Beauty and the Beautiful

Recently, Sony Entertainment Television beamed the "Femina Miss India" contest wherein thirty gorgeous ladies sashayed down the ramp with perfect panache, never forgetting to display their glittering white teeth. But what pervaded the three hour pomp parade was, what has almost become the zeitgeist of contests as this, the couldn't-be-triter punch line- "beauty is not skin deep". You can't blame the contestants though. They were all vying for instant glory and the cliche punchline has always been the passport to success.

That sounds like some cynic's viewpoint of beauty contests. But then, I cant help wonder what gave these thirty young women the license to strut on the ramp? Is it the oft repeated "beauty from within"?

What is it, that makes "beauty is not skin deep" so indubitably acceptable? It could be, that such a statement goes down well with the audience. The not-so-beautiful audience who is eager to believe that it is "internal beauty" that makes a winner and a well toned body is just the sizzle to the steak. In that right, that audience is no less a beauty queen sans the ramp and the spotlight.

So how much does "internal beauty" help you as such? A lot- when the people around you already know you. It could be your workplace or just your gang of friends. Its your behavior in general and specifically those attributes of selflessness, helpfulness and efficiency that make you beautiful as a person. You are more respected for the person you are than admired for your looks. And that's worth it.

But would a stranger want to know you, or would a supposedly good-looker(on second thoughts, even an ordinary looker!) want to be associated with you if you are not blessed with good looks? Probably no. That "internal beauty" only acts at the second stage of a relationship and makes an association pleasant. But the first step still remains "skin-deep" beauty.

Though I am not an avid soap-watcher, even I am taken in by all the hype about the down-to- earth and extremely talented Jassi( of a popular serial fame!) shedding her ugly-duckling image and trying her hand at being glamorous. All the virtues she nurtured couldn't compensate for the dearth of glamour and hence the big step. So I gathered. Has good-looks become such an indispensable ingredient for success?

I know of an eligible bachelor who had asked his mother to find him an intelligent bride with a good sense of humor. Looks were but secondary in his search for a life-partner. So he proudly stated the futility of good looks in a long standing relationship and that it is just a beautiful mind that counts. While his mom kept the mission alive, he brought home the choice he had chanced upon. A blonde who had nothing else but a real pretty face. It was love at first sight. And he didn't have the chance to delve into the beauty of the mind.

Its time one accepts the truth about the modus operandi of good looks. And shed those notions about "beauty within" being the whole of it. Not that one needs to shed that kind of a beauty. Its a virtue to be cherished. But then a pragmatist needs to understand the need of presentable looks. And these days, its not a God-gifted face that matters. The effort one puts in to attain a svelte figure or a great physique and the wonder cures in the market that give you a makeover capable of turning heads is enough to give you that requisite skin-deep beauty.



At 3:13 AM, Anonymous nitin said...

right u r, but i thnk the good-looking too suffer from ppl forming a negative bias abt them not having any brains...hence its sometimes frustrating for thm to prove their "inner" worth to ppl not wanting to get beyond the facade...

At 4:29 AM, Blogger rohit said...

very true. I am heading straight to the gym.:-)

At 9:59 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Why try to impress someone with good looks? If someone likes you for what you are then only its true liking.

At 10:28 PM, Blogger sumandatta said...

"If someone likes you for what you are..." - you 'are' wht you make of urself. u r not born with a paunch, nor with muscles. u can choose to have either. i think ppl who say "take me as i am" are plain 'lazy' to improve themselves or, even worse, are plain 'inconsiderate'!

At 11:24 PM, Blogger arundhoti said...

Hey Nitin! Its just that people feel insecured with someone who has a perfect combination of brawn and brains. You dont have to try too hard to prove because they are just not wiling to accept the truth!

Rohit seems toiling hard. Good going!:-)

And dear Anon,there is nothing called "false" liking. Neither its trying to impress someone. Its just feeling good about yourself. The admiration is a bonus! It helps u feel good all the more.

Well, hope sumandatta has all the luck in trying to shed his laziness!:-)

At 11:26 AM, Blogger Suraj Kamath said...

*Grinning* I could tell when i started reading this that it would spark this kind of debate. I too shall add my two cents worth. A beauty contest is a beauty contest. Women are strutting about to earn a crown and a career and make a great deal of money while their looks last. They are able to do it because men want to watch them do it. Basic supply and demand. The smartness judging question is simply to give the judges someway to choose from three often equally attractive contestants. What’s the message? If you have everything else, we'll use your brains as a tiebreaker. Lets not kid ourselves, they're laughing up their sleeved with the beauty is not skin deep shit, gloating over how the dodged the ‘shallow!’ label.

