Wednesday, May 25, 2016

"Natural" Beauty (05/25/16)

I don't usually like group pictures. If it's required or strongly recommended that I take part in one, I will, but I definitely don't look for opportunities to take them. After concerts or special awards ceremonies, I escape from everyone I know to avoid getting my picture taken. It's not that I'm self conscious about how I look, I just think pictures of me aren't usually flattering unless they're taken with only me in mind.

I would say that many people agree with me about that. Something about taking pictures is unnatural, and it often turns awkward as people try not to look awkward. I like seeing action shots because I want to see how I look when I'm not trying to pose for the camera. It's really cool for me to find a picture of myself that really captures my personality because then I can see how the world sees me. If only I could videotape an entire day of my life so I could see how what I think I'm doing relates to what I'm actually doing.

I think we spend too much time in front of mirrors as well. We look too closely at the marks on our faces and the way our bodies are shaped. Why then do we ourselves so differently than the world does? Part of it may be that we spend too much time with ourselves and overlook the beautiful parts of ourselves to focus on our insecurities. But consider this as well: when you stand in front of a mirror, that's all you're doing. You just stand there. How often do you stay still without talking or changing emotions in your everyday life? There's almost always a conversation or some kind of movement you make when you're around other people, and your mirror time doesn't usually include this kind of motion. The motionless gazing you use in front of a mirror isn't your natural state, so you don't truly realize how you actually look to others.

Do you ever stand in the background and people watch? No, I'm not saying that you should stand outside a business and stalk the people who walk in, but just taking a moment to scan the scene if you walk into a room unseen can be pretty interesting. That's where I think a certain kind of beauty shows. The grace and poise you have simply from being the owner of yourself tells more about you than a well-taken picture. Watching someone act around their friends shows more of their personality than a conversation with them directly face-to-face, since conversations are more forced and the person is more aware of how you see them and acts accordingly. Uninterrupted human interactions reveal inner beauty, or a lack thereof.

I don't exactly think the phrase "natural beauty" is quite like how we portray it. Sure, there's something special about leaving nature be and watching what happens, but there's a reason why girls wear makeup. No, we don't just feel insecure about ourselves and want to hide behind a mask. It's because makeup actually works. Getting rid of all the blemishes on your face and making your eyes stand out really does make you look better. There are extremists who try to use way too much, and I acknowledge that. Overall, though, makeup isn't used to necessarily make the face more perfect, but to make the imperfections less noticeable.

So, to combine several ideas, I think beauty isn't necessarily all on the inside or outside. The outside can be deceiving, so the best way to let it shine is to make it less distracting so the inside can shine through. Being confident of yourself (maybe despite outward appearances) and having fun is more natural and therefore more beautiful. Beauty can be a gift, so it should be used wisely. It also looks different both to and from different people. You and your best friend can look completely different but both be completely gorgeous because you radiate different kinds of beauty. That means that anyone and everyone can be beautiful.

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