On CNN: Beauty In the Eye of the Beholder Equates the Need for PERFECTION

Malaika Arora via Amrita Arora

Is ethnic beauty

the new ‘it’ factor?

I’m one lucky girl.

I am. I am. I am.

And I would like to personally thank the amazing Liane Membis for including me in her project.

On Monday September 13, 2010 I was quoted in a CNN article about women, beauty and ‘perfection.’ I had quite a few people (friends, Twitter buddies and family) reach out to tell me that they not only agreed with that I said, but they wholeheartedly appreciated that I said it.

Words cannot express how humbled I am by that.

Earlier on Monday, @PR_in_Pink asked me if I was going to write a follow up. To be frank, I had no intention of doing so. But often, the best ideas come from unexpected and unknown sources.

FROM CNN:

Sasha Muradali, author of littlepinkbookpr.com, a blog that follows pop culture and beauty trends, believes that the need to achieve certain standards of beauty has little to do with race and ethnicity and more to do with the obsession of perfection.

For Muradali, a 25-year-old working woman of South Asian descent, the current standard of beauty is still a bit blurry.

“We have definitely come a long way because people are embracing Middle Eastern, African-American and Latin looks and no one wants to just look like the quintessential American girl,” Muradali said. “But I think we are subtly staying in the past.”

“I mean, we are all raging about the curves of Beyonce and Kim Kardashian, but at the same time the media is telling girls that they need to be a size zero. That’s what makes the beauty standards a bit skewed and contradicting.”

In its simplest form, I don’t think that society knows what it wants, thereby perpetrating what it thinks might be right (as opposed to what is right) via a skill of ‘following,’ best mastered by herds of sheep.

Then again, who really knows what beauty truly is to begin with?

Michelangelo would tell you a plump woman, a full-figure, a well-fed goddess worthy of adorning one of his paintings — that is perfection, that is beauty.

Botticelli would tell you it’s a pear-shaped Venus — she is perfection, she is beauty.

Victoria Beckham would have you believe it walks in five-inch stilettos, permanently adorns a cinched waist and holds a Birkin — it’s perfection, it’s beauty.

AP Photo by Matt Sayles

I don’t think women are accepted for who they are, for even gorgeous creatures like Christina Hendricks, still have trouble finding people who want to dress them — Zac Posen being an exception, not the rule.

It’s a sad, but simple, and inherently true-to-form, truth that must be acknowledged.

So while, yes, beauty is in the eye of the beholder, its this slicing force only reckoned by the need to feel, see and achieve perfection.

Nothing more, nothing less.

There will always be an ‘it’ factor, but an ‘it’ factor is just that — ‘it:’ an objectification, a thing manifested from desire, superficiality and sometimes extravagance.

For as cool as curves are, Kim Kardashian’s backside is, Shakira’s hips don’t lie and Beyonce’s waist move, Coco Rocha and Miranda Kerr still hold the overarching media and industry standard on the epitome of beauty.

The New York Times did it, Vanity Fair did it and Kate Moss, of the quintessential packaging, would tell you, “Nothing tastes as good as skinny feels.”

Therefore, as accepting as the new ‘trend’ is, its laced in subtle, traditional arsenic.

Truth cannot hold its ground in a web of contradictions.

–

Sasha Muradali runs the Little Pink Book. She holds a B.S. in Public Relations from the University of Florida with a minor in Dance (’07) and an M.A. in International Administration from the University of Miami (’08). She loves Twitter and all things social media, so you should find her @SashaHalima or get a copy of the Little Pink Book delivered to your Kindle.

Copyright © 2009-2010 Sasha H. Muradali. All Rights Reserved.

Comments

  1. Beyonce can get away with having a butt but not with being flabby, that's for sure. You are so right (even though I already told you).

  2. Wow, Sasha– great reflective and analytic piece! Working in the communications field, I have a sense of how image and framing translates into what is perceived by the masses via media, be it a trend or style of the season. Women's images and what is considered “beautiful” will be an ongoing discussion/debate because everyone has the means and opportunity to frame the discussion. You make a good point that a trend is only as timeless as those who make it so, and each generation will continue to frame the concept of beauty, so it's a continuous evolution.

  3. Beyonce can get away with having a butt but not with being flabby, that's for sure. You are so right (even though I already told you).

  4. Wow, Sasha– great reflective and analytic piece! Working in the communications field, I have a sense of how image and framing translates into what is perceived by the masses via media, be it a trend or style of the season. Women's images and what is considered “beautiful” will be an ongoing discussion/debate because everyone has the means and opportunity to frame the discussion. You make a good point that a trend is only as timeless as those who make it so, and each generation will continue to frame the concept of beauty, so it's a continuous evolution.