Learning What Beauty Means

A few months before I went to visit Korea, I wrote a post called “Korean 101: Do You Look Good Enough?” that talked about the obsession with looks that Korean society seems to be currently undergoing.

It was something that I was afraid to be confronted with in the Motherland. As I mentioned in that earlier post, I know what it feels like to be looked down on and made fun of just because of physical appearances. I did not want to have to see others being subjected to the same kind of pressures they didn’t deserve.

I don’t know if I ended up being as constantly bombarded with it as I thought I’d be, but in any case, I still saw plenty of ads of young celebrities who have all probably had plastic surgery to make their faces look “perfect.” And the before- and after-surgery shots of both young girls’ and guys’ faces displayed in the subways and magazines just made my heart wrench into a knot.

Not too long after landing in Korea …

One day, someone said something in response to one of my protests that made me think really hard. They pointed out that for some of these girls, getting their faces done can give them a confidence that they wouldn’t have had otherwise.

And it’s really not a point to just dismiss.

I started to think, am I really one to judge? Am I one to believe that this kind of pressure isn’t everywhere, including in my own country, and that I don’t succumb in some way or another to externally prescribed standards of what is considered “beautiful”? Don’t most of us?

Advertising “beauty” in the city

Here is my issue in particular with the Korea plastic surgery craze: it seems, from what I’ve learned, that girls at an extremely young age are told that looking “beautiful” is one of the — perhaps, the most — important things in life.

It is what you need to be successful, as is actually the case when you have to submit your headshot with a job or college application. Friends and mothers will be the first to tell you what’s wrong with your face and what you need to get fixed. Their celebrity “role models” all look like the “after” shots that you too can look like if you just book an appointment with the surgeon.

Basically, these young people don’t stand a chance to learn any other standard of beauty.

I feel that at least when I was growing up, I had time to develop my own personality and consider things like being creative, funny, and smart as what made me a cool person. My mom thought I was so cute with my chubby face and never put me down for having on a few extra pounds.

It was only when people started commenting that the way I looked was “wrong,” that I started looking at myself differently and feeling insecure.

Flipping through a magazine at a Korean restaurant

I think that having started out with different standards of what being an attractive person means has helped me to not totally lose myself in society’s standards of attractiveness.

I don’t know what’s going on with young kids here (in Canada) today. Are the pressures mounting against them to look a certain way to fit in and feel happy with themselves? Are they being bombarded at an ever-younger age than my generation was?

Whatever the case, my hope is that young people growing up get a chance to develop other standards of beauty and success — their own standards. Because once the real pressures start coming on full-force, they will need some powerful weapons to battle those outside voices with.

– Cafe <3

What are your experiences in learning what “beauty” means? How do you think we can help young people grow up with a more positive self-image?

A great blog post I read that speaks to this issue: http://louisepageblog.wordpress.com/2012/07/23/the-pressure-to-be-thin/


66 thoughts on “Learning What Beauty Means

  1. Nice piece…indeed…you are creative, funny, and smart…and pretty…ha ha ha. I don’t like the whole cosmetic surgery thing either…so strange when you think about it…altering your appearance that much. I like my defects…it is what makes me…me :)

    • LOL thanks, you make me laugh.
      Funny, the last part of your comment there. One of my recent Q’s of the Day on Facebook was what makes “you” you? And I was stumped, couldn’t answer it. It ended up being part of the Free Write I’ll post this week. Still never got to figuring out the answer lol

  2. This accompanied by expectations in performing well in education must create a profoundly stressful environment for young individuals in South Korea. I was just watching a news segment by AlJazeera about the topic. The problem is very similar in China, as well, where a recent survey found that over 28 percent of high school students have had thoughts of suicide.

  3. This is very interesting, and a subject that I think about a lot as well. I am English (Caucasian) but I grew up from age 4 in Hong Kong until I was an adult, so that has affected my perspective of the world. I have also lived in other countries and I have an interracial marriage.

