Defining Beauty: What’s Real and What’s Not

There is an all-out war on self-esteem, self-confidence, and self-worth…especially on today’s woman.  More than ever, women (and even men) are faced with a daily barrage of standards placed upon them by TV, movies, and even in the workplace. Sure, we have heard some of the statistics:  Over 50% of commercials on TV are aimed at some form of image product or ideal we all are supposed to achieve. And according to the National Institute on Media and the Family, the following facts are, unfortunately, true:

    40% of girls ages 9 & 10, have tried to lose weight, according to an ongoing study funded by the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute.

    10 year old girls and boys have admitted to researchers they were dissatisfied with their own bodies after watching popular music videos or TV shows.

    And one study reports that at age thirteen, 53% of American girls are “unhappy with their bodies.” By the time they reach age 17, this dissatisfaction grows to 78%.

And let’s not forget our more “mature” women. According to sources such as ANAD and About-Face, 91 percent of women are unhappy with their bodies. As a result, they try dieting as a way to achieve their ideal body shape. And, guess what? Only 5 percent of women naturally have the body type often portrayed by Americans in the media.

So, with so much time being spent on how to get to a size 0 or how to achieve the perfect nose, how can we possibly spend the time needed to nurture and groom our future mothers, wives and leaders?  Have we become so obsessed with looks that we could care less about the future of our communities and societies? Are we raising a generation of self-absorbed and shallow women who do not strive to focus more on brain power as oppose to womanly wiles? ).  Beauty is defined as “the quality present in a thing or person that gives intense pleasure or deep satisfaction to the mind, whether arising from sensory manifestations (as shape, color, sound, etc.), a meaningful design or pattern, or something else (as a personality in which high spiritual qualities are manifest).”  (Source:  Based on this definition, the concept of beauty originates in the mind.  The definition also tells us that beauty is also associated with your personality. So, beauty is not limited to dress or pant size. It is not bounded by hair color, height, or skin color. True beauty, by definition, encompasses the mind, personality, and even spiritual qualities. Unfortunately, today’s media (TV, film, magazines) do not promote these aspects of beauty to the current generation or even to older adults. Thus, the real definition of beauty is severely skewed. 

Thus, the challenge for us ALL is to get back to REAL understanding. And once we REALLY understand what REAL beauty is all about….then we will truly realize how beautiful we already are!