I was about to write an article about true beauty. It was going to go speak something about natural beauty and the need not to wear makeup. I was then going to go a step further and start judging hard on women who use fillers and the like. But I stopped before writing a stroke.
I realised that my judgements and preconceived ideas are part of the problem. Yes, fillers can (and do most of the time) look ridiculous (well at least the ones we see on the screen). I’m trying to posit what real beauty is like, yet in doing so I’m excluding some true beauty on the basis of what the outer shell depicts. I find that three things have got me to where I am with the whole judging people based on appearances and looks thing.
The first is that when I worked in my gap year I started my own business. Well that is what we were encouraged to call it, but in my instance it was quite laughable. I was a Mary Kay girl. I bought makeup wholesale and sold it retail. Well actually, I bought lots of products wholesale and ended up giving them away/chucking them out after 10 years. It’s hard to market products in that sort of structured approach when you either don’t have friends or don’t wish to kill off the good friends you do have!
Anyway I had a lot of experiences brushing up against women that were totally into makeup. To which I playfully called “fake-up”. But I remember trying my best to look my best with makeup and my boss at the time (in my real job) saying, “Lib, you look better without makeup”. I went back to my Mary Kay senior consultant, explaining that women look better without makeup and her reply to me was, “Well you ask him whether his wife looks better without makeup!”
The second example from the past (that has led me to my conception of looks and the like) is that some of the greatest women I have known have not concealed their face or their emotions from me. Sure, they may choose to doll themselves up on special occasions. But for some reason I always equated and concluded that their genuineness had something to do with their lack of concern for makeup and fanciness.
My third life example has less to do with makeup and more to do with the outward appearance. When my mother was alive in the last years of her life she was bound by a wheelchair (well physically). It was really interesting to see the difference in the way I saw other people see my mother (from when she was in full health to a wheelchair user). My mother saw it too. I remember her reflecting that because she was in a wheelchair, coupled with her inability to speak clearly and dribbling mouth, that people then perceived she wasn’t with it in the mind either. Some people unconsciously would start elevating their voice at her considering she was deaf. She wasn’t. Some people would look at her and not say much at all thinking they weren’t going to receive much from the conversation. They didn’t.
This third example really hit me. I knew my mum was so much more than the way I perceived people perceiving her because of her outward vessel. And that really bugged me (still does).
I guess what I am saying is that I have this notion of what true beauty is based on by my life experience, of seeing people with and without makeup and being with and without the expectant norms of how people should look. I usually semi-consciously sit up on my high horse and somehow conclude that real beautiful people don’t wear makeup and don’t look a certain way. But I think I have just done the same thing I have criticised, in reverse. I have looked at the figure and determined who they are from that.
I’m not going to say that appearances aren’t important. Because it’s not that black and white. When you go for a job interview, you shine your shoes and comb your hair. What I am saying is that we should take a step back from judging people based upon their physique and outward package. Because like the best gifts, the packaging is just that. It needs to get discarded at some point and the gift inside is what is treasured. I would like to start treasuring what is inside people. I would like to do this however they look on the outside. Maybe I can provide the same consideration to myself too, when I gaze into my reflection.
So whether you have greys or peroxide. Whether you have fillers or seemingly in need of some. Whether you look one way or another. I’ll tell you this (what my husband gently says all the time), “You are loved”. You are loved for being you, in whatever shape or form.
Elizabeth is a Mum to Grace, step-mum to Will, wife to Ricky. She is very changeable. Sometimes she'll identify herself as a social worker, other times as a writer or even as a Christian. She loves her town of Dubbo, New South Wales. Elizabeth studied a Bachelor of Social Work at Charles Sturt University.