    My husband grew up in Pakistan where they have their own concept of beauty (as every country does, I think). In Pakistan, number one priority is skin colour – are you fair enough? As close to white as possible is THE single most important factor. Even the dolls which they sell for children are white with blonde hair!! Brown or black dolls don’t exist there. What kind of programming is that to instill in a child from when they are young enough to have their first “baby doll”?

    They also think that being fat is good, and a sign of “health and wealth”. If you are slender, then you must be poor or sick. Slender is only acceptable in young girls, but when you are a woman you should be fat. It’s only acceptable not to be fat if you are a man and you have huge muscles. Then it’s ok. But slim is considered ugly. Also, they love a very round face (opposite of Korea). They think the “moon face” is beautiful. They believe a nose must be very narrow and pointed (like an arrow), and that eyes must be as big as possible. But even better than big eyes are eyes which are light-coloured (this is very rare but it does happen occasionally). If a Pakistani person has “bright” eyes, then this is a sign of “great beauty” even if their eyes are not big.

    I’ve been with my husband for 6 years and we live in Europe (first Spain and now England) where the perception of beauty is very different. I am very health-conscious so my husband started to lose weight (by eating healthily and doing exercise) after we moved in together. It took *years* for him to believe that his face wasn’t “weak-looking” because it is slim instead of fat.

    And his eyes are not big, so he grew up with people always criticising his eyes. I think his eyes are *beautiful*. They are similar to the Far East Asian eyes – slanted and almond-shaped. I love them and he is just now starting to believe that maybe his eyes can be beautiful after all. And his eyelashes are a mile long (sign of beauty in western culture!! LOL) so I can’t help but admire them. But for him that’s nothing really because everyone in his culture has long eyelashes.

    It’s such a shame when a culture indoctrinates people from a young age to believe that they are not beautiful, when in fact, if you just get into an aeroplane and go to another country, they might think you are gorgeous! There are a LOT of Caucasian men who think Far East Asian women are the most beautiful in the world and they don’t even know about “double eye lids” or any of that. They just love those women. The fact that their face looks very different from the European face is what they love.

    And there are a lot of Caucasian women who worry that they are not “perfect” but if they went to India or Pakistan or Africa, everyone would think they were stunning just because of white skin, light eyes and hair. So “beauty” changes from one country to another and it’s kind of ridiculous that the same person can be “ugly” in one country and “gorgeous” in another.

    Very interesting article. :-)

    • Wow, that is so interesting. I had no idea that those things were valued in Pakistan. It’s so sad about the white dolls. It’s like the same concept as in Korea where these kids internalize these notions of beauty at such a younge age.

      There is so much beauty in every culture, and there will always be people in every culture who envy those from other cultures for their unique and different looks. I suppose that’s natural to want what we don’t have, but to go to the extent where you can’t accept who you are is truly sad.

  4. Pingback: Perceptions of Beauty in South Korea « East Asian and Pacific Affairs

  5. And I wonder what we can do – us lot, the people with the faces we don’t like, with the cankles, the muffin tops, the limp, lifeless hair. It’s in the personal, day-to-day things, I think. Like consuming media critically. The media is a construction – this is no secret. Magazines, film, TV, newspapers – they all rely on advertising. So reminding ourselves that the body types we see represented are the body types that generate purchases. Asking ourselves: “Am I being sold something here?” It’s not a terrible thing, being sold to, it’s just a… thing. Unpicking the media we consume, and talking about it, will help us feel better eventually. Cognitive dissonance programmes in schools have been effective – encouraging young people to speak out against the unrealistic ideals of beauty they see. In talking about it we reduce the internalisation of beauty ideals, and feel less awful about our implied failings.

