Beauty is definitely in the eye of the beholder. What is beautiful to one person may not appear beautiful to another. This is perfectly normal.
There is no one standard of Beauty. There are very diverse ways in which beauty can be seen and observed. And human beings are as diverse as the idea of beauty itself. So remember that ‘one size does not fit all’.
The Caribbean boasts of more than its fair share of beauties – Miss Worlds and Miss Universes. In fact, since these ‘measures of beauty’ started in the 1960s, there are few in which a Caribbean participant did not place among the top ten and, in many cases, even win the prestigious title. Carole Joan Crawford, for example, was crowned Miss World 1963. She was the first Miss World from Jamaica as well as the first Miss World of colour.
The Caribbean has won the Miss World title seven times with Jamaica, Dominican Republic, Trinidad and Tobago and Grenada in winner’s row. Jamaica won Miss World queens (Carole Joan Crawford, 1963; Cindy Breakspeare, 1976; Lisa Hanna, 1993); and Toni-Ann-Singh (2019); Grenada’s Jennifer Hosten in 1970; Trinidad and Tobago’s Giselle La Ronde, 1986; and Dominican Republic’s Amelia Patricia Vega Polanco won in (2003).
In terms of Miss Universe, Trinidad and Tobago’s Janelle Penny Commissiong won in 1977 and Wendy Fitzwilliam in 1998.
Spanish-speaking Caribbean territories of Puerto Rico, Venezuela, Mexico and the Dominican Republic won the titles a total of 7, 5, 2 and 1 times respectively a total of 17 times over the life of the competition. This means that the Caribbean has won more than 25% of all of the titles since 1952! This is truly an amazing feat!
Given its small size, the Caribbean is again punching well above its weight when it comes to beauty. And that is despite its small size, its small population base and its turbulent past. Perhaps it has to do with the mixing of cultures that continue to live in harmony. Perhaps, more importantly, it has to do with education and equal opportunity for women.
On her visit to Trinidad and Tobago in 2014, Malala was impressed with the level of free education given to all citizens including girls. She said that Trinidad and Tobago is an “example to other countries”.
It appears that Beauty and Brilliance go ‘hand in hand’. There’s nothing that can compare to a beautiful mind. Because when your mind harbours beautiful thoughts and ideas, you can accomplish anything.
So, don’t forget to take care of your mind too. It’s all well and good to put on makeup and face creams to look your best. But what about stimulating your brain and developing your mind to achieve your dreams and live your best life.
Beauty is more than FACE- or SKIN-deep. Beauty is not just a superficial concept that one can observe from the outside. Beauty is present in many