But, Are We Just Pretty Faces?

This morning, when I was looking at my image in the mirror, I vividly remembered my school days when my mother would cajole me into using an acne cream. Let’s get you a facial. Use this cream. Moisture more. Keep moisturising. Your skin does not seem so radiant anymore. I’ve heard this all from her and when I looked into the mirror this morning, I totally knew that I transformed — from the girl who barely used a moisturiser to a girl who carefully goes over its ingredients before buying one. I have changed while running from high school to filing college applications. Maybe somewhere between falling in love and out, while seeking validation and not caring for it, I have changed so much. From the girl who would shyly use a lip balm to a woman who effortlessly smears a red lipstick, gosh, I’ve changed. For better or worse, I have.

This change is not a bad phase, though. It surely isn’t a sweet smelling Shea butter stage that will wean away soon. I reckon, the amount of time I spend looking at my reflection in the mirror could be quite unhealthy. Is it just me or does it happen to you too? The filthy thing about looks is that we all crave it, but we do not want to be known for it. “Am I just a pretty face? Why don’t people think I am more than just that?” We are all slaves to emotions like this. And there is no way you could get yourself out of this. It is just like a roller coaster. It does not matter even if you’re standing at a distance, staring at it, the roller coaster is still a scary experience. But when you get on it, you love it. You get hooked. Taking care of your looks and basking in its sunshine is just that.

When we read books and come across characters that are beautiful, nay, not good looking, we are amazed. My favourite fictional characters of all time, Jane Eyre and Edward Rochester, were never portrayed as immensely good looking ones. To be fair, Jane was a plain Jane. But they both had interesting minds and spoke those minds to each other. Similarly, our beloved Sherlock Holmes was not dearly known for his looks until Benedict Cumberbatch glorified his character with his looks and high cheekbones. When I was a child, I hated ‘The Ugly Duckling’. My mother still teases me that I cried every time someone narrated this story to me and even when the ugly duckling transformed into a beautiful swan, I wasn’t okay with it.

In an era where we carefully photoshop the acne on our face and take a million selfies to perfect the art of pouting, I shudder to think that I haven’t just joined this bandwagon, I’ve also endorsed it many times. Of course there is nothing wrong with it, we got to change with changing times, but how often do we think that there is an interesting story, a real person behind a pretty face. I have this wonderful friend who is absolutely handsome that sometimes it pains to look at his face and wonder how every facial feature is so beautifully carved. But when I went beyond his looks and understood him, there was more beauty to him. It was innate, but it was truer.

This is what happens when we know people for their true selves. Maybe then, we would pick our friends and partners based on their virtues. Because relations between people are not based on grandiosity. But despite it, and despite it only.

However, I’ll still use the moisturiser. Keep moisturising. In the end, we all have to listen to our mothers, don’t we?