  6. This is a great post about what beauty really means. As you know, my partner and I are on a quest to teach English in Korea. So lately I’ve been researching journals and watching videos in YouTube about Korea, their cultures, fashion, beauty and skincare etc.
    NOT IN GENERAL but according to research, most women and men in Korea are quite obsessed with their looks. There are reports that before going to highschool, Korean girls will take a vacation just to have plastic surgeries (usually the double eyelid surgery), the ideal face shape is a V shape – usually that’s what they aim for and dieting is a must – gaining a kg is like gaining a 100kg for them. That scared me or maybe made me nervous in going to Korea because I’m very curvy. I live in Manchester (England) and I love how diverse this city is! Here I think people would say my size is an okay size. It’s not unhealthy in any way but I’m just scared of how others in Korea might react to that.

    Hmmm, as a teacher I find this as a good opportunity to teach my future students about what beauty really means. There’s more to it than just the colour of your skin, your face shapes and body types.

    • Hey Sarah, I think it’s great you’re doing a lot of research on Korean culture before you go there instead of just throwing yourself in there unprepared mentally, as I’m sure it will be a big culture change. I’ve read a few blogs written by people who go over to Korea to teach and I recall one of the female bloggers talking about her own young students criticizing her looks because she didn’t fit the Korean standard. I’m not saying this to scare you or anything, it’s more just a reflection of how deeply embedded those values are in their society. I don’t think these kids realized that what they’re saying isn’t nice, they just grow up thinking it’s normal because they probably hear their parents and other people saying stuff like that all the time. I think if you go there, you will just need to know how beautiful you are and have that self-confidence to push any negative comments aside and understand that they come from a very distorted sense of what “beauty” means.

      • Yes I agree! I supposed that will also be my job as a teacher – to tell them that beauty also comes from within and not just your physical appearance. Going to Korea will be a big culture shock to us but we know it’ll be a great big adventure! :)

  7. What are your experiences in learning what “beauty” means? How do you think we can help young people grow up with a more positive self-image?

    To answer your question;
    Considering I’m also of Asian origin, I recognize your conundrum. Beauty as a result of series of operations and easy-solutions is not something that I support. However I find people who take effort, naturally and earnestly, in taking care of themselves and creating appealing and confident appearances, in all sizes and shapes. Now, that is something that I adore and respect! In addition to a wonderful smile, of course :)

    Unfortunately, there are also some bad days when I feel less confident about my perception of beauty. Those days when I fail miserably in trying some pieces of clothing at stores ‘cos they don’t have my sizes available… Arg! I have when that happens, then I just get over it, head to another store or find a style that works for me. However, I also have a different material to work with. My proportions and height are not exactly typical Filipino sizes :/

    • Hey Michelle! I think we’ve all been there in those changerooms, feeling totally unconfident and unsatisfied with ourselves. But I’m glad you can pick yourself up and move on to better things! :)

      I really love what you said about people taking care of themselves and creating appealing and confident appearances. I believe you can still make the effort in doing that without sacrificing yourself! It’s all about being healthy and taking care of our bodies, and finding a style that suits our personalities and tastes!

  8. Society’s expectations have changed, from expecting us to be rich and successful to being beautiful in the physical way. I can see that many girls and boys are obsessed with their appearance and sometimes I fall into the trap too. And that’s too bad that it’s the media that’s encouraging that…
    Great post Janice :D Beauty is always a topic I like to reflect on… there’s so many aspects of it.

    • Thanks for your insights, Daphnee. Yes, we all do fall into it one way or another. It seems so inescapable, like it’s just become a subconscious part of the way we experience life. But I think it’s great the more we talk about it and remind ourselves where these standards come from.

  9. being beautiful and being attractive are different things to me.. i guess beauty is a subset within attractiveness. there are other traits that can make someone attractive other than physical appearances. As much as i love asia, i have a few bones to pick. The classism and the general submissive role of women in asia. In response to that whole confidence thing, I think it’s terrible for anyone to submit themselves to other peoples expectations. If you build your image that is completely dependent on the world around you and you take that all away, there’s nothing left but a empty shell (maybe this is a tad cryptic).

