I don’t care for traditional beauty. The years I struggled with a lack of confidence were simply resolved when I came to terms with the fact that I was not traditionally beautiful. I didn’t boast the facial proportions that one would typically aspire to have, the physical assets that women generally required to be perceived as ‘sexy’, or the nonchalant approach to life that men often find comforting in women. I learnt to love my complexity, my untraditional features and choice of clothing that is still sometimes perceived as pretentious simply for not being effortless. I found that my confidence was built when I embraced the clothing styles that I truly loved; when I found myself in fashion. It was a part of myself I knew I was proud of; the way in which I styled my attire, allowing it to tell a story and project a version of myself to the outside world. My creativity and career gave me the other confidence boost I needed to get by in life. I grew confident when I learnt that I was able to produce great things. I grew confident when I admired my own thoughts – but not my looks.
I hate how us women are often limited to a few generic physical traits and judged by them to no end. The interesting women I know boast dents in their skin that tell stories filled with wisdom, eyes that have seen the most interesting of sights, swollen knuckles from the art they create, scars that speak of the battles and hard work endured. Beautiful women are thoughtful, opinionated, and have stories to tell. Beautiful women are more than simply pretty faces and genetically-fortunate bodies to match.
The thing is, traditional beauty is often boring when not backed with an alluring mind. It wears off with time; it simply cannot be the bar we hold ourselves to. In my eyes, beauty is elegance, braveness, and timelessness. It’s the ability to still treat people with kindness after being betrayed countless times. It’s sitting at table and contributing to a thought-provoking conversation that does not revolve around catty gossip sessions. It’s holding on to that elegant ensemble your grandmother cherished, and choosing it over the mass-produced clothing items in today’s fast fashion stores. It’s slipping on a garment for its story, rather than the branded logo that steals away all attention. It’s being polite and well-mannered, articulate in your wording but never subtle with your voice. Beautiful women are often intimidating; they are a force to reckon with and a force to bow to. So remember this, my loves. Your complexity is beautiful.