As the proverb goes, “beauty is only skin-deep”. Oxford dictionary defines the proverb as ‘a pleasing appearance is not a guide to character’. Even if you take the proverb in its literal sense, if two humans, a supposedly charming man and a supposedly ugly chap are skinned alive and made to stand side by side, they look the same. So beauty is indeed only skin deep.
The concept of beauty is very complex to understand and everyone has his or her own distinct idea of beauty. Because one’s idea of beauty depends on his tastes and preferences and the perspective from which he views his fellow humans. It also depends on the culture and traditions in which he has been brought up and even on his education and social status. In our Indian culture beauty appears to have a certain benchmark – fair complexioned, tall and lean, and people, to reach the benchmark, use different products and services to improve their looks.
According to the Personal Care Products Council, the global personal care products industry has a revenue of about $250 billion per year, and China and India are among the fastest-growing markets for personal care products. There is no doubt that maintaining hygiene and smelling good are not only essential to keep in good health but also project yourself as an educated and civilized individual. But at the same time over-dependence on cosmetics to artificially enhance one’s looks may be counterproductive in many aspects. Modern research shows that excessive usage of cosmetics has many adverse effects on health including skin allergies and cancer. Therefore, one needs to be very cautious and judicious in their usage.
There are some people, especially women, who are excessively concerned about their weight, and they reduce their intake of nutritious food with the expectation of shedding weight. However, in their obsession to be light weight they deprive their bodies of the much-needed nutrition and easily fall prey to anemia and related ailments. Many people rightly opine that all the healthy people who lead healthy and dignified lives look charming and beautiful.
God, when he creates any creature, creates it to look charming and attractive. The terms aesthetically challenged or ugly are highly subjective terms and only reflect the arrogance and superiority complex among their users. Real beauty lies in naturality and simplicity. Any artificially jacked-up appearances are not only unsustainable but also can’t be termed as beautiful. Take the example of the Bollywood celebrities, who appear stunningly beautiful on-screen but fail to impress off-screen. In fact, many of them look pretty ordinary without makeup.
So our concept of beauty could best be only subjective. We humans are very much conscious of our looks, and we all worry a lot about the kind of impression we create on others with regard to our physical appearance. What we people should understand is, in order to look beautiful and charming, one needs to keep in good health and cultivate a dignified personality without worrying about his or her physical appearance.