Real beauty lies in the heart of the beholden…

Almost always, women come to mind, when you think about beauty. And because this ‘real beauty’ contest is organized by a beauty product company, Dove, which uses the most gorgeous women in the world for their advertisements, thinking about beauty apart from women is tough. And is this wrong? No! From the times in history, women have a responsibility or a burden to look beautiful, and the emphasis remains mostly on the physical beauty.

So let me also start explaining beauty in the context of a woman. I have heard many people saying real beauty is not about physical appearance, it is skin deep. I do agree but partially. I see a very gorgeous girl in a lounge, sitting alone taking a sip of her drink. She has big eyes, sharp features, cute smile, silky skin, milky complexion, perfect curves… I am just seeing her physical appearance but is she not a real beauty to me? Of course she is! She is real and she is beautiful. I may never talk to her, so I may never get to know what lies beneath her skin. She is a real beauty for me at least in that very moment. Maybe I go close to her and hear her saying over phone “My current boy friend is a bastard but filthy rich, so who cares!” Is she real beauty now? That’s the question!

Real beauty is what soothes you. A cold winter night might be a real beauty for a newly married couple in a cozy thick blanket in solitude but the same night is a nightmare for a poor watchman, wearing a worn jacket, guarding the same couple’s flat. So, is this beautiful night not a real beauty? It is!

So, this defines real beauty as something that appeals to self only. And this makes real beauty very personal. For, a mother will find her child a real beauty; a miner will find real beauty in exploring the caves. But this concept of real beauty is transient and will change as preferences or perception changes. Just as in my case, as my perception changed, the beauty of that girl changed. May be someone sitting in a corner still finding her real beautiful. But is she real beautiful? She is…may be for someone!

For me real beauty would be a helping hand, a genuine smile, self-contentment, an innocent glance, it’s something that can’t be seen from eyes but felt with the heart. Real beauty is living true to oneself… pure and free.

Real beauty can also be a real moment of joy, be it the sound and smell of first rain drops before it touches your clothes, be it a small kid smiling at you with no reason, be it a lonely girl sitting by the sea-shore and watching the sand with her big expressive eyes, be it a morning dew drops on grass…It is something that appeals to you and gives you a sweet spot of inner joy. For someone, waking up early in the morning and watching the sun rise is real beauty, for someone it is a tear dropping off your beloved’s eyes…

She loves someone unconditionally no matter how many times he has made her cry; no matter he doesn’t even care about her at all, no matter he is in relation with someone else, but she still wants to be around so that she could know that he is happy. She cares about him with her true self and will continue to do so. This is real beauty.

She dislikes her friend because that friend bitched about her on her back. Out of her momentarily anger she shouted on her friend. But then forgave her quickly and genuinely felt sorry inside her heart about that momentarily anger. This is real beauty.

She sacrificed her fully developed career and her mouth-watering salary to develop the careers of few unfortunate children. This is real beauty.

He lost all his loved ones one by one in accidents but whenever you meet him, he has a genuine smile on his face. He smiles genuinely. This is real beauty.

He lost all his life’s savings in his unfortunate abduction. His family was scared that he might lose his mental balance upon his return. He might change his morals and start taking commissions on referring his patients to other doctors to earn more money. But he didn’t alter his values a bit. He still treats many of his poor patients for free. This is real beauty.

I know all these people personally and closely. They see this world with a different perspective – happiness. They all live with a feeling of gratitude and try to spread happiness and in turn soothe most of the people around. They are real beautiful people. They know their true self and remain humble. They feel beautiful without even looking into the mirror. That’s real beauty. It is not to look beautiful but live this life beautifully.

A trite thing to say would be that beauty lies in the eye of the beholder but “real beauty lies in the heart of the beholden.”

I have written this post for Yahoo! India and Dove under the topic “What does real beauty mean to me?