Advertisements from magazines, the television, the internet and even in the radio shows pictures of all these gorgeous people and stating the product to use to achieve such beauty or the which services one should employ. Most of the times, such photographs are, well, photoshopped or enhanced to make it look more appealing to the public and, to some extent, ‘brainwash’ the public into buying their product or services.
Beauty is in the eye of the beholder. This phrase was once used to say that it doesn’t matter what you look outside, it’s the inside that counts. But now, that phrase is taken on literally. People crave to be beautiful, to stay beautiful. They are willing to go through such lengths, spending so much money on plastic surgery or to other products just to attain that ‘vibrant glow to their skin’ or that ‘hollywood-esque’ face. What most, if not all, people care about now-a-days is how they look. Would they be able to be a head-turner? Will they look more beautiful than anyone else? Will they be ‘fairer of them all’? Those are what’s important to most people right now — how others percieve them physically.
Beauty has been defined as a characteristic of a person, place, object, or idea that provides a perceptual experience of pleasure, meaning, or satisfaction. Beauty presents a standard of comparison, and it can cause resentment and dissatisfaction when not achieved. People who do not fit the “beauty ideal” may be ostracized within their communities. The television sitcom Ugly Betty documents the life of a girl faced with hardships due to society’s unwelcoming attitudes toward those they deem unattractive. However, a person may also be targeted for harassment because of their beauty. In Malèna, a strikingly beautiful Italian woman is forced into poverty by the women of the community who refuse to give her work in fear that she may “woo” their husbands.
In LaMB, Animax’ first attempt on animation, a process called Lamination was introduced. It was done to preserve beauty — a dream for many especially the rich and the famous. However, through the course of history, it had evolved into something more — a form of imprisonment. In the LaMB’s official website, it tells how Lamination has evolved into a system of “virtual slavery wherein it ensures that those convicted of serious crimes remain productive, if not free, members of a society”.
A lot of people who are obsessed with beauty would probably go to any lengths to preserve that which they hold dear — their physical appearance, that they would sell their soul just to remain beautiful especially if their work demands it.
If such a process does exist, I wonder how many would do just that — commit a crime in order to get Lamination and remain beautiful? It certainly is cheap. You don’t even need to pay any amount of money. Just do something that would label you as a criminal and you get instant ‘spa treatment’. You would certainly remain beautiful but if you really look at it, you would see how it is not worth it.
To have that beauty but lose your humanity. To remain beautiful but to lose your ability to express yourself — that seems like a nightmare to me. I for one would not go through such lengths. I mean, what good will that do when you don’t have a voice (literally), when you can’t laugh when you’re happy or cry when you are sad, when you have to follow orders even when those orders doesn’t make sense or stray away from your code of life…
People may call it idealistic, but I am not really obsessed on labeling things whether they are beautiful or ugly. I don’t even think that there is such a thing as ugly. Sure, people may look different on the outside and may not suit our taste but that is part of having individuality. If only people would not care too much on the outward appearance, then I’m sure problems such as racism and jealousy would disappear.
People may look different on the outside but in the end we’re all made up of exactly the same thing — flesh and blood. Everyone is beautiful and can remain beautiful without resulting into drastic measures and without blindly following those advertisements that tell them how they should look. Everyone can remain beautiful as long as they perceive themselves as beautiful and just smile. The greatest treasures are, after all, those invisible to the eye but found by the heart.
Nelson Mandela, on his innaugural speech on 1994 said these words, which I shall quote and which will serve to close this post:
“Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness, that frightens us most. We ask ourselves, ‘Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, and famous?’ Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God. Your playing small does not serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that people won’t feel insecure around you. We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us. It’s not just in some of us; it’s in all of us. And when we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others.”