The dictionary will tell you that beauty is “a combination of qualities, such as shape, color, or form, that pleases the aesthetic sense, especially the sight.”  However, beauty could be more skin-deep because the second definition provided in the dictionary states that beauty is “a combination of qualities that pleases the intellect and moral sense.”  

So, can beauty be defined by age, gender, color, body shape or size? Who gets to decide? Are there objective standards of beauty? Or is beauty in the eye of the beholder?

Multibillion-dollar beauty and fashion industries both shape and depend on the cult-like worship of what physical attributes are considered beautiful. And for the most part, it is women the ones that feel the effects of those decisions.

Dr. Robert Tornambe, a NYC Plastic Surgeon, said in an article published in the HoffPost that “the word ‘beauty’ is the most overused, misunderstood, poorly defined word in the English language.”  He explained, from his own experience, that beauty is not in the eye of the beholder, but in the perception of the beholder.  Because we all have different tastes – and because we have been exposed to cultures that perceive beauty in different ways – this affects the definition and perception of beauty.  If in our society, the perception is that a blonde is prettier than a brunette, then we will believe that same perception.  But because we have different tastes, this (mass) perception, in turn, creates confusion, especially for women who are bombarded with advertisements of how she is supposed to look.  And we tend to look at impossible celebrity role models of beauty who pay a (tax deductible) fortune on their image. 

I am an advocate of the second definition of beauty.  Women are more than a look.  Encouraging our daughters to feel proud of how smart, bold, confident, brave, strong, talented and funny they are or can be should be our priority.  After all, society will continue bombarding them with impossible, unattainable images that will only damage their self-esteem.

Dr. Tornambe stated that each woman has a Beauty Quotient (BQ) which is comprised of three distinct categories:

1) Physical Health – examples of how to keep healthy are regular Pap Smears, breast exams, a healthy diet, regular exercises, dental health, etc

2) Psychological Health – involves one’s personality, sense of humor, intelligence, attitude toward life, level of confidence and seriously taking care of any mental health issue present.

3) Personal Appearance – This is your beauty routine which should include a good skincare regimen, hair and makeup routines, wardrobe, posture and style.

Any woman is capable of raising “her Beauty Quotient significantly by simply tweaking various elements within these categories.”  “So much of a woman’s beauty is under her direct control. Learn to take control!”

Oscar Wilde said: You don’t love a woman because she is beautiful, but she is beautiful because you love her.

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