Posted in Happiness, Women's issues

What is beauty anyway? You’ll probably won’t find it social media.


What is beauty anyway? You’ll probably won’t find it on social media.

What is beauty? Is it truly in the eyes of the beholder or is there more to it? Have we been conditioned to believe certain aspects of beauty exist when perhaps they don’t? Is our perception of beauty distorted by watching excessive news and social media?

Beauty in the eyes of the beholder - Graphic Stock
Picture from Graphic Stock.

I sat in the hairdressers the other day. They had hairstyle magazines or Harpers Bazaar. I don’t buy such glossy publications, so thought it was a treat to have a peek (I’m more the fitness or home beautiful kinda girl). Not only were the fashions only suitable for the runway (or perhaps the streets of Milan, but not Coolangatta), but they didn’t make the models look pretty (let alone beautiful – only my opinion). Seriously, the models were so thin that in one of the photo shoots it’s a wonder the camera could even capture them.

What happened to the fashion industry taking body image seriously? I know there are naturally thin women, but there was no depiction of a mix of women. No curvy women, except for Elle McPherson featured on the cover (and let’s face it she’s a freak by any standard of beauty). No depiction of normality at all.

Okay, I know Harpers Bazaar and other fashion magazines are about the fashion ‘art’ and I appreciate that. Somehow I felt annoyed. I know for fans of Harpers, I don’t have to read it. I’m just pointing out how I felt, and even if I were rich one day I’d still prefer comfortable, beach Aussie clothing (even a bit of feminine floaty boho) to runway artwork (you know the kind where the neckline is so high and flamboyant you can’t even see the model’s pretty face. Do the people who read these magazines actually think that inside the pages are beautiful? Did they always think that way or did it happen the longer they looked at those images? Is the media influencing how we see things?

To me, beauty isn’t size, what you wear, or how you wear it, It’s not someone taking a selfie and photoshopping it beyond recognition (no really, your lips aren’t that pouty and your cheeks aren’t that hollow, but if they are good for you). Beauty by definition is a mix of qualities, such as shape, colour, or form, that pleases the aesthetic senses, especially the sight. Beauty is something that makes you feel good when you see it. We need to see things not only visually but also with our heart and mind and we’ll find what’s really beautiful.

I believe in observing the beauty outside the media influencers. I love a heartfelt smile on any shape, age or size face. I love twinkling eyes and mischievous grins of any colour, culture or religion. I see beauty in any size woman (or man for that matter) that loves their own body and embraces what they have, from tiny Linda Hunt to fun-time Rebel Wilson.

I see and an old man with watery eyes as he looks adoringly at his wife, as beautiful. I see the tiny down’s syndrome girl playing with other kids, as just another cute child. So is the redhead with freckles or not with the fiery temperament to match. A Digger in a wheelchair with a big smile on his face because he’s playing  basketball at the Invictus Games; that’s beautiful. Three children walking hand-in-hand; one Christian, one Asian, one Muslim; black, cream, white – beautiful! A baby cuddling a puppy and giggling as it licks his face (do I even have to say, “That’s beautiful”?).

It’s not just people either. While I’m smiling at a sunny day, someone out west, waiting for a drought to break, is grinning at a bunch of rain clouds greying the day. My gorgeous white sandy beach with turquoise blue water isn’t as beautiful to the person who loves snow, ski slopes and winter. To an overworked uni student a pile of books is an ugly chore; to the bookworm all books are beautiful.

There’s enough ugly in the world at the moment (terrorism, domestic violence, racism, sexism, ice; to name a few), so let’s find the beauty all around us, not the stuff on social media, news or magazines, but the real stuff in our lives.

Posted in Animals and conservation, Family life, Health and fitness, Other stuff

Inspiration comes in many forms


I was inspiring myself to exercise more and thought I’d change my routine. I drove to Tallebudgera Beach, parked the car and decided to do the national park walk over to Burleigh and along Burleigh Beach.

How could I forget how beautiful this walk is?

View from the national park walkway around Burleigh Headland - spectacular!

 

The walk isn’t challenging, though there is a gradual incline. To the right you can see the Tallebudgera Creek inlet where the water sparkles like diamonds and the sand is white and inviting, even on a chilly winter day. There’s a unslightly barge wrecking the view but I guess that will make the bar crossing safer for the may boats that come and go.

As I walk around the bend and look down at the rocks and incoming waves I marvel at how clean the water is, how bright the sky is and at the rainforest around me. It’s heavenly. The dank smell mixed with the salt air reminds me of years ago walking through the Shelley Beach rainforests (Port Maquarie) and so do the bush turkeys who forage for food and rustle leaves sometimes scaring the walkers.

I get closer to Burleigh and the sun is in that perfect place (not too high and not too low, just before mid-day) it casts a sparkling glow over the dark-blue water as surfers vie for the next breaking wave and pandanus frame the picture. I only have my iphone so my photography doesn’t capture just how beautiful the day is. An SLR camera would have been perfect but I have to make do.

This walk started out as a fitness outing and turned into a mind-altering experience. Nature is peaceful, reflecting and awesome in its power. I wouldn’t call myself a greeny but I care and this walk reminded me just how much. We need these places to always be here in their natural form. I’m going to ponder on what I can do about it. So I’ll keep you posted. In the meanwhile – enjoy the view.

How can we not be inspired by this?

 

Footnote: I walked the steep-incline (top) walk going back home around the national park – so I guess I was still thinking about my fitness to. What a pleasant way to work out!