This is one of those questions that is impossible to answer. If you were to ask a group of people their definition and for an example, you’d get lots of different answers and none of them would be wrong.
Dictionary.com defines beauty 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, colour, sound, etc.), a meaningful design or pattern, or something else (as a personality in which high spiritual qualities are manifest).’
It is commonly used to describe people, but this could also relate to a place, the weather, sunsets, or works of art etc. Whatever the subject, it’s down to each individual’s own tastes and interpretations.
You might have heard the phrase ‘beauty is only skin deep’. This is when you only consider outer beauty. Inner beauty is just as attractive, if not more so. Outer beauty fades and alters over time whereas what’s on the inside develops and strengthen over time.
Nature Vs nurture plays a vital role when it comes to this. Outer beauty is down to your genetics (nature), whilst inner beauty is down to learnt behaviours (nurture). They can however go hand in hand. If someone feels confident in themselves then this will come across in the way they carry themselves and their physical presence.
The beauty industry makes up a big share of retail sales. This includes sales of cosmetics, perfume and skin and hair care. Last year, the beauty industry in the UK was reported to be worth £27 billion and was the seventh largest cosmetics market in the world. With less socialising and going into work, I wouldn’t be surprised if there was a sharp fall in these figures during the pandemic though.
You see lots in the media shaming celebrities when they’re seen out and about doing every day things, not looking at their best. But they’re human just like us. They don’t have make-up artists with them at all times. And how often are the photos we see of them in glossy magazines photoshopped? It is these photoshopped images that add to the pressure to try and be ‘perfect’, even though what we see sometimes isn’t true to life.
I do like to do a bit of make-up and my hair every now and again. I went out the other night for drinks with friends in their garden. I don’t know if it was the excitement of going out after so long because of lockdown, or the fact I was having a night off from being ‘mummy’, but I made the effect and got dolled up hehe. Getting ready for a night out can be all part of the occasion. For me it’s not so much about perfection, but enjoying a bit of self-care and time for myself.
Perfectionism can come from fear, criticism, and trying to be the impossible. We all have hang-ups and feel insecure about our appearance and think we are flawed in some way. This is completely normal. The first step to embracing our imperfections is to realise that there is no such thing as perfect. Perfection is the idea you have in your mind that you think will make you the happy, but it is in fact our imperfections/flaws that make us unique and who we are.