Real beauty is – A flame lit from the inside out

This post in part of   Yahoo! India and Dove “I Believe in Real Beauty” under the topic “What does real beauty mean to me?”

Dove Real Beauty on Yahoo! India

I met an internet friend some days ago. It was our first meeting. The bright smile that lit her face warmed my heart. She was an “ordinary” looking person, unattractive by the social yardstick of beauty but radiant and charismatic.  All her unattractiveness was instantly transformed into something else.  She was a kind of woman one would like to spend time with and feel whole.

What is it that made her instantly beautiful despite being physically unappealing?

Real beauty is that which offers value to others, beyond the woman, values which are inherent in us like compassion, generosity etc combined with an open inquisitive mind. It is her stature bearing personality and demeanor that makes her beautiful to large extent.

The key question here is to what extent beauty is physical and to what extent it’s something else.

The physical aspect of beauty is not straightforward. It is transient and subjective. Different cultures have different standards and those standards of beauty change all the time—they aren’t completely fixed. In the sense of physical aesthetics beauty has been regarded as reflection of health, vitality, sexual allure and social appeal.

We know that women all over the world and throughout time have wanted to be beautiful. It was often sought after, revered, and sometimes interpreted as a personal virtue. Some element of beauty is a male need in getting attracted to a woman, a crucial instinct for survival that cannot be ignored.

In evolutionary terms, physical beauty has value in that it helps females in securing a mate and procreation. These were some of humanity’s earliest benefits of being beautiful. A healthy, fuller, strong body was considered beautifully able for childbearing, nursing and taking on the responsibilities in a social context. The inherent qualities of a woman as a “life giver” nurturer complimented this desired physical appearance and were valued.

A woman was a fierce guarding mother and yet gave her children wings to fly and a friend, a healer, a confidante, a source of wisdom and courage and still emerge like the goddess kali to stand for what is right and just. She had the power to create something beautiful out of nothing and destroy what is negative and evil. She had a heart of a child and strength of a jaguar. It is this wholeness of her persona, the aura she carried that made her a beautiful woman. A woman clear about what she is and totally aligned with that.

Isn’t that the problem?  That women have been swindled for centuries into substituting adornment for love, fashion (as it were) for passion?  ~Erica Jong

Unfortunately the society which is mainly patriarchal created a false aura of “womanhood” in order to suppress the uniqueness and the inner strength of femininity and to please and aspire to become that “perfect illusory ideal beauty” women over the years lost touch with their own self.

Women became obsessed with their appearance and felt inadequate. Knowing that perfection is an illusion they blindly fell into the trap. Demanding perfection from ourselves is just another form of self-inflicted abuse which is worse than that inflicted by others. This desire to be what is rare and unattainable is a common element in beauty standards throughout the world. All we have now is a new race of life-size vinyl dolls perfectly proportioned to please the males of the species and in an endless competition with each other. Constantly stressed out spaced out to achieve that “perfect beauty” which we see in the idols we make. I feel that the essential feminine touch is lost somewhere in this.

Many believe that the cosmetic /body care industry has cashed on to this feeling of inadequacy and manipulated its portrayal of women. We have come to the point where beauty and desirability are now racially / ethnically coded. More societies are being force-fed Western beauty ideals and assimilating them into their own.  We still see that an average person is judged on her attractiveness by a “White” norm leading to various attempts by dark skinned people to look as White as they could. Girls get labeled from the time they are born for the color of their skin and endless efforts to lighten the skin tone, cutting remarks and comparisons make them lose confidence in themselves.  Continuously we are so sold into beliefs through advertising, television, fashion and the beauty industry that the outside of a woman is her entire value. They try to change drastically what nature has given them instead of enhancing it.

Women have become fixated on the superficial. The “beauty industry” and the beauty myth have been very destructive and limited women, their self-worth and their potential to a large extent.

The question is, how right and justified it is.

Can’t we just BE, without having to worry about being labeled, categorized, and herded?

Beauty is beyond flesh and hairdo, make up or any such transient thing. It is the growth of consciousness in us. It’s not genetic or surgically enhanced. Real beauty is combination of what you are genetically gifted with and your own inner growth.  Being appreciated by men / women for my physical assets or sexual appeal is desirable and I may use the myriad products to enhance my appearance but on the other hand if someone looks at me and admires me for my intelligence and warmth it would give me more pleasure. A well-groomed appearance as it helps in building up self-esteem and is essential to all who are part of a certain work environment, part of society at large.

If I wake up and look into the mirror with a perception that I cannot change the physical; the internal “flaws” as fast as I can change the way I feel about myself, that will make me beautiful. . The beauty or the ugliness of the body is very superficial it is the positive energy the “inner flame “that matters.  In fact when we become too identified with the outer beauty we get disconnected with the inner.

