Everything Holds Beauty
Maybe you have sung along with it, maybe you have never heard it but there is a song that says it all when it comes to beauty: “Everything is beautiful, in its own way.”
Forget any religious connotations, forget where you were born, forget anything you have thought so far about beauty and open your heart and listen to this song:
I thought of this song as we prepare to introduce Neelma Tashfeen to our readers today. Neelma is a woman who was born and lives in Pakistan. Today, she steps out more fully into our world, through this blog, to represent the beauty of her country.
She will be the voice of women we do not often read about – at least not in the context of beauty, freedom and living life as they create it. Most newscasts out of Pakistan that we in North America see, read or hear, paint a picture mainly of poverty, destitution, war, fighting, religious and spiritual practices that are alien to many and yes, people who are often in conflicts.
This is not a political blog, however, as I discussed with the women who took part “live” in my first Webinar on “A Practical Spirituality for the Busy Woman,” this past Sunday – politics is very much part of our being. If you missed it, you can watch the recording here – it is free.
In this vein and with Neelma’s help, I hope that readers will move with us to integrate all aspects of our lives as we learn and understand more about the women of our world.
Out of Many, One People
Growing up as I did in Jamaica, it was a struggle in my early years to have a full grasp of what really is beauty. Although we are largely a country of people of African descent, the Jamaican population has many people from different cultures: East Indian, Chinese, Lebanese, Europeans, and so many others that I have not listed. The country’s motto is “Out of Many One People,” and it is always a surprise to see the truth of that when you are in deep rural Alberta and come across a seemingly Caucasian man who speaks in a more heavily accented Jamaican patois that I do.
Despite that, the many-ness of the Jamaican people, as a child the images in magazines, on television that portrayed people of “beauty,”the special, kind and nice ones who were living a good life – they were of North American and European women, men and families. Now, I am not saying people of these backgrounds did not or do not continue to live a good life. What I am saying is that they were and are not the only ones. Women, men and families from every culture, every country, every race and in every part of our world are beautiful and are living good lives – as defined by them.
Success, prosperity and “good life,” have come to be equated with an American lifestyle. That is so inaccurate and myopic. Frankly, this idealization and beatification of the North American and then the European lifestyles as the “only” and the best way to live have caused many conflicts, strife and degradation of the human spirit across the globe where these images are beamed and primed as “If you are not like this, you are not living.”
Perception of Beauty
We discussed body image here a couple of times and I checked out this article in Shape magazine about an experiment carried out recently on this very subject:
“Design the perfect woman. That may sound like an impossible assignment, but that’s exactly what Perceptions of Perfection, a project launched by content marketing agency Fractl, asked graphic artists around the world to do. In order to see how different cultures view female beauty, they sent a full-body image of a woman posing in her underwear to digital whiz kids and asked them to photoshop her to look ideal according to the standards of their country.”
At the end of the project the surprising result and the conclusion drawn from it – at least to those doing the experiment, was that:
“…it seemed to reinforce the Western ideal of lighter skin and eyes, a slim build, and large breasts. Even the shrinkified Chinese woman had D-cups and white skin. And while it could have less to do with cultural ideals and more to do with the technical aspects of digital alterations, scrolling through the images makes quite an impact.
‘Widely held perceptions of beauty and perfection can have a deep and lasting cultural impact on both women and men,’ wrote the authors. ‘The goal of this project is to better understand potentially unrealistic standards of beauty and to see how such pressures vary around the world.'”
Read the full story and see images here then Subscribe to this blog and receive updates of our posts. You will not want to miss Neelma’s first post as she introduces us to the understanding of Wellness in Pakistan and status of women when it comes to this area of their lives.
As well, when you are a member of this community, you receive my monthly KB Life Newsletter that is emailed to Subscribers only. The September issue is already in their inboxes and yours could be too. They also receive my monthly affirmation poster. If that was not enough, Subscribers also receive discounts on my webinars (the ones that are not for free). So, be sure to join this growing community and expand with us every day.
Happy first day of September.