Friday, August 24, 2007
The face of beauty

What makes a person look beautiful? Genetics? Clothing? Make-up? The beauty industry is a $200billion industry. The reason for its success and growth is simple. We're all looking for the next big thing, the one product that will make us look better, younger, brighter, and maybe even richer. Companies tap into that search and promise to deliver.

Aerin Lauder told me her grandmother (the beauty empress Estee Lauder) taught her that "every woman can be beautiful if (she) just (took) the time." Rebecca Korner of Korner Skincare shares the same thinking. Her grandmother also taught her that "there are no unattractive women, just women who don’t take the time to take care of themselves." There is something to be said about that.

I don't like wearing a lot of make up. I don't like to spend a lot of time primping. I even get antsy when I'm at a spa! Trust me folks, I'm working on those impatience issues. But perhaps that's the idea of these beauty and skincare companies. It's not necessarily just the product they're promising will deliver the glow but it's also about the time we should take just for ourselves. The five or 10 minutes to get ready for the day or to decompress after a long day should be just about us. It's tough when women have jobs, kids, families, etc. to focus on. We usually put ourselves last on the list. I know my mother was always that way. Her beauty regime was and still is very simple. She never takes more than five minutes to "put her face on." When I was little she was always running around after us, going off to work, and then coming home to make dinner and take care of the household. Today, even though us kids are out of the house, she still heads off to work but again, doesn't take more than five minutes to get ready.

We are all judged by the way we look. The thing is, who is doing the judging? We all know the photos of models in magazines aren't real. Computers can do wonders these days. Unfortunately computers can't tell a young girl reading those magazines that she is perfect just the way she is. As a woman who is on television my looks are always the first thing people notice, not my work - that comes after. But that's the way it is. It's the nature of this very visual business. It also means that it is very subjective. Bottom line, as long as I am happy with who I am and know that there is a fairly functional brain in my perceived-pretty head, then no one else's opinion matters (except for my boss' of course.)

We will always be judged for something. That's why it's so important that we don't judge ourselves and the people we care about ... especially about the way we look. There is no perfect face, perfect look to aspire to. The only perfection is the one you see in the mirror.

I guess somewhere along the way, we are taught that spending time on ourselves is actually selfish, that looks aren't everything. But here is one instance where being selfish is a good thing. See, if you are doing something that you feel makes you look good (whether it's putting on your make up, lathering on lotion, styling your hair,) chances are you will also feel good about yourself. Your self-esteem isn't found in a bottle but what's in the bottle may give it that extra boost.

There are times when I do think if I just had that perfect perfume, make up, hair, clothing that all will be right in my world. And that is often the marketing mantra of the big beauty companies. And while the occasional shopping spree does lift my spirit when necessary, I know it won't always solve my problems. But it's not necessarily about that is it? I say there is nothing wrong with a little retail therapy. I've always found that when I'm feeling low, I do a little primping. I take that extra time to make myself look and feel good. Maybe in my rushed day when I don't think about what I really need, that feeling is a reminder that I need to take care of me, if only for a few minutes. Trust me, a little gloss on a dull day always works wonders!

Posted By Monita: Friday, August 24, 2007
Monita, what youve said is so right. i think theres a difference between trying to look presentable and being over obssessed with your looks.The teen mags and stuff usually promote low self esteem.They promote excessive consumerism and try to define or dictate whats more important for for the girls.For instance, fairness is given utmost importance by the meida in this part of the world. girls would do just about anything to become fair.
(thats their ticket to get decent proposals!)
in reality,they dont consume the products,they get hypnotised by the ads..
In a post modern world, i think its high time that women should realise that being over obssessive with looks isnt the right thing.Theres are other important things to focus on such us global warming poverty and so on..
Posted By Anonymous Sahr Hasan87 : 8:22 PM, August 25, 2007
One has to be quiet sensitive along with ability to think regarding such issues. You wrote it nicely dear, though i dont read so much on internet:) but i did this time and i loved it! Its good to know that there are few people left who are thought ful and simple enough to write something like this. All the best!


Posted By Anonymous Shahzad Faisal : 6:22 AM, August 27, 2007

I agree with your thoughts.Being the only woman in my team,it takes lots to prove my worth,as iam perceived as pretty thing who has no brain.Everyday is a Challenge along with the task in hand.But i agree that somewhere down the line we are taught that taking care of ourselves is a selfish thing.I reckon its conscious effort we need to put in as the end result is very motivating.I have and am prone to Retail therapy theres no denying it.Knowing when to stop and be in control of oneself is equally important.

