For years, centuries and as far back when mascara was invented in ancient Egypt and accepted as a practise to ward off evil spirits and protect the soul, women have been put on a pedestal solely to scrutinise their meretricious, most sought after, beauty.
Being admired is something everyone blushes at, yet appreciates in healthy little bits. It boosts your self-esteem and sometimes pushes you to try things that you would have never imagined doing without that newfound confidence, like trying out a scandalous purple mascara or a Nicki Minaj inspired shade of lipstick.
However, if you flick through the TV channels and page through magazines, there is a persuasion, not in the form of encouragement, but rather in an urgent pressure that mocks you when you decide to take a look in the mirror again. It seems as if most people have gotten so used to expecting nothing more from women than a pretty face, perhaps to the extent not to even give her a second look if she doesn’t fit the Adriana Lima description, regardless of the fact that she may have something to say.
Men and women are guilty of this, which is tantamount to social suicide. Be sure not to be disheartened though, there is a minority who believes otherwise…
Beyoncé made a great start in terms of addressing beauty and the manner in which beauty is accepted by humankind. She has a little girl of her own that needs guidance in a world where any sign of beauty is subject to admiration, then advice on how to fix it to emulate the perfect Barbie doll. Queen Bey put it flawlessly in Pretty Hurts:
Mama said, “You’re a pretty girl.
What’s in your head, it doesn’t matter
Brush your hair, fix your teeth.
What you wear is all that matters.”
Blonder hair, flat chest
TV says, “Bigger is better.”
South beach, sugar free
Vogue says, “Thinner is better.”
Don’t get me wrong, being beautiful and feeling beautiful is important, but surely not as important as saying something profound or empowering someone instead of competing with them, when everyone around is waiting for you to throw it all away for the glittering runway where all you’re looked at is for your cheek bones or waist-line; where you’re nothing more than a pretty face.
Could we not have a best-of-both-worlds option?
It’s heartening to know that not everyone falls prey to being comfortable in the bubble that cushions you with being happy where your only accomplishment is smiling for the cameras and wearing the highest heels. The darling of Harry Potter, who is well-educated on set and in life, is one such example. Emma Watson graduated from Brown University on the 25th of May 2014, with a degree in English literature, part of which was studied at Oxford University. This was done expertly, given her role in major films and keeping up appearances contemporaneously. Beauty and intelligence is the most wonderful combination, is it not?
After a string of girlfriends through the years, and vowing never to get married again, George Clooney, Hollywood’s (former) most eligible bachelor met, the graceful, awe-inspiring, Amal Alamuddin. She is a beautiful woman – an Anne Hathaway lookalike in my opinion, with more than just beauty to offer the world. Born in Lebanon and educated abroad, she is fluent in the English, Arabic and French languages. Her credentials include a B.A. LLB from Oxford University and an LLM from New York University School of Law. She’s currently a practicing Attorney, specialising in International Law and Human Rights, and being photographed looking great every time, with or without her A-list fiancé. She’s a game changer.
Res ipsa loquitur. Smart girls always win.