Beauty Around the World
Beauty Around the World
I'm really curious to learn about how other countries and cultures relate to, perceive, or define beauty. There are traditions held by various indigenous groups that are specific to beauty. For example, the Apatani women of India wore nose plugs and tattooed their faces as a symbol of beauty. Old and new practices for and perspectives on beauty interest me, especially in a time in which there is seemingly an ideal standard women are following, at least in the United States, to look beautiful.
I am fortunate to get to work in a hair salon 4 days a week where I meet people from all walks of life. Today I had the pleasure of doing a manicure and blowout for a beautiful Serbian woman. She lives in Dubai with her boyfriend but was visiting Santa Barbara for a friend's wedding. I appreciated her openness about life in Dubai and was intrigued when she told me that people there don't always understand one another because it is a melting pot of cultures, customs, and norms. She pointed out that, "in America, people take an interest in you and want to learn about your life." That is not the case in Dubai, she said. She indicated that connection between people is rare because people have a tendency to keep to themselves. It made me sad to hear. Community and connection is such a fundamental need for humanity. My wish is for us to put our differences aside and desire to understand each other. After all, our basic needs are... the same.
I decided to share my "inner beauty" mission with her and asked about how women in Serbia define or perceive beauty. I was surprised to hear that in the past, it was typical that only beautiful women got opportunities but that "our generation is changing this." I was intrigued. She said women are no longer held back by their appearance, pretty or otherwise, and are changing things by going after what they want. Because she was indeed beautiful, I asked about her personal experiences and if people often complimented her on her good looks. She said, "they did, but I didn't care." Interesting, I thought. She is currently an educated woman working in Finance and has both undergraduate and masters degrees. She is beautiful on the inside and out and I feel so touched to have met her.
Consider your perspective on beauty... Beauty is unique to cultures, indigenous peoples, and individuals from all over the globe. Embrace an open mind... Beauty is in variety... Let it be.