Thursday, June 5, 2014

Society's Pressure of Beauty

I bought a new lip balm the other day from this one high end brand . I swear that this is the most expensive lip balm I have ever bought. Typical lip balm only cost you 2 to 3 euro but this one... equal to a nice dress I guess. Well, I'm sure you wont mind the price when you have a really chapped lip. The sale girl then offered me a free make-up session. So I said, Why not? I'll give it a try.

So the other day, I went for that make up session. The make up artist is really friendly and seems professional doing my make up. Having zero knowledge about the make up stuff, I felt really embarrassed and 'awkward' by her questions.

"What shades do you usually use?"
"Do you like .."

So I just pretend as if I knew things. Hope it doesnt look that fake. It's because I don't even know how to do a basic make up; even when I am applying eyeliner, I tend to get smudge all over ny eyes. Told you, i am that noob in make up stuff.

Hehe. giggle.

So this month's lesson:

The prospect of beauty. Always redefine the true meaning of beauty. We, as Allah's creations (especially the women) always love bits of beauty. But some are lost in this prospect. or I'd say drown in it. Some are feeling more self-conscious, more deficient and even less beautiful. It is because we’re being told—implicitly or explicitly— that we are not enough. We’re not good enough, thin enough, or attractive enough; that our skin does not look young or light enough. We are always broken, blemished, or scarred, and we need fixing. There is always a new standard or method for enhancing everything from our skin, hair, lips and nails, to almost every inch of our body—and it’s impossible to keep up. So many succumb to society’s pressure to conform, and they go to great lengths to surgically alter their bodies, inject foreign objects in them, starve themselves or follow strict diets or exercise programs—all in an effort to look more beautiful and desirable.

Our religion teaches us to take care of our bodies and to maintain a pleasant physical appearance. It also emphasizes the need for every individual to develop an inward beauty: a beauty that comes with knowing Allah swt and obeying Him, and that transcends the mere image of a person.  This inward beauty can actually become so radiant that it manifests in a person’s external appearance. It is for this reason that some of the righteous people of the past would comment on the physical beauty of those who prayed during the night or performed other righteous deeds.

Our Prophet Muhammad mentioned again and again the beauty of he or she who embodies good character. He also emphasized to those seeking marriage to look for the one who is beautiful as a result of their character and religion. In this way, Islam defines beauty as something more profound than just the physical.

Underneath the superficial layers of different physical features, skin colors and types of dress, all of us have hearts and souls that long and plead for the same deep connection with their Creator.

“Truly, in the heart there is a void that cannot be removed except with the company of God; and in it there is a sadness that cannot be removed except with the happiness of knowing God and being true to Him; and in it there is an emptiness that cannot be filled except with love for Him and turning to Him and always remembering Him; and if a person were given the entire world and what is in it, it would never fill that emptiness.”
-Ibn Qaiyyim-

So no matter how much we alter and reshape our physical form, it will not fill the void in our hearts that is reserved for God. When we follow our desires and the ever-changing whims of creation, we chain our souls down to the lowly, fleeting life—and away from God. But when we connect our hearts and minds to the Eternally Permanent One, Al-Baqi, our souls are freer to draw closer to Him.

Less is more. Always redefine the meaning of beauty. But hey, do look good as allahu jamil wa yuhibbu jamal.

Yours truly.
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