I totally disagree with (for a change). No, it wasn’t a conservative right-wing piece on broken Britain or immigration, nor was it a story about the Kardashian’s.
In fact, the opinion piece article detailed that most women will never be pretty – so they shouldn’t bother trying. It also went on to say that beauty is not in the eye of the beholder, but a fixed ideal. Finally, it said that mother’s shouldn’t tell their children they are pretty when they aren’t – it gives them a sense of delusion.
While looks certainly aren’t everything, let’s face it, in society there is a big emphasis placed on a woman’s appearance, more so than for men. While men can be judged on their success, intelligence and business prowess, for women, first and foremost, it will be their looks. It might not be fair, but it is a fact of life.
Feminists may balk at what I’m about to say – but let’s be honest, who doesn’t want to look pretty? Who doesn’t make sure they have a flattering Facebook picture? Who hates their gym card photo or staff pass because the picture was taken hastily in an unflattering light?
So it’s incredibly sad that something that is so important to women – whether we admit it or not – should be denied. Because the truth is, despite the comments in the Daily Mail article, beauty is subjective.
The beauty myth – it’s in the eye of the beholder
For example, I’ve personally never seen the fascination with Gwyneth Paltrow, yet she’s managed to carve a career in looks-obsessed Hollywood. Subjectivity also exists for men. For example, shock-horror, I don’t get the fuss over Brad Pitt, Johnny Depp, or Javier Bardem, yet millions of women would disagree with me.
Also, what is seen as beautiful varies culturally. While in Asian culture it’s all about big eyes, in western culture, high cheekbones is the desirable look.
As for the ill-advised notion that most women aren’t pretty and shouldn’t bother trying, again I couldn’t disagree more. All women can be pretty.
I recently saw a picture of Twilight star Kristen Stewart, posing for W magazine. She’d swapped her usual plain, moody teen look for a gorgeous vampish image. She quite simply looked amazing. It goes to show that makeup really does work wonders, and can work for everyone.
Kristen Stewart turns vamp
Kristen Stewart without makeup
As a celebrity-obsessed society, we’re constantly bombarded with unattainable images of beauty. These stars are then put on a pedestal, as superior beings who are beyond us.
However, if you’ve seen a picture of Britney Spears, or countless Bollywood stars without their face on, you’ll see that beauty is attainable, and these stars are just like us, except they have better makeup.
So, to be told that most of us are plain and shouldn’t bother trying is just damaging. If a women feels pretty, she will exude a confidence that will resonate with others. If she doesn’t, her lack of confidence will show. This will have an effect on every aspect of their life. They’ll feel unworthy of being popular in school, or even getting married in the future. As the domino-effect of a lack of confidence therefore lack of trying, she’ll unfortunately be boxed in society’s ‘not pretty’ compartment.
When I embarked on writing this blog, I aimed to do so with the normal desi girl in mind. I myself don’t wear makeup everyday, and won’t think twice about stepping out of the door without it. However, I know I look better with a bit of eyeliner and blusher, so I feel better with it on.
So, the point of the blog was simple, no gimmicks, no unattainable ideals, just beauty reviews and realistic advice for real women. Because after all, being pretty is not the be-all-end-all, but it does make a difference to our confidence. And we all have the right to confidence, and we all have the right to feel pretty.
I’m a British-Bengali Muslim mum-of-two. My pictures aren’t filtered and neither are my words. I’m not a makeup artist, chef or lifestyle guru. I’m just me, sharing honest beauty reviews for brown skin, halal restaurant finds, travel inspo, mum life hacks, easy Bengali recipes and more. If that’s your bag, keep reading!