To whom beauty is beheld

I have been wearing hijab everyday for a few months now, and scarcely for about a year. Those who see me in hijab have seen me as oppressed, beautiful and sometimes still too scandalous. I am proud of my body. Proud of my accomplishments. While I do have some less-than-glamorous moments, I am not ashamed of anything. That is why, for a very long time, professional photographies of my hijab style were posted alongside professional photographies of myself in a bikini, in poses made to showcase my tattoed ribs.

Beauty is subjective. Each and everyone of us will define beauty in their own way. Nothing reflects more the individualistic perspective of beauty than Rule 34. Yes, I’m referring to the concept of “if it exists, there’s porn of it”. The reality is that humans are able to see beauty and even sexuality in almost everything. (Sometimes to the disgust of others, but who’s keeping count?)

We are all able to perceive beauty. In the same realm of reality, we are also all able to exhalt beauty. THAT is where I’m going with this: our ability to be beautiful and to be perceived as beautiful.
Today I have discussed (argued) my desire to wear hijab. Today, I have also watched a rant from a self-proclaimed obese woman who talked about assuming your weight and more importantly to stop assuming others’ weight as something undesirable. I’ve also read today an article on the target put on female genitalia by the beauty industry, a story which has in many ways made me rethink the beauty industry as a whole. However, the inspiration for this article from somewhere else altogether, a comment by a fellow group member amused by multiple women ouuuh-and-ahhh-ing at a beautiful dress. She wrote clandestinely that it was funny to see our reaction and that, clearly, us women like to shop.

This gave me pause. My first thought was to think that our desire to shop was prompted by the availability of a wide range of options — in many regards, our selection is vastly greater than that of our male counterparts — but then I wondered: why is there such a disparity of options. For centuries, western societies have been patriarch; therefore, if desire for beauty was to come from availability, shouldn’t ment have created greater beauty products then women when they had the power to do so? That’s when it hit me: the beauty industry was not created for those who wish to BE beautiful, but for those who wish to SEE beauty.

If beauty is in the eye of the beholder, then it is time that we stop trying to look at ourselves with someone else’s eyes. To achieve standards of beauty established by someone else is frivolous and ludicrous, for laws of nature dictates that we are all unique and therefore, can only behold what is unique to ourselves.

So here it is, the truth afterall. Hijab, no hijab, bikini, tattoos, overweight, skinny, we are, for all matters of purposes, “beholdable”.

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