Beautiful the way you are!

“Killer looks!”, “Sexy!”, “Hottie!”- How many of us have seen such comments doing rounds on photos posted on social media?

While these are harmless comments, I often wonder why we give such importance to our looks – so much so, that as we grow older, many of us get frustrated by how we look, and end up doing literally anything to maintain that beauty.

I don’t intend to turn this into a conversation or lecture on what we should do or not do or about women’s right or any such larger thing. I just want my fellow women to consider their own heart and joy as a bigger priority than feel the pressure to look beautiful for the outside world.

There is probably no woman in the entire world who considers her appearance as the first thing that she wants to be complimented about. There is a lot beyond being pretty. As a woman, I want to yell out my views and the view of most women I know. Okay, I do like it when people tell me that I look good. I do sometimes spend time on myself to look my best for a party. But do I always, 24/7, 100% of the time care about looking beautiful?

Not really– in fact I like myself best when I wash my face and look in the mirror at the end of the day, when I am in my cotton pyjamas, feeling comfortable with how I am, and proud of my rawness and vulnerability. That is the time I tell myself that I am beautiful- inside and out!

I hang around with a bunch of friends who are extremely passionate, fun-loving and wonderfully pleasing – some love to wear makeup, some prefer to stay natural, but each of them is vividly beautiful. We may not have the perfect body ratio (frankly, I’ve never cared to find out what it is), we may not be the prettiest (as per conventional standards) but we find each one of us amazingly bright, valuable and beautiful. We crack the most insane jokes and enjoy the tiny joys of life with so much positivity, bringing out the best in each other. We can whip up a thousand solutions in a minute for a problem any one of us is facing. We may not know the perfect dance moves, but we dance joyfully with each other. We may not be the most accomplished cooks, but we try making new dishes soulfully, and then enjoy it heartily, complimenting each other for the love that has been poured in!

Many of my friends have stopped taking pictures which make us look beautiful or have the perfect angles, instead we opt for creating memories that capture our craziness, our fun-filled moments, memories that allow us to be ourselves and happy. Rather than concentrating on who looks the best, we concentrate on who is at their best – who first utters a funny sentence and makes the rest of us burst into endless laughter, sometimes even rolling on the floor

Ladies, do not let external beauty drive your survival quotient. As much as it may seem, you do not owe it to others to look beautiful all the time.

Do not give away your hard earned money to the diet industry just because others love to see us in size zero! Instead, eat right to maintain a healthy body for that sparkling smile.

Go for those hair extensions if you like, but remember to eat well to let your hair shine in their own luster- long, short, straight, frizzy- however you like to keep it.

Throw those high heels in the air at times and feel the pleasure of walking barefoot once in a while.

A little mascara never hurts, each shade of lipstick sets a distinct tone for your mood that day and your selection of that flowery, coloured or black dress magnifies a different side of your beauty each time. But do not hide yourself behind it, Instead, wear it to feel beautiful, for YOURSELF, when YOU want, where YOU want.

Express yourself freely and feel the excitement as your heart flutters with the joy of having spoken your mind. Take some time out to look within and connect with your own beauty. Explore, read, travel the world, work on your passion, experiment and be proud of the bliss you create. Let the happiness in your heart shine through your eyes and travel through every muscle of your face, creating that contagious smile.

As Dr. Steve Maraboli said, “There is nothings rarer, nor more beautiful, than a woman being unapologetically herself: comfortable in her perfect imperfection”.

You have everything within yourself to make you pretty. Your imperfections make you real, your smile makes you beautiful. Carry yourself with pride, be happy, laugh and radiate in your own shine!

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