It’s everywhere. You can’t escape it. It’s sprawled across flashy billboards with alluring models. It’s plastered throughout all kinds of magazines and books. Celebrities ooze with it. And’s it’s all too friendly with teens; it overpowers their very being like too much axe in the gym change room. It’s the pressure of beauty. Good morning/afternoon students, teachers, judges and fellow competitors. Today I’m going to talk to you about true beauty, and how it is much more than skin deep. How many of us care about how we look to others? I know I do, but why? What is the true point in altering the way we look, is it just to impress everyone else? So now my fellow friends, I am here to emphasize that that looks aren’t just everything that should matter. No matter what the media portrays, what history has known to define beauty as and what society has taught us to believe since childhood, beauty is more than skin deep, true beauty shines from within.
There is no universal definition of beauty because it’s different for everyone; it all depends on your perception. Beauty has become Greek to me because what you may find beautiful may not be for others. No universal definition applies to all races, cultures, ethnicities or time periods. For instance, some people find piercings and tattoos to be attractive, to others, it’s repulsive and gross – it all depends on your personality and taste. The specifics on what makes a person beautiful vary dramatically and are affected by multiple factors. A sixteenth century English courtesan would take one look at Halle Berry’s tanned, toned abs or Kim Kardashian’s voluptuous figure and cringe.
During the fifteenth century, a flat stomach expressed of the lower class, but on the contrary, what used to be distasted by the fifteenth-sixteenth century is now in demand. Before World War I, women were supposed to be soft and feminine but now, our culture worships jutting hipbones, protruding clavicles, and visible ribcages. There is no end to what humankind will do to beauty’s name. We cannot define beauty because in every time period or culture, it is different. So why don’t we just put looks aside and focus on a person’s personality instead?
Beauty isn’t the media’s representation of a size 0 waist and double D breasts. It’s not Botox injected faces and liposuction stomachs. It’s not having the fat out of your butt injected into your lips, or silicone bags inserted into your chest. Society’s view on beauty these days is corrupting our young men and women, leading them to believe that the only way to be beautiful is if they look like all the Playboy models and the girls we see on T.V. This is causing an increasing downfall in the self-esteem of women in North America and also the world at large. Studies show that 59% of 5-12 grade girls in one survey are dissatisfied with their looks. Among those 5-12 grade girls, 47% say they want to lose weight because of magazine pictures. Little do these girls know that the women they see through media sit in a make-up chair for 2-3 hours, have professional stylists pick out their wardrobe, and are photographed on a set where the lighting is exactly right. I mean, honestly? How many average girls have that kind of morning routine? Answer: not many, which is why our perspective of beauty has become completely distorted.
Real beauty is what you are from the inside, how good of a person you are. You will see, in any culture around the world, a loving and caring person will always be favoured over a sour, vain person, despite their looks. Have you ever been around a person who is drop dead gorgeous, but their personality is so horrible you can’t even stand being around them? This would be a great example of where physical beauty really is only skin deep. This is why outer beauty is shallow, fleeting and changing. Your looks aren’t going to stay with you forever, sooner or later, you will have to age, and the wrinkles will start coming in and the weight will be gained or lost and the only thing that will actually stay with you will be your inner self. Personality and the expression of personality is what matters.
Perhaps the Beatles song says it the best, “… something in the way she moves attracts me like no other lover…” How many times have you been walking through the mall and seen a so called “ugly” man with a beautiful women? Ever wonder how he pulled that off? Well, he may be rich and powerful, but she seemed pretty happy to be with him, then it’s probably because he’s a wonderful soul. Just think of the qualities that makes you want to be around someone. Are they caring, compassionate, helpful, generous? Do they give their 100% in everything they do? There a lot of qualities that can make someone beautiful on the inside, we just need to put our shallowness aside and take time to look.
One could argue that we have been taught to judge and care about appearance from childhood. Good and virtuous Disney princess, and of course Barbie, amplify the “beauty is good” stereotype. Children are led to believe that these women hold goodness and innocence. One study demonstrated that children as young as three prefer attractive playmates and show anti-social behaviour towards unattractive children. This early exposure to beauty bias is demonstrated all too clearly in the workplace. Studies have shown that attractive people earn an average of three to four percent more than the “average or below” looking person.
Over a lifespan, this can add up to hundreds of thousands of dollars in wages. Employees alone can’t be blamed for the beauty bias, though. Customers honestly do prefer attractive employees. For example, we are more likely buy products from attractive salespeople, and are more likely to tip pretty waitresses and barmaids.Looks are now so important that they affect your wages and everyone seems to follow this tradition. The point that is often over-looked though, is that just because others think looks matter doesn’t mean you have to too. It takes one person to make a difference. And that one person can be you.
Beauty is within everyone, but few people know it. Those who know they are beautiful show it. They’re confident, vibrant and they know how to identify themselves. Look at a person’s heart and you will know if they are truly beautiful. People can put on mask and pretend to be pretty, but after a certain amount of time, their true colors will shine through and that’s when you’ll know about their real beauty, because the truth is, real beauty is much more than skin deep. Beauty is not about your appearance and it cannot be defined, especially by the media.
What comes to mind when you hear beautiful? Is it a prosperous man who came from humble roots but hasn’t developed an ego, or is it women with make-up caked on their faces, latest purse in hand, wearing skirts that grandma may confuse for underwear? I would be liar if I said looks don’t matter. They do matter, and should, but to an extent. “Looks don’t matter; true beauty is more than skin deep.” We hear these sayings every day, and yet we live in a society that seems to contradict this very idea. It’s time to prove that these sayings aren’t just sayings: Looks really don’t matter and true beauty really is much more than skin deep. Thank you.