    I’m sure there are women in Korea who don’t want these pressures on the younger generation and try to do their part, its just that their influence is overshadowed by media and rooted culture. I don’t think anyone is specific to blame for this phenomena though (as long as there is a need there will be someone to supply it). I think it takes time and real women(empowered women) to pass this value to future generations, so they don’t feel the need to go to extreme lengths to feel good about themselves.

    • I like what you said about women passing on these values. Women are huge enforcers of these expectations, maybe even more so than men. Probably more than men. It’s pretty sad how females spend a lot of time tearing each other up and being catty. That’s why we can’t just unite as a whole and make some real changes in how women think about themselves.

      I guess people’s definition of “beauty” and “attractiveness” can be different and some feel they are the same or overlap. I definitely think things other than physical looks can make someone attractive, confidence being one of them. Also genuineness. Lots of other things too :)

  10. Great post, as always. One thing I love about your blog is that it’s not just the fluffy stuff (so many travel blogs have become cookie-cutter feel-good pieces) — you put a lot of YOU in it, and you deal with issues. Love it!

    With regard to altering our appearances with technology, I am on board with it to some extent. As you mentioned, there is the valid argument that some people can get a huge self confidence boost with a bit of surgical sleight of hand. Hell, I have even gone there. Ok, I didn’t get surgery, but I was really tired of having Chewbacca hair on my back and shoulders. So I did the laser thing in Thailand. I moved about 3 steps up the evolutionary ladder in just a few treatments. Goodbye Wookie! Hello Human! Even my opposable thumbs seem to work better. I’m still a shirt-on kind of guy, but I just feel better about myself in general because of it. Stupid? Maybe. But I do understand how fixing that one thing that you can’t overcome with happy thoughts can help.

    Then there’s Korea. This is a different story altogether. In Korea, it’s more about the mother’s being insecure with imperfect children than the young girls actually wanting to go and get cut up and turned into freakish looking narrow-chinned, glassy-eyed China dolls. Looks like cookie cutters exist in plastic surgery as well as blog writing. Who knew?

    Anyway, to me, this rush to be a clone is not a good thing — except for people who aspire to be Stormtroopers, in which case, it’s a job requirement. But other that that, I wish Korea would stop allowing doctor’s to profit as a direct result of advertising that is designed to make an entire generation of women feel like shit about themselves.

    • Thanks, Mike! I did worry about doing too much travel blogging because it’s not my style to just post photos. I felt like something was missing. But I’m glad you feel like there’s more substance involved! :)

      Haha, thanks also for sharing your story, I totally get what you mean though and I don’t think it’s stupid. There seems to be a gray line between what people find as acceptable forms of modifying one’s self. Some might think even make-up is too fake, while others are only put off once it gets to altering body parts into different shapes an sizes. I don’t know what the “right” answer is, not that there is one necessarily.

      • Well, I guess that’s the question that everybody has to learn to answer…how much change is too much? I guess in a society where people teach their kids the value of personality and beauty in things that go beyond the physical, that gray line will move back toward people changing less, and embracing their current looks more.

        Having said that, I’m a guy, and therefore live in a world where as you age, women start to base their attraction on who you are rather than what you look like. Lucky for guys like me who were not born as super models. I know women are under a much different set of pressures regarding this stuff, so I’m not in any position to really talk about this. But of course, I do, any chance I get. lol

        • Haha! Well, that’s interesting what you said about women basing attractiveness on things other than looks as they get older. So do you think that as guys get older, they still base much of attractiveness of women on looks?

          • I don’t think older guys will date a woman based on looks alone. So we definitely mature in that sense. But looks are still hugely important for attraction. Luckily, unlike women, who tend to seem to find the same guys hot or not — in my experience, guys have an enormous variation in what they find attractive. So no matter what a woman looks like, there is some guy out there who will think she is the hottest woman alive.