You can have plastic surgery to have a beautiful face, breasts; you can change your complexion and shape but you can’t change your being. Inside you will still remain greedy, full of lust, violence, anger, greed, jealousy which will dominate you. All these things the plastic surgeon can do nothing about and it is not beautiful to me.  The real beauty appears only when you stop cramming yourself into predefined boxes.

Step out of the “one size fits all” cookie-cutter culture that’s been handed over to us. Stop spending oodles on makeup, fashion, and fit in that mould.

Would you hide your light because someone else said you weren’t good enough to shine? Think Again?

A truly beautiful woman represents love, beauty, and esteem. It is time we strengthened our “self confidence muscles” and wake up to the full expression of our most beautiful Self freeing ourselves from the unreasonable standards of beauty shoved on us by society.

Outer appearance does not always reflect the inner beauty. One maybe “plain/ugly/average” looking according to the social yardstick and yet have exceptional charm, intelligence, zest etc. It is often that we miss out on such people because of our obsession with outer appearance.

“Outward beauty is not enough; to be attractive a woman must use words, wit, playfulness, sweet-talk, and laughter to transcend the gifts of Nature”.Patronius

All women have an element of beauty that is uniquely their own. At a deeper level, all “flaws” are subjective and based on our own interpretations, perspectives and focuses. We may obsess about certain aspects of our body or appearance, our personality and consider them as bad but the truth is they simply are as they are—we add the meaning and interpretation to them.

Osho says, “It requires tremendous courage to ‘be yourself’ in success and failure, praise and condemnation and a woman who can achieve it is truly beautiful. A woman understands the human soul`s wellspring, for in her unconscious mind and through it, she is directly linked to the major currents of the mind which bear us and carry us forward. When a woman knows her true self, such as courage, which facilitates one to be herself at all phases emerges.”
Source: ‘Far beyond stars

I can’t ask or expect other people to find me beautiful. I can, though, expect of myself to pour more time, effort into making my inside beautiful than my outside, whether it be thin or average or fat.

Some of the real beauties I admire 

If you are a blogger and like my views, do “FB Like”/vote for me
on  Indivine 
Also read the second post on Real Beauty  :  Real beauty is an ecstasy, a hunger and a perfume as simple as that 
Images from Google 

31 thoughts on “Real beauty is – A flame lit from the inside out

  1. Beautifully beautifully written and very insightful. Best I have read so far on this topic.
    Am voting for you.

    Thank you so much dear one.


  2. Thats right!! Real Beauty is a Flame Lit from the inside out!! Real beauty of a woman comes from the various roles she take up beautifully!!

    “She has the power to create something beautiful out of nothing and destroy what is negative and evil. She has a heart of a child and strength of a jaguar”

    Thats so well written post!!

    Thank you so much Cindrella I am glad my thoughts echo with so many of other gorgeous women all around. As I always say ..Don’t be the spark Be the flame .


  3. Very beautiful thoughts coming from a very beautiful person (that’s how think of you reading your poems and posts)
    Off to vote for you

    Thanks dear Parul. Each one of us who appreciate the other is beautiful. Glad you stopped by . hugs


  4. Very true… but also very difficult to implement. Again, its always good to read and reinforce these thoughts within you so that you do not get pulled along with the societal views on Real Beauty 🙂

    Yes Aathira difficult but not impossible. If we want to bring the change the initial steps are always tough but then thats how it is with all women related issues. Thank you so much for reading and commenting.


  5. Very beautiful post I must say & I was nodding all the way through..its a kind of post I’d love to call mine-if I’d the patience & the brain to think so much 😛
    Nevertheless please do read my post & let me have ur valuable opinion-

    Rinaya I am glad you found it worthy . We need to change the entire system of our own thoughts and push it further to prove how the inherent qualities are much more important than visual beauty. Even in physical beauty I can assure you that not all “beautiful” women are sensuous and there lies the differences.
    Will read you post today.


  6. Hi Tikuli,
    Probably the best piece on Beauty I have ever read.
    I am really impressed by your views and the way you articulated them.
    In conclusion I want to say: “Tikuli, you are a truly beautiful person!”

    I am honored each time you appreciate my efforts. The love and reagrd that all of you give to me makes me beautiful. Thank you so much for finding time to read and comment.
    Regards to you


  7. Very very beautiful Tikuli.. I wish you to win this contest.. and I’m sure this will be one of the finalist.. I was very upset due to personal reasons but after reading this post, my mood got changed.. Thank you for this.. I like this and so I like and voted for this wonderful post..
    @ Farila

    Very well written and agreeable post. Lovely poem too. Wish you good luck for the contest.

    Thank you so much, glad you agreed, loved it a lot and thanks for the wishes.. Wish you the same..

