Thursday, 19 April 2012

Mirror, mirror on the wall...

 “For Attractive lips, speak words of kindness.
 For lovely eyes, seek out the good in people.
 For a slim figure, share your food with the hungry.
 For beautiful hair, let a child run their fingers through it once a day.
 For poise, walk with the knowledge that you never walk alone.
  People, more than things, have to be restored, renewed, revived, reclaimed, and redeemed. Remember, if you ever need a helping hand, you will find one at the end of each of your arms.
 As you grow older, you will discover that you have two hands, one for helping yourself and the other for helping others.”
― Sam Levenson

As I was going in to the ladies' room one fine afternoon, I overheard a couple of the girls' conversation while they were putting on their make up in front of the lavatory. I know I shouldn't be eavesdropping on them but I can't help but hear what they were so animatedly talking about. They were discussing a some sort of beauty cream (I didn't catch the exact name) which makes blemishes fade away and whitens the skin. I smirked and shook my head at the thought of the promises of these so-called "beautifying" creams. Nowadays, people of all ages - men, women and even children, think of these as instant/magical tools, more powerful than the famous image editing software to erase any traces of impurity or specks on their bodies. I know it is important to look good and presentable in public but to hold on to something you're not even sure will be of any help is ridiculous. I, for instance, have tried this "age-defying" cream when they were giving away free samples by sharing your email on line. So I did claim a small tube of the product, tried it the same night after getting it and the following morning, my face was red. It was as if I was slapped repeatedly by a raging lunatic. It was sore and irritated, my dermatologist friend told me as soon as she had checked my skin. She then asked me what I have put on my face so I told her the name of the culprit which is the freebie face cream. I got told off for using the product which actually contains strong chemicals and doesn't go well with my sensitive skin. I was just advised to use a specific gentle cleansing facial wash for daily use and she said if I wanted to use a moisturiser, use a vitamin E type. After that experience, I stopped looking for THE perfect beauty treatment whether they be lotions or potions (as what my hubby calls them). To be quite truthful, I don't even wear make up on a daily basis, only on a few numerous occasions such as my 18th birthday (which I honestly think I looked like I'm attending a Halloween party), graduation balls/events, graduation ceremonies and my wedding day (wherein my hubby's friend just gave me a really light make up).

Today I came across an article shared by a friend on a social network site. It was about a homosexual who went to a fake doctor and got injected by a cement mixture to enhance his looks. view article here After reading through the blog entry, I remembered the times I've read on the news about the countless patients (whether they exposed the medical malpractice of a pseudo-physician or not) who are victims by these people who use cheap and tacky "stuff" to get money out of those unfortunate souls hoping to look (and feel) beautiful after going to their clinics. Another article I've read not long ago was about the overuse of photo-editing softwares to help create picture perfect billboards, ads and commercials of famous celebrities and models and how people are protesting about these things because they have a huge impact on children and teens alike as to how they see themselves. The young generation today seems to think that they can achieve that same look or same body by using the same product (I know I've said this word a lot now) of the said advertisement and the standard of beauty is what they portray. For my fellow Filipinas, beautiful is defined by being thin, chalk white and with long black shiny hair that's because our skin colour is usually fair to brown or tanned. For the Western women, I found out during my 2 year stay over the UK, it is being like a "Barbie doll". Barbie dolls are skinny with huge breasts, shapely hips and bronze skin. Though I'm not speaking in behalf of everyone, I know there are others who don't see things this way and prefer simplicity but majority of the people I've observed are like that. They have tanning booths or salons everywhere in the city where I stayed at. Their beauty products that line their cosmetics section comprise of bronze lotion, cream, moisturiser and I wouldn't be surprised if next time they will have a tanning body wash! A line from a song from the movie Princess Diaries popped inside my head when I was writing this long dramatic blog entry, it says, "What makes you different, makes you beautiful. What's there inside you, shines through to me..." I know it's cheesy but it's true! God never intended to make us all look like each other. And the standard of beauty will never be labelled to a specific look or colour of the skin. Being beautiful isn't about what is on the outside but what is inside. A very old saying but is still applicable today.

My colleague and I showed our new office mate the pictures of two of our Australian workmates some time ago just so she knows which is which as these guys both share the same name (and even nick names). She was amazed at the difference of the two and gave a thumbs up remark on the better looking one. But we explained to her that before we even saw their photos, which our boss asked them to send over to see the difference between themselves, we already knew who of them was worth being admired and who isn't. And he was the approachable of the two. He is going to help you as much as he can and he will be polite even when he is busy at work. The lady who holds his heart is a very blessed one. She should treasure him dearly. I told my colleagues if she breaks his heart I will swim across the ocean and hunt her down!

Now I don't ignore the fact that using beauty products like cleansing creams etc. are bad nor do I despise make ups as they are part of an actor or actress's day-to-day routine to help them look good in front of the camera and all that jazz but the thing is beauty is skin deep. Sometimes we all fail to see that. I used to think that all those pretty ladies and handsome men are good people when I was a little kid. So if you're handsome, to me you must be a good person - kind and loving and something like a price charming type. That goes for the ladies as well. All that faded away when I met and befriended a classmate a lot older than me in the fourth grade. She has a some form of illness (I forgot now what it was called) so she had to stop school (for medical treatment) and start again for four years over and over and it made her face distorted, in short, in the world's view she is ugly. But when I got to meet her (when she became my seat mate) and have known her well, my whole perspective of people being pretty or good looking equals good and saint-like was erased from my childish mindset. My friendship with her taught me to understand real beauty (have I not said that loads of times as well?) as oppose to physical or outward beauty. Just as what the bible teaches us about how God defines it:

1 Peter 3:3-4

English Standard Version (ESV)
Do not let your adorning be external—the braiding of hair and the putting on of gold jewelry, or the clothing you wear— but let your adorning be the hidden person of the heart with the imperishable beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which in God's sight is very precious.
 I have met a lot of very beautiful people in my 30 years of existence on this world and not one of them is a celebrity or a model.

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