Now its time to face the challenging task :).
Posted By Anonymous Anonymous : 10:31 AM, August 28, 2007
It's been said that "Nothing makes a woman more beautiful than the belief she's Beautiful".However,a little effort in the beauty department in the morn,noon and night wouldn't hurt...Thks Monita and I wish you all the best.
Posted By Anonymous JydaGirl,Lagos,Nigeria : 12:27 PM, August 28, 2007
Hi Monita,
I agree that self esteem can not be found inside a bottle but it's contents, however, can affect how you feel about yourself. You may hold your head a little higher, walk a little taller (which works for me since I'm on the short side!) and feel more confident, all of which will make you appear more 'attractive'. And isn't that what we all want on most days - to feel strong, confident and attractive? So I say go ahead and buy that new lip gloss or new pair of Christian Louboutins' (if it makes you feel beautiful and confident). It may not solve your problems but it can (like you said) work wonders!
Posted By Anonymous Brigette Krenten-Boaretto : 1:40 PM, August 28, 2007
Hi Monita,
Many a time I tried to avoid going to the salon to have my conspicuous strands of grey hair coloured. Until now I have miserably failed. The reason, just cannot resist the temptation to look younger. And after having got the taste of it, even my husband, who is generally averse to artificial colours, just cannot stand the sight of my grey hair. So at the end of the day, little bit of good looks here and there (that does no harm to anyone) is what makes one happy.....then just let your hair down and enjoy!
Posted By Anonymous SriVidya K, Toronto, Canada : 12:08 AM, August 31, 2007
Compliments Monita, very interesting. Regards.
Posted By Blogger Finazio : 3:54 AM, September 09, 2007
Hi Monita,
Greetings form Nepal.

I am your fan in nepal and I like your program most. I always try to watch your program "ART OF LIFE". It's really fascinatig to me as a student of Mass communication and journalism.

Best Regards
Hari Shrestha
Posted By Blogger Hari : 12:01 PM, September 13, 2007
hi monita,

nice to take time out once again to read your blog and add a comment. its always a pleasure, considering the depth and richness of it all. thumbs up. by the way i think its completely cool to have some kind of dress style no matter how odd. it makes life fun and dressing generally something to lookforward to doing.
Posted By Anonymous adeyemi adeniran : 9:32 PM, September 19, 2007
hi monita,

This show was great to watch, monita!
and additionaly wonderful practical and very most needed products for people with a good taste followed of their opinion that y have provided to your truly audiance!

You give them all their need in any sence of way and they have a happy time.

They think that there is no time, or to waste time for the worries of perfectness and higher needs to become the self esteem that they faced everytime, you know, I think deeply.

I imagine many things that you have showed to it is so useful and they love You

Monita carry on, you got it, the wild spirit that never dies,

by for now,
see you,
Posted By Anonymous Markus S.K. Polatschek : 3:59 PM, September 26, 2007
I disagree entirely with this story. Some women, no matter how much effort they put into it, just can't be made beautiful. I know--I'm one of them, and I'm sick to death of the cosmetics industry blaming me for my DNA. I rarely wear cosmetics, or take the time to look nice--I look like a ugly, pathetic woman trying too hard to impress a world that will never, ever look back, and it shows. There's far too much emphasis on looking beautiful, and stories like like just reinforces the hurt. Gloss, indeed!
Posted By Anonymous Anonymous : 3:55 AM, October 01, 2007
Ms Monita, your saying "we are often judged by the way we look" is reminiscent of Lookism which regards the appearance as the best value. anyway, we are apt to focus on people's face, and it's natural. If puttting on make-up help to express ourselves and make us feel great, it's needed.
when I watch CNN Today, I feel happy because I can see your beautiful look by basic make-up
Posted By Anonymous Jun Soo Ahn : 10:01 AM, October 01, 2007
Hi Monita. I really appreciate your advice and insight into this issue. I'm a teenager and figures, my mindset is centered on my appearance. I've always read and heard about how "beauty lies in the eye of the beholder," and although I knew it was true, at the same time, I still had my doubts. But after reading your article, to be honest with you, you really helped convince me that appearance isn't everything; it's all about attitude. Also, confidence comes not from what you're wearing or how you look, but from how you feel when you're making yourself "prettier."
Thank you for helping me realize this better.

Komal Saini
Posted By Blogger komal : 6:26 PM, October 23, 2007
Love it
Posted By Blogger skindivo : 9:37 PM, November 23, 2007
I think to be nice is not made by the clothes and makeup.

To be nice is your smile, if you are a nice person, your smile makes you nice. Even if you do not have to much make up on.

Unfortunately many people only judge by your dress, and that is by far false.
Posted By Anonymous gyuszi bacsi : 5:41 PM, January 12, 2008
hi..that was a really great article monita..

I've seen many women who are not so beautiful live happily ever after..great husband, great family, great it all comes down to having a great personality, positive outlook on life and just taking care of your dont have to have a beautiful face to enjoy lifes little wonders..

DMSofiah, Malaysia
Posted By Blogger MSofia : 12:43 AM, February 09, 2008
CNN anchor Monita Rajpal blogs about her experiences filming the "Art of Life" show.

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