Is Beauty meaningless? What indeed is Beauty? Reading this post will give you a good laugh as you read about my own experiences about looking good. It is my view that physical beauty is meaningless. I agree with Sophia Loren who said, “Beauty is how you feel inside and it reflects in your eyes. It is not something physical.” We need to redefine beauty and to put more emphasis on cultivating the features that make a person beautiful. To get you thinking about this, here is a quote from Jacqueline Bisset: “A mode of conduct, a standard of courage, discipline, fortitude and integrity can do a great deal to make a woman beautiful.” Do share with me your thoughts about this. Meanwhile, let me tell you something about myself and my attempts at being a physical work of beauty.

As A Baby

Like the proverbial plague, good looks, elegance, poise and good grooming avoided me as I was growing up. Ample evidence of this is available in the photographs of me as a baby, as a child and as a teenager. I was a fat baby. At birth, I weighed 8 pounds. And was I round! I looked like the typical stick drawing that children do of people. I had a round head and a round body except that my limbs were not quite matchsticks. No, in fact, my legs were as fat as those of a well-fed, plumb turkey and I had dimples on my knees!

Not only was I a fat baby but the photographs reveal me looking like a boy! I did not have much hair and I looked tough! At the time, my father had a student who was a wrestler. I often wonder if my parents would have liked me to be a boy and to be strong like a wrestler! And that this wish had rubbed off on me! I was the second child, my sister being the elder.

Awkward and Ungainly

So this fat, boyish looking baby grew into an awkward girl. I could not walk smartly and my mother would bluntly tell me, “You walk like a horse!” Did I gallop? Did I strut? Did I canter? One thing for sure, I knew, I was lacking in poise. Each time I got out of the car, I would often fall as I had no idea of how to step out elegantly. Hence, there were always bruises on my knees and elbows.

The primary school I attended was located in the city centre. The Japanese had used our school building during the Second World War as a camp for prisoners. There were many stories about ghosts in our school. We were terrified of walking around the school and of going to the toilet alone. One day when I was in the toilet which was dark and quiet, I slipped and fell. I had a nasty cut on my chin and had to be taken to a clinic. The doctor cleaned the cut and stitched it up. To this day, I have a scar on my chin and I often wonder about my fall in the toilet. Was I pushed by a person from the other world? Or was this the result of my clumsy, ungainly manners?

As a teenager I rebelled against being well groomed. One reason for this was that my mother was very elegant. Her hair was always in place and she took pains to do it herself if she could not go to the hairdresser. I can vividly recall her hairdryer, set of heated rollers, curlers and other paraphernalia. My mother had beautiful outfits and accessories. She was, as the expression goes, always well turned out!

As A Young Woman

It was only much later that I took an interest in how I looked, what I wore and my poise. I was already working and I had met the spouse, His Highness. I can remember telling him one day that I wanted to experiment with contact lenses and to do away with glasses. His reply to me was, “Surely, there is no need to do so.” He has never pestered me about my looks, my weight, my dressing. He was happy with me as I was. You can well understand why I love him immensely. Many women have confided in me of how their boyfriends and husbands will nag them about their looks. We should love each other for who we are as people, as individuals and not for our looks.

My Photograph

Some years ago, a publishing company invited me to be included in a publication similar to Who’s Who. It was a big book with well taken photographs of the people featured in the book. The company arranged for us to have our photograph taken by an exceptional photographer who specialized in taking portraits of the glamorous people. The photographer would arrange for us to have our faces made up by a make-up artist and our hair styled by a hairdresser.

As I had not experienced anything like this before, I agreed to the exercise. When I arrived at the photographer’s studio, a young lady took me aside and started to apply make up on my face. I had been to my hairdresser to have my hair styled so there was no need for anyone to attend to my hair. I have to admit that the make-up made me look good!

I was then asked to go to a studio and the photographer started switching on lights, moving screens and other items. He requested me to stand, sit and look in different directions! When he had completed his assignment, he imported the photos into a computer and he started making adjustments to the photographs. Together we agreed that some were better than others. He then said to me that my eyes were not even and that he could adjust them and they would look better. However this would cost me $25! For $25 I could look very good in my photographs and no one would be able to spot the unevenness of my eyes! How could I resist this offer? I gave him my consent to proceed and did I look good! It was then that I discovered that it does not take much to look good in a photograph!

The photographic session was free but we had to pay for the photographs that we ordered. Yes, you are right! My bill was large as I ordered many different sizes. One was a large photograph which I framed and placed in a strategic position in our living room. Visitors to the house always comment on the photograph. Some have asked me if it is that of my sister. Looking at me in the flesh and then at the photograph I guess they cannot believe that it is one and the same. Recently a delivery person commented on how lovely the photograph was and he then asked me, “Madam, is that your daughter?”
What a low blow! Good looks, elegance, poise and good grooming are still avoiding me!

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