            Also unlike women, who can at first think of a guy as being a bit of a dag and then find him more attractive as she loves the inner him more — that doesn’t really happen with guys. We like what we like. Or at least that’s the message I get from the scores of older guys I tend to be in touch with here in Asia. Maybe guys back in N. America are more evolved than we are out here. Hard to say.

            • I agree with the first part, but my personal experience is that coming to know someone, especially if you care for them, makes them seem truly more attractive. My ex-wife is actually a good example. I’m way into faces–in some regards, they may be the most important part of a woman’s physical attributes for me. I met my (now ex-)wife over the internet and we happened to exchange thousands of lines of email before we had a chance to met. We were very into each other by the time we did. I never saw her picture, so I had no idea what she looked like.

              When we met, my virtual jaw dropped. She had a (to me) hugely plain, even unattractive face. She was in great shape physically, but the face was really something. But knowing that how you see someone changes with time, and really liking the person I’d met by email, I set that aside. And sure enough, over time, that face became the face of the woman I loved and married. We’re still friends, and even though I can recognize the elements in her face that struck me so negatively, it’s still the face of a woman I love(d), and it looks pretty damn good to me!

              (I’ve never told her a word of this, but she barely reads my blog, let alone knows about comments I make on other blogs, so I feel safe telling the tale here.)

            • Good post! But when you write “even though I can recognize the elements in her face that struck me so negatively” that kind of is what I was getting at. We will form relationships with people and love who they are — all of who they are. But if she wasn’t the super model you’d dreamed of, she is likely to become that over time. Sorry about the divorce though. It runs rampant in my family — probably the reason I have yet to tie the knot.

            • Right. I must not have fully understood what you mean by, “that doesn’t really happen with guys. We like what we like.” My ex-wife’s face literally does look good to me now in large part because of the life and love we shared.

              (For what it’s worth, I’ve never wanted to be with a supermodel. I used to live in Los Angeles, and in my experience very beautiful women tend to be vain, narcissistic, frequently stupid and generally unpleasant. I’ll take a real woman any day.)

            • LOL! I hope she doesn’t read this!! I mean, in one way you’re complimenting her but in another … errmmmm, I dunno …. lol. That’s a great story though, what a way to develop a relationship for so long without knowing what the person looked like! That’s true love, no? =P

            • Yep, definitely it was true love. It’s a real pity it didn’t work out. I thought I’d found “the one.” Alas, reality had a different idea. So it goes.

            • The cultural element is interesting too! Maybe there is something in Asian culture where guys tend to think differently when it comes to women? Of course there is always individual variation. But seeing as how you’ve been immersed in both cultures, maybe you’ve noticed that even your take on women has changed?

  11. My Korean friend is very beautiful, and very sweet. Though she is also forward with stating when somebody isn’t perfect, I remember her saying her boyfriend is ‘really ugly’ – but he was ‘very funny and nice so she didn’t mind’. I always thought it kind of strange to be so vocal about thinking your boyfriend ugly, but perhaps that’s just from the culture she grew up in (she moved here a couple of years ago)
    I think the obsession with ‘perfect beauty’ needs to stop – first of all taking down those before and after shots in Korea! In my country, cleaning up the advertisement industry.

    Great post :)

    • Heya, thanks for reading! :)
      Yeah, it seems that kind of bluntness is part of the culture, which can’t help matters in hearing such negative messages if they’re directed at you!
      Wouldn’t it be amazing if the advertisement industry could deliver a new message to people? It’s crazy how much power they have. They have so much social responsibility, whether they see it that way or not, but all anyone cares about is making the most money they can.

  12. You read my Bab’s Drive-In Dairy post, so you know about my experience in high school discovering that beauty truly is in the eye of the beholder and directly reflects ones inner nature. As they say, beauty is only skin deep and fades quickly. It’s all a part of how shallow our culture has become. It will only change when we begin to perceive, exactly as you said, creativity, humor, intelligence, personality and caring as the true beauty, the beauty that is more than skin deep, the beauty that does not fade.

