Being a woman in my country (Colombia) is actually an ‘adventure’. There’s an expectation that we have to dress-up well and make ourselves physically sexy or beautiful in front of people before we deserved to be complimented. Our outfit has to be eye-catching, our body has to be in shape and curvy, our smile has to be sweet and alluring, our make-up has to be appropriate and proportionate etc. To be honest, it’s very tiring to be a woman and in some sense, sad. Why do we have to have all of those things in order to be considered as ‘beautiful’?
I respect society’s expectation for individuals to dress-up accordingly at different functions, at times, I feel that I don’t really need a lot of extra things (cosmetic surgery, extra make up, expensive outfits etc.) to make myself beautiful because I think I am beautiful just the way I am. Generally, I think this happen in many places around the world where many women care so much about their appearance and the static things, rather than focusing on improving their knowledge and self-esteem.
People around me are relying more and more on artificial things in order to make themselves look ‘beautiful’ and I believe we all know that these things don’t last long and they aren’t our natural self anyway. What hurts me most is the general expectation from the society towards women and the way we should look after ourselves in Colombia. In my own experience and understanding of the environment, most women literally live for men, not for themselves. They care so much on what men say about them, what men think about them, what men want from them etc. In my culture, it is in my knowledge that we, as women, are expected to ‘show more skin’ to be ‘considered’ sexy and wanted.
To me, attractiveness is not all about the body shape that I have, the dress I wear, how big are my boobs, or how much skin I reveal when I am out there in the public. I think ‘my inner beauty’ stands a lot of weight too because it reveals how comfortable, happy, and confident a woman is towards herself.
Living in the Latino culture, I know that my attitude towards beauty is not a ‘sexy’ one because I don’t comply with social expectation and perception where a woman has to rely on so many superficial things in order to look beautiful. I don’t dress up sexily, because I like to be natural – not showing too much of my body skin etc.
I believe what makes me beautiful as a woman is my understanding towards myself, my capabilities, my talents, my strengths etc. To me, my body is my temple and I want to take care of it so that I can be healthy, happy, and strong. Not because I want men to think that I have a sexy body or big boobs etc. If I recognise all of these good qualities in me, I think that’s what makes us beautiful. It’s about recognising our passion in life, who we are in this world, and what we could do to make this world a better place not just for myself, but for others too.