    Someone is Special

    Thank you so much for appreciating and I will surely read your post too. It really is beautiful to see so many of my readers connecting so well with me. Gladdens my heart. lots of love. Someone is truly special and very beautiful indeed. 🙂 hugs


  8. Very very beautiful Tikuli.. I wish you to win this contest.. and I’m sure this will be one of the finalist.. I was very upset due to personal reasons but after reading this post, my mood got changed.. Thank you for this.. I like this and so I like and voted for this wonderful post.. here is a heart expressing what does true beauty means

    Someone is Special

    Will surely read and comment. Thank you so much.


  9. Hey..Lovely and a really insightful post! Plaudit! There’s so much to a woman that I think the unappealing factor hardly matters! Beautifully written:)..You got the vote and the like too..;)

    Here’s my take on beauty –

    Hit the like button if you like it 🙂

    Thank you so much Amar. I appreciate your views from the bottom of my heart. will read your post today . will give my views too, Thanks for finding time to connect.


  10. I would 100% agree this ” All women have an element of beauty that is uniquely their own”. Thanks for this great and inspiring article.

    More hugs.. 🙂


  11. Namaste Tikuliscious…

    Terrific write and so innate in you…meaning this was exuding from you once we friended on FB…I picked up that inner energy/beauty coming out in whatever few words we shared. Found this via Aad’s response…didn’t realize you had a ‘full-blown’ blogging spot.

    Thank you…
    Steve / Ish


  12. Real beauty definitely comes across from the inside…if you think about some of the narcissistic men or women who may be really attractive, their behaviour can make them look ugly. On the other hand, a kind hearted ‘plain’ looking person can look beautiful thanks to their deeds…


  13. yes,this was interesting. tikuli asked me a couple of weeks ago if i had any ideas about beauty. i told her that my idea of feminine beauty probably was not was she was thinking of,if i recall i mentioned artificiality,a hooker in versace,etc. but then i wrote a poem on “feminine beauty”. now tikuli has written her own rendition and i think it is smashing. i think by way of my extraordinarily strong mother i got the notion of feminine power. so i never needed any conversion,hat,plus the homosexuality,concocted a whole new set of values and esthetics. i think of hookers as strong women,simultaneously there are a lot of streetworkers who live in peril and are being in high risk of being murdered. all aspects to
    inform a complex “bubble” of womanpower. womanbeauty. femininity. what that is. interesting and to explain requires a nonlinear thinking.


  14. yes,i was laying in bed yesterday evening,still thinking about this matter,but i thought it is a doubleness here that men also have. strength and vulnerability,at once. some women choose the vulnerability role and want to be protected,some men flee in machismo and never show their vulnerable side,and the thousand + variations. than,what is beauty if not also an asset in these roles. or,a curse. beautiful and rich people are not necessarily happy. and so forth. what i push forward with my [artificial] image of a “hyperwoman” is a kind of cyberwoman,strong and beautiful. but i do not come from a fancy artsy milieu,my parents were and are down to earth. they gave us the can with phantasy. full. we have an image of extraordinarily strong women,my mother,so that is obvious for me,forgetting that it isn’t obvious for everyone. our dad fled,like many post WWII men,in alcoholism and psychiatry,and to come out again,but more the impression of absence. that complicated it can be,i think.


  15. A thoughtful writing on the subject it is easy to write shallow.
    Whom other blames for their own blemishes and then regret saying so for a real beauty is beyond the concept of it.

    Thanking you, Kushal


  16. I read this post when my exams were going on and back then I hadn’t even decided whether or not to participate in the contest. I voted the post up on Indivine, didn’t get a chance to comment.
    Wonderful take on what real beauty means! Best of luck.

    Thanks Sammy and best to you too. Each thought matters. We are unique in our own ways . love


  17. very beautiful depiction and that from a very beautiful person…whose inner beauty shines so brightly…the way you have portrayed your views tiku di…if i relate it to you then yes the real beauty is a flame lit from the inside out…because your aura shines every where..the love n compassion showers every where..i am very glad that i know a person who is so beautiful…
    Loved your views…

    Iti you have such a warm heart and that makes you one of the most beautiful friends I have. It is a pleasure to have you in my life. lots of love to you and best wishes . hugs . Keep smiling always.


  18. Pingback: Real beauty is an ecstasy, a hunger, a perfume as simple as that « Spinning a Yarn Of Life

  19. Pingback: Real beauty is an ecstasy, a hunger, a perfume as simple as that « Spinning a Yarn Of Life

  20. Great blog from a great blogger…. I need to visit your blogs more often and read more of your writing.

    Farida thank you so much for all the appreciation. love and hug


  21. WOW! That was super..I guess the more I read on indiblogger the more I learn 🙂 Superb post

    Yes R’s Mom there are some wonderful posts this time . I loved many of them. Thank you for stopping by and commenting.


  22. A lovely take on real beauty… truly enjoyed reading through your post.
    All the very best for the contest! 😀

    Thank you Deboshree . I am happy you enjoyed the post.


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