It is hard to imagine now that some women like Dayang Dayang was considered beautiful in the seventies, with her tall frame and exotic looks, or that Ping Valencia’s winning smile were a wild example of high diva beauty back in the days. Its funny how at present, everyone must look the same. Nowadays, it is all about smallness, tightness, smoothness – it is, above all, about youth.
It’s not just that beauty has become depressingly skin deep, it’s that the skin must all look the same. The scarcity of imagination when it comes to the idea of beauty had become two-dimensional and shallow. There had become an imaginary checklist on to which you have to tick the corresponding boxes and levels before you are allowed to or even be considered beautiful.
Whenever I turn on the television, my favorite channels always feature make-over shows let alone we are bombarded by commercials telling us what is considered beautiful. Although the term makeover is such a positive term to think about, it also gives some negative effects in the idea of beauty. When I was young, I saw a television program about women who were considered “ugly” getting extreme makeovers. The show was called, “The Swan”. There were “The Before” and “The After” pictures – showing the trajectory from ordinary females to ones who had been nipped and tucked, plastered in makeup, had their hair spruced up, and clothed with the latest trends. I have to admit, every single one of the women looked more beautiful, and twenty times more attractive, in “The Before” pictures. Why you may ask? They look relaxed, smiling, authentic, until some stylist got hold of them and left them looking artificial and posed with their stretched, nervy smiles.
The most beautiful woman I know in life, rather than on the screen, would not pass any single one of the current beauty tests. She may be hitting the big four-o or maybe even fifty, with the lines on her face to show it. She may have small eyes, she can have the most freckled skin, and mildly imperfect teeth. She is not tall or thin. Her hair is a little frizzy, undone and not blow dried. She does not even have especially fine bones, or the carved jawline that is now indicated for any attempt at beauty. Yet in my eyes, she is utterly, and just simply gorgeous. She is a Filipino, and she does have that dalagang Filipina thing going on, but it is something more than that. The beauty comes in a hundred undefinable ways – her laugh, that light in her eyes, a kindness that pours out of her like starlight. But if magazines saw her, they would put her in the before picture and send a stylist stat.
I say, blame them! Beauty, in life as in art, comes in a thousand different disguises. You can’t reduce it down to a before and after picture. Ladies, open you eyes, and you will see it everywhere, even in your very own bathroom mirror.
On a more serious note:
Please do take time to donate for the victims of “Maring”. My former college/university is having a drive. Any kind of donation will be helpful. The CFAD SC office is located at the back of room 703, 7th Floor of Beato.
We are in need of the following:
1. Food (canned goods, biscuits, tetra packed food, etc.)
2. Medicine (paracetamol, beta dine, first aid items)
3. Toiletries (soap, toothpaste, sanitary napkins, etc)
5. Clean drinking water
6. Sleeping Amenities (blankets, banig, etc)
7. Baby Needs (diapers, milk, etc)