Monday, August 25, 2014

Make-Up Your Mind: How Do You Define A Beautiful Woman?

How do we define a beautiful woman?
by Farah M.


Mindy Kaling, actress, writer, comedian, producer


Influential women who speaks about women empowerment and equality like movie stars, pop icon, beauty queen and fashion models are oftentimes has light skin, skinny body and seen sexy outfit. Gone are the days when movie stars wear couture dress on red carpet now they are wearing see through dresses and underwear for formal event. When ordinary women look for role models especially teenage girls they also follow the way they dress and they behave in public.  I admire the likes of Mindy Kaling, Melissa McCarthy and Lupita Nyong'o who change concept of beauty in Hollywood. They are not your typical actress because they are also part of the people behind the camera working as writer, producer or director. They are also well educated women who celebrate their beauty and know to speak-up their minds. 

Melissa McCarthy- actress, comedian, writer,
 producer and mother of 2 


Lupita Nyong'o actress, film and music video director.
She has masters degree in acting from Yale School of Drama
Girls bully other girls because of their physical appearance. I once heard preschool kids talking they don't want to play with the other kid who wears fake UGG boots. As early as 4 years old kids knew the brand name of their clothes and shoes. It is sad that they value their friends with the clothes that they are wearing. Social media does not help in promoting positive self-image of women. We are posting endless selfie of Facebook and Instagram and hoping to get attention from strangers. Our self-concept become dependent upon the number of likes we get.  Cyber bullying on social media is one of the cause of suicide among teenage girls. Click the link New York Times Cyberbullying and Suicide of Teenage Girls

Fashion and cosmetic companies gave unrealistic concept of a beautiful women. According to research Make-up and cosmetic products are 35 billion industry as of 2010. In Asia and Africa products that promises skin whitening formula. We spent huge amount of our salary on cosmetic products, nail salon, facials, beauty salon to help us feel beautiful. But we are reluctant to invest on our career, our education or our innate passion. I admire Tyra Banks when she featured petite and overweight girls and girls with physical disabilities in America's Next Top Model. She made the girls understand that being a model is more than just the physical appearance it is more of their personality. 

I admire the Christian organization that promote modesty "Bod Squad Petition", a campaign that request fashion industry to promote age-appropriate clothing and advertisement. You can also check-out The Modesty Experiment by Lauren Jayne. She document her experience when she try to stop using make-up and wear modest clothing. 

Using cosmetic products sure has its benefits. Lipstick and lip balm can help moisturize and protect our lips from chapped lips especially during winter. On the other hand we should also be aware of the side effects of cosmetic products to our skin. Some cosmetic products contain chemicals that can cause cancer. Hair products may cause baldness. Click the link for more details of side effects of cosmetic products. 

Below is a time lapsed videos on Youtube on how ordinary women would look gorgeous with the help of make-up and Photoshop. Media always push the image of a perfect woman. A campaign to advertisers for mandatory disclosure of manipulating model's body through technology like Photoshop. Visit globaldemocracy.com and search for idea9 if you want to support the campaign and to learn more. 

video from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=17j5QzF3kqE



Sub-consciously we are teaching our young girls that "Beautiful" means you need to have white skin, skinny, and has full make-up. Even Disney Princesses promote the concept that fair skinned lady is considered beautiful. Though most of the Disney Princesses are known for their beauty. It is our duty as adults to teach little kids to learn the lesson behind each princesses story. Like the courage of Mulan and Pocahontas, the kindness of  Cinderella, the artistic abilities of Rapunzel. Belle reads a lot and Jasmine choose the Alladin's character instead of her other suitor's. Jasmine was also against arranged marriage. The princesses are beautiful because of their unique characteristics that set them apart from other princesses. We can teach little girls that practicing good values is more important character of the princess not her hair or her gown. 


Princess Fiona and Shrek of Dreamworks proved that
 true love is accepting each others imperfections.


Pocahontas of Disney's Princesses
 is a real life story a Native American from Jamestown, Virginia


When I was young girl in Philippines I also admire movie stars who have light skin. Maybe because of the Spanish occupancy Philippines. Light skin or "mestiza" referred to ladies with Spanish blood. While "morena" or brown skin which is the predominant color of Filipino is not favorable in media. I tried almost every skin-whitening products available in drug stores but nothing works.  I thought I could make my brown skin fairer. I was always teased because of my skin tone. I have poor self-confidence growing-up because aside from being brown skin I am also short and my legs and feet are fat. I even asked my father why do I have these fat legs. I know I got it from his genes. He said I have to be thankful to God because I have legs. 

When I moved to New York City two years ago I learned to love skin. I accept the reality that I am brown skin and no matter what cosmetic products or advance medical treatment we use we cannot change the fact that I am brown. I saw people of different race they are confident of their skin. I see white women went to tanning salon to get my skin tone. Then I realized we should be thankful of the beauty that God gave us because it is our own unique identity. It is a combination of our parents genes and we should be proud of it. 

We should not be dictated by what the fashion industry, cosmetic industries and the mass media is telling us of what is beautiful. I belief that all women are beautiful no matter what race, skin tone, height or weight we have. Every Body is Beautiful!!!

Thank you for reading my blog. Comments and suggestions are welcome.