“I’m beautiful in my way, ‘Cause God makes no mistakes, I’m on the right track, baby, I was born this way” Fernando Garibay / Stefani J Germanotta / Paul Edward Blair / Jeppe Breum Laursen
There is a stereotypical image that society proclaims as ideal. For a woman, it is the anorexic, blonde, with big breasts wearing next to nothing. It is high time we redefine what is beautiful.
The power of suggestion is extremely potent. We learn so much subliminally. Every time a young person looks at the cover of a magazine or watches a television show they are being instructed. The men and women that they see are their definitions of normal and successful. After all, that is what it requires to be on the television or in the movies.
I have a close friend that suffers from anorexia and bulimia. She was an exercise fanatic at some times in her life. Because of her illness, she could not self-evaluate. She would be thin as could be and still ask me if she looked heavy. When I told her that she looked extremely thin she wanted to know if I was just saying that to appease her.
Then there is this whole issue of having ‘good hair’. This whole idea is supporting the European idea of beauty over the African. If you look at the people of darker skin that appear on the television you will see that there is a concerted effort for them to look more European or ‘white’. An easy way for females to do this is through makeup and hair. The tendency is for African women not to wear their hair naturally but to straighten it out. Look how Michael Jackson transformed through his plastic surgery.
The underlying message communicated is ‘what you are isn’t good enough’. We have only touched the surface on this matter, for true beauty and worth come from what a person consists of. People fixated on the outside are very superficial at best. The same philosophical thinking on exteriors promotes the whole idea of brand names. That is when people will pay extravagant prices for clothes that are almost exactly like some cheaper clothes all because of the label. Most comical to me is when women will buy jeans torn by design. In such a case you have rich people pay a lot of money trying to look like poor people.
It is hard not to judge a person by their appearance or circumstances. Stereotypes exist because sometimes a broad brush covers a good amount. For example, if I say rich people tend to be materialistic I would have to say from my personal experiences it is accurate. Is every rich person materialistic? Certainly not. But when I associate myself with a person of wealth I have to fight hard not to pass judgment.
I cannot say that religion, race, economics, employment, or any other factor does not matter. These are the building blocks that define ourselves. What I am saying is that the building blocks only create the basic pattern and there is far more to the story than what they tell. The truth is that a human being, based on their humanity alone is worthy of love and respect. That there is some baseline that no matter what we never fall under.
Saying that the opposite is also true. That a human being no matter of how successful or how rich or powerful never ascends above the limits of humanity. I do not believe that all people are created equal. We are diverse and unique. Some people have more talents than others. Our gifts vary from person to person. Furthermore, some overcome the deficiencies while others never live up to their potential.
I recall in the autobiography of Malcolm X a character called “West Indian Archie.” The name might be wrong but I remember the story. Archie was a numbers runner. That is people would bet on the last three numbers that the stock market would finish at. This created a primitive form of a lottery. Archie was a phenomenal numbers runner because he would memorize everybody’s numbers. Thus when the police shook him down he didn’t have any evidence on him to indicate he was doing something illegal. Malcolm commented how Archie with his potent mind could have made a great engineer. But alas because of the racism of his times such a future wasn’t open for the man.
Never let anybody define you. Some of us may be better than others in some aspects but not by much. Furthermore, those who think they’re so superior are by nature inferior. I accept the flaws in others as I want others to live with the flaws in me. I recognize that I have a long way to go and I need improvement in fundamental ways. Yet in my imperfection, I am perfectly human, and so are you and there is something wonderful in that.
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