Viewpoint | Body beautiful

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“It is confidence in our bodies, minds, and spirits that allows us to keep looking for new adventures.” Oprah Winfrey

Beauty comes in many shapes, forms and sizes. Even in varieties women could always do with a little more attention to self. Beauty plays a significant role in shaping self-worth, how we respond to others who praise or criticise our beauty, and what we do to maintain or reach for the ideal look. Whether it be vanity, health, wellness or pursuing a relationship, women are often reaching for that next level of beauty. And this is OK, because striving to be body beautiful is like an adventure-something more to explore, something else to do.

In youth this may be a matter of maintaining the glow of youthfulness- a firm body, radiant face, and vitality. But the sweet bird of youth inevitably flies away. As people grow older, beauty is finding acceptance in aging and doing so with grace and class. Being beautiful also requires being confident and self-critical at the same time. It means accepting the necessary sacrifice or change required to look and stay beautiful at each given stage of life.

Often the first thing we see in others is their deportment or physical appearance. A quick assessment is made of beauty in the eyes of the beholder, based on the look and confidence of the beholden. Never underestimate the power of these. Women are ultimately in control of themselves and bodies and could influence self-esteem and perception to our advantage. We could determine these by the work we put into defining our unique body beautiful. It is also striving to reach that goal, which is ever evolving in time.

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A flashing smile, appearance and intelligence, however defined, are some signals of beauty (self-care). Mouth care, including regular visits to the dentist, could make beauty shine through. In between visits the good old black sage and dental flossing would suffice. With this specific self-care beauty acknowledges check-up allows for early detection of cavity, gum disease, acid reflux, cancer, autoimmune disease and diabetes. Beauty fears that advanced gum disease could contribute to diseases and conditions such as diabetes, stroke, pneumonia, heart disease, premature birth and birth rate.

People are beautiful in all sizes and is reflected in how one feels about self in the given size. For example, it is empowering and pleasing to the eyes to watch a plump, well-groomed woman strutting confidently into a room. Some may have the ‘perfect shape’ as defined by the fashion industry- though they are moving to include all sizes in response to public demands- but not the confidence in their skin to strut like a model. Confidence also acknowledges the ability to be self-critical. This may include striving for a healthy lifestyle such as weight management, if possible. As Oprah said, “[i]t is confidence in our bodies, minds, and spirits that allows us to keep looking for new adventures.”

And in clothing, the jury is still out. Some feel clothing makes the person; others argue the person makes the clothing. Both have merit. Appearance says a lot about self, including the clothes worn. In the Caribbean/West Indian culture clothing is graduated down from ‘going out’ to becoming ‘house’ clothes. Usually when stepping out there is a tendency to want to look one’s best but, in the home, a dissimilar approach is taken by some.

There is no self-fulfilling reason people cannot or should not feel they are worthy to be beautiful in their own home. One’s home is one’s castle. Even when dressed in ‘old’ clothes once they are tidy or not torn beauty exudes. Beauty is all of you, including well-groomed protective hairstyles (wigs, braids and weaves) and maintaining the natural hair beneath. In relationships neither partner should become complacent and allow beauty to flee the home.

Body beautiful requires work. Hard. Rewarding. Work. Complacency or tiredness may at times come crawling in. These intruders must never take over the necessity to be beautiful for self, first. It is OK for women, regardless of age, to explore their next adventure in beauty, which should include honest self-critique, starting in the home. Christians believe the body is the temple of the God. God is beautiful.



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