Roar writer Siddhi Jain on reinterpreting beauty beyond its external appearance.

We have grown up interpreting beauty through the lens of what meets the sight. Do not get me wrong: I will not deny that playing with cosmetics is enjoyable, especially when you are about to plunge into the sea of fashion. I truly adore applying eyeliner; it provides my face with a polished finish. Lipstick, on the other hand, allows me to bring out my loveable and sensual appearance on the surface. I consider putting blush higher up on the cheeks to appear rejuvenated and vibrant. It is a pleasure to look at yourself in the mirror with so many different shades enhancing your complexion.

Adopting modern dressing hacks such as stacking necklaces and combining prints can make anyone look chic. These ideas further stimulate people to pay attention to their exterior beauty. I dig the notion of ornamenting myself every time I go out with my friends, colours and lots of colours linked to my skin. Envision infusing make-up with elegant garments for yourself, whether you choose a minimalist or maximalist approach to it. If you do it correctly, who knows, maybe you will end up in the pages of Vogue or Elle someday.

Nevertheless, the purpose of this piece is not to define the concept of beauty; rather, it is to question if exterior beauty is all there is to life. We have been brainwashed into believing that beauty is solely an external notion. While make-up can make you feel attractive, you must also accept and relish the other attributes of beauty. Let me introduce the essential concept of beauty. Have you ever watched yourself laughing until your lungs hurt? Or when your eyes glisten with excitement when you read your favourite book? Or when you extend your hand to assist someone in need?

The truth is, we have not seen ourselves nestled in our warm beds. We have not seen our hearts expand after experiencing heartbreak. And honestly, I wish we could. I wish our perceptions of beauty were not so distorted, for beauty lies within us; it is intimately connected to our heart. This is why when we look at something beautiful, we feel it. Beauty is not you manipulating your social media photographs to make them look flawless. Beauty is the unedited version of you that you hide cleverly from the rest of the world. That is the real beauty.

Having said all that, allow me to propose an idea: let us modify the meaning of beauty. Let us dump the notion that beauty is defined as petite, milky, and exquisitely toned. Beauty does not have to be physical. We must accept ourselves from within. We must rise above ridicule and nasty remarks hurled at us. Let us begin to love ourselves so much that fashion industries begin to redefine their beauty rules to accommodate us. Let us embrace our tiny quirks unconditionally so that the social media platforms eliminate all the filters to help us celebrate our individuality.

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