Now, if we're talking about life outside beauty contests, yes there are many reasons why it makes sense to not get very fat or very thin, which are linked in to our psychology. To me it seems to be just about maintaining balance and being honest with yourself. Are you happy the way you are? It is physically impossible to be happy without balancing yourself across body and mind. They interact with each other in ways that are too subtle to separate ordinarily. If you obsess about either or both, you lose balance and get sick. You work out too hard trying to get that great physique and do yourself an injury, or you spend so much time ‘improving your mind’ with Dostoyevsky that you forget the bag of chips you’re demolishing on the side. Balance is the key. Somebody take these chips away, please. : )

At 9:31 PM, Blogger arundhoti said...

"Being happy with what you are" is again a "playsafe" statement. I have heard "that" often repeated by people who are "not" happy with what they are. And most of them guard their laziness with that "balance" keyword. The body has a great deal of an effect on the mind, while a vonluntary effort to achieve the reverse seldom succeeds.I mean, its difficult to think that you have a great figure even when your mirror says otherwise. But its easy to sulk a whole day away at those extra kilos you have gathered when your pair of jeans doesnt fit that well. Even Dostoyevsky cant save you then!

And congratulations Suraj!...for forecasting a debate.:-)

At 7:09 AM, Blogger Amit said...


What are you guys talking about? beauty or the beautiful?

OOAD guys here would know that beautiful can be a human creation. For it is about knowing the subject, developing a concept and applying it to attain imagined objectivity.

So beautiful is a result of human activity.

And all human activity is devine, because it comes from action which comes from will to act and will to act comes from a spark we all have.

Feeling beautiful may have nothing to do with beauty being skin deep, feeling good too may have nothing to do with beauty being skin deep.

It has to do with, what makes you feel wow! Albert einstien could have felt beauty in arriving at a mathematical trasformation while the contestants at the femina miss india contest could have felt beauty in raising the adrenaline of the men folk (talking about the worst case, no offence meant)
the moment.

Doing all that Arundhoti said you might be able to turn heads.

Beauty was when Swami Vivekanad uttered five words in the parliament of religions, chicago.

Beauty is a reflection of whats there within us.

Jassi is a fictious character.


At 2:17 AM, Blogger arundhoti said...

Hey Amit! u mistook the conjuction ...it is an "And" in this case. And doing an Object Oriented Design on the concept would be a great thing...only that i took to being sheer practical. And its futile to dispute the "within us" beauty. this one just talked about realising the importance of that "not so within" beauty and not mask your inconsideration with that "not skin deep" thing!

At 7:38 AM, Blogger Amit said...

Agree that people do tend to take safe positions, but if theres no beauty you can not make beautiful. You need to have a concept to do OOAD. otherwise its like empty bottles with great labels. but then great labels are about selling. whats with in, probably is incomplete without a label for it doesnt sell. but then again, its incomplete if selling makes it complete. !!

There can be sellers who would want to sell their empty bottles saying they don't need labels because they say they believe in "whats with in", their would still be ones who do not care a damn wheather they sell or they don't and still seekers would reach them.

At 5:50 AM, Blogger Amit said...

examples of what i said before are these vibeindia blogs and your own blogs arundhoti, I dont think they are very beautiful looks wise, but still so many people read them more than they read the beautiful looking blogs. . and theres so much in these blogs thats so beautiful. Now whats beautiful is vague and can not be argued upon, they also say beauty lies in the eyes of the beholder, thats because you can apreciate subtlety only when you have the sensitivity it takes, its for this reason some find pamela anderson extremely beautiful and some find her awful, how correct is it to work on your looks based on your perception of how gross others are is something I don't know. But yes I agree that looking shabby, being completely out of shape do amount to being inconsiderate,not inconsiderate to anyone else, but to one' own self. Looking shabby and saying what matters is what's with in is one extreme, the other is doing anything for looking hep (however you spell it). being completely out of shape is one extreme and harms health, the other is spending 6 hours at the gym, 4 of them at cost of your work just to look great. I think wearing washed and ironed clothes, combing hair, bathing every day, and physical exercising we were all taught in school. That should be a way of life.

At 7:48 AM, Blogger arundhoti said...

Hey amit! u really dont need OOAD when u remember what you have been taught in school!:-) believe me! some people remember only maths and science!...and by the way, thanks for all those subtle compliments. I am too mean to miss them.;-)


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