10 November 2010

On Beauty

What is beauty?

Beauty can be difficult to describe. Maybe there's a formula for the perfect face, but I suspect many are chasing an ideal that simply does not exist. We exfoliate, refine and paint our faces to look younger. 

Here's an idea. Perhaps we could try just looking like ourselves.

It amuses me when I see teenagers wearing make up. They don't need it, any of them, yet they plaster themselves in the stuff and spend ages getting dressed in their distressed tights, scuffed ballet-style pumps, battered corsages, pretty printed dresses and non-functioning cardigans. Their hair is back-combed to within an inch of its life. They hold a pink phone in one hand and a strawberry beer (with a straw) in the other.

Is youth wasted on the young? It's all relative, surely.

I can not understand the fascination with cosmetic surgery. It seems that most women over 40 in Hollywood all look the same. Botox, fillers and more, plumping up their faces until they look like they're wearing masks. To me, this is not beauty.

I'm not anti-make up. I wear it occasionally. If you meet me at an event, I'll be wearing my make up mask and hope that it hides my blushes and shyness. I could never be bothered to wear it - and take it off - every day.

Beauty is Andy's friend, K. Before I met her, Andy said that she had a light shining out of her. When I saw a vivacious joyful woman across a crowded graveyard, at a wedding, I knew this must be K. I was right.

Andy is beautiful, to me, inside and out. My children are the epitome of beauty. I'm sure they feel the same about me, so why do I not feel beautiful?

Probably because I am fat. I'm not a little overweight, I am big. People sometimes make comments when I walk down the street.

I actually feel self-conscious when I wear make up or dress up. 

"You can't polish a turd."

"You can put lipstick on a pig, but it's still a pig."

I've just read that back and detected a hint of self-loathing. That's not attractive either. 

I saw an advert today for a £59 set of eye-shadows. I wanted them. I wanted to buy them, bring them home, take them out of their (over)packaging and sniff them. I'm sure they smell expensive. Then I wanted to be 16 again. Forget the Rimmel rainbow eyes I created for an aerobics class in 1986 - my eyes matched my leg-warmers, I'll have you know. I fancy playing with eye-shadow now. I want to sit and watch The Apprentice with my face on. I want to create the Christian Dior vision of beauty with pink/gold eyes and glamorous lashes.

Why? Because I'm worth it and youth isn't wasted on the young and because I want to and because I am beautiful in every single way.

This post has been written as part of the Sleep is for the Weak Writing Workshop. This week I chose Prompt 3, On Beauty.



  1. You most certainly are beautiful. We need to get past this fat thing Sandy - both of us ((Sandy)). Mich x

  2. Powerful stuff. And I've seen your picture, you *are* beautiful!

  3. Hello lovely, just read your blog for the first time and it happened to be about make-up and beauty.....weird! Great blog by the way, gonna add you to my blogroll on www.chloebutcher.wordpress.com

    I hope you and your boys are all well. Oh and by the way if you fancy playing with a big old palette of eye colours I have just the thing......email me your address! x x x

  4. Beauty is so many different things to different people isn't it, I'm with you on lots of what you say here especially the surgery thing. Great post you beautiful lady you

  5. Hi Fatty, from another one. You shine from within. MadDad once told me that you could be pretty or intelligent, but not both. He has regretted that comment ever since

  6. I don't understand why it is still acceptable to be prejudiced against overweight people. Especially since most people are overweight! Appearance and health get confused, I think and mixed messages are heard. Sure, carrying extra pounds can be a risk factor for diabetes and heart disease, but plenty of overweight people are perfectly healthy, and vice versa. We are not all supposed to be the same weight any more than we are the same height. You are beautiful. And botox is creepy!

  7. Brilliantly written, so open, honest and true. Visiting from the Writers Workshop.

  8. you are beautiful! thanks for sharing!

  9. I've met you irl more than once now. And I don't think fat is the word I think of in relation to you, but beauty could well be.

  10. I think you are beautiful, I met you and you are beautiful both inside and out. x

  11. This is a brilliant post and so true, and you are beautiful! xx

  12. Aww guys, I didn't write this to get loads of you're beautiful comments, but each one really did make my day. So thank you x

    Mich, thank you. I know. Thanks for the hugs x

    Domestic Goddesque, thank you :-)

    Chloe, lovely to hear from you. Spooky that I was writing about make-up! Thanks for adding me to your blogroll (loving the new blog BTW). I will email x

    Scribbling Mum, thank you x

    The Mad House, love you too, fatty. Your hubby, not so much!! x

  13. Geeky Mummy, we are obsessed by appearance and that isn't good, but I know I could be healthier and I'm making a few changes to that end (not Botox though)! x

    Sarah, thank you :-) x

    Tina, thank you :-) x

    Liveotherwise, bless you, what a lovely thing to say x

    Susan, thank you so much, so are you x

  14. Babies Who Brunch and Kerry, thank you both :-) x

  15. beautiful on the inside and out!

    Great to discover new blogs as part of the blogging carnival x

  16. Hi Sandy, I met you after I got to know you online and you were exactly as I had imagined you: I saw only beauty, inside and out xx

  17. Bigwords, thank you. Love your blog BTW x

    Ella, what a lovely thing to say, thank you x


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