    It seems especially worse to me that young women would want to alter their racial characteristics. The last thing I would want in this world is for it to be filled with people who all looked the same way. How boring would that be?!?! Confidence and feeling better about yourself is one thing, but changing the core of who you are? No, no, no!!

    That said, as I’ve mentioned before, you remind me of a college girlfriend. I loved her and thought she was so very beautiful. So are you, and better yet, you have a beautiful mind and heart!

    • Haha you’re much too kind =P

      I like what you said about things being boring if we all looked the same. There is something so beautiful about each different culture, I really believe that.

  13. Hello, no offence, but I’ve been hearing a lot of jokes about korean women even here in the US. Like the only “real” thing when one sees a Korean woman is the purse, and we’re not even sure about this.

    maybe they’ve been brainwashed to believe that a beautiful pair of eyes are big, the nose should be a certain shape, etc. In other words, Western look. My friend, who is half Korean, ( and just went on vacation in Korea this summer ) said the same thing and was saddened about this.

    The pageant officials of Miss Universe are now wary of Miss Korea. They can’t be sure now if that is natural beauty.

    • Lol I’ve never heard that joke, but it’s funny in a very sad way. Yup, others have commented on the desire to look Westernized in Korean society. I hope there is a real shift in this thinking and not in the far off future.

      So is it a rule that Miss Universe contestants have to be “all natural”?

      • I assume they wouldn’t want anyone’s face to have been altered by plastic surgery. There was even an article that I read a few weeks ago about Korean parents giving plastic surgery to their daughters as birthday gift, I really don’t care about individual preferences, if that;s what they want, so be it. Each to his /her own happiness, but making that almost cultural is very wrong.

        • Yeah, I’ve heard about the birthday gift thing too.
          I agree with you, you can’t totally judge what people’s individual tastes are but when it’s something people don’t truly have a choice to develop those preferences because it’s so drilled into their heads from Day One, then that’s not okay in my opinion.

  14. Maybe Korea needs their own version of Ugly Betty. That seemed to cure people being mean to ugly people in the Western World…

    Beauty changes over time. I know in myself it even has. I used to think gross blonde tan girls were “hot.” I still call them hot but I’m not even attracted to that at all. Beauty for me is a mix between outward and inward. It’s a vibe you get. I can’t look at a picture of a girl and tell you if she’s beautiful or not. I need to see how she moves and talks and I need to know something about her and what she does. If I take all that time she better damn be beautiful because that’s a lot of work.

    The more average looking people who appear in the media and such the less pressure there will be on everyone.

    • Yeah, having other role models who aren’t so “perfect” looking is needed for all young kids these days.

      I get what you mean about “the vibe” and attractiveness being a mix of outward and inward. No matter what, we’ll be attracted to what we think of as physically attractive. But personality can change everything. I’ve met people who are “average” looking in my personal taste, but have personalities that totally up the attractiveness factor. And vice versa as well!

  15. Personal I think it’s so wrong … especially when people want to change skin color – a little bit of touching up if we feel for that .. but when black women wants to become more fair skinned .. and Asian women want to have western eyes. Why ???? Why can’t we accept the way we are – the media and especially glossy magazines has a big part in it. They give us the wrong picture of how we should like. We are perfectly okay the way we are …

    • Hi Viveka,
      Yes, we are all okay the way we are. We are each born looking a certain way. There’s nothing wrong with that! It’s only when people say there’s something wrong with that, that people question themselves. I find that concept to be so unfair. There are people everywhere depressed and down on themselves because others treat them differently just for their looks. What the heck is that?!?!

      • You’re so right in what you’re saying … when they start making small girls to beauty queens .. with wigs, make up and making them look older – SICK !!!!! What kind of picture will the poor girl get of their life as women? The whole beauty industry is totally wrong .. and with teen girls getting breast implants ??? It makes me so angry.

        • I agree, Viveka :(
          Now the question is how people can start changing things slowly but surely. Even if we can affect one person, it would be worth the effort.

  16. I think you are gorgeous! Does that count? Hope so.

    I am 55 now and have gone through huge transitions in my life, I don’t use the word huge lightly. Twenty years ago I was obsessed with my weight and with beauty. Then out of nowhere I was kidnapped and shot, left for dead. Left partially paralyzed and with years of surgery and rehab in my future. I gained weight, lots of it. I lost weight some of it. My body changed. My priorities changed.

    I will never be thin again. I will never be who I was again. I will never ever do the things I once did. I spent years hating what I became. I spent years hating what I looked like, hating what I saw in the mirror. Some times I still do. Now, add the occasional wrinkle that is emerging gotta love that.

    But truthfully I learned that what was inside of me was more important. Who I was was more vital. I wish everyone could learn this.

    • Awww thanks, Valentine! Your compliments mean a lot to me :)
      I’m so sorry to hear that terrible happened to you, that just makes me so angry! :(
      It’s no wonder you’re so strong, Valentine. Really and truly. Keep spreading your inspiration to others.

  17. Nice post and alos enjoyed the photos on the last two posts from Korea. Been in Korea many times (I am Swedish myself) and got kind of scared the first times I went, scared over the obsession of looks. Anyway, a beautiful country and a beautiful people, wish to get back soon.

    • Heya! Thanks for checking out the posts, glad you enjoyed them :)
      I still have love for the country, I just wish that they would take out from themselves the things that really matter and that they should really be proud of.

  18. It’s funny that you bring this up today. Yesterday I finally got around to watching the Gangnam style video (yes, I am behind the viral times). My one and only comment on the whole thing was that the girl in it with the orange hair looked very “white” and that it bothers me that Korean girls feel so much pressure to look European. The pictures you put up here show this exact movement. It really saddens me. Yes, all women around the world are under pressure to look “better” in one way or another but it actually hurts me to see women thinking that to be white is to be better than to celebrate their own ethnic beauty. It’s interesting in that in many ways it creates a whole new culture of body creativity, but what culture and ethnicity is lost?

    • Haha, yeah that video/song sure is getting around!
      There does seem to be that European or Americanized standard of beauty being held in high regard over there. Girls get their jawline turned into a “v” shape and get surgery for double-eyelids and bigger, rounder eyes. Guys do it too. It is very sad and it’s so ingrained at this point in their culture that I don’t think most people would look at it critically that way. They’d just say, well, that’s what I think is beautiful, what’s wrong with me wanting to look like that? Sad :(

  19. The most “beautiful” people I have ever known gave the best hugs. I don’t know why but I have such a weakness for hugs….and those are beautiful things! Perhaps I find it beautiful when someone gives and takes at the same time…like a truly great hug which not only comforts but has that little greedy side to it where the hugger takes a little air out of the huggee. Maybe if someone could see the look on their ownface when they give or get a hug from someone they love we would all think we are beautiful glowing people….

  20. Beauty is relative, I think a woman without makeup is borderline perfect- the rest is confidence. I think it’s highly subjective, each person has their own form of what constitutes a beautiful individual. For me, I’ve always been attracted to someone who is comfortable in their own skin, even with their faults and anxiety.

    • Confidence is HUGE. I was telling a guy friend recently that confidence is SO attractive to a woman. Doesn’t matter what you look like, if you show that confidence, people are going to believe that there is some damn good reason why you are walking around with your head held high =)

  21. Unfortunately until the media stops portraying air brushed super models on every TV,magazine,and Billboard ad it wont change. Until they realize beauty comes in all shapes, sizes and colors. : )

    • I’m glad you are one young person who is growing up with a deeper sense of what beauty is, Shira :) Keep spreading that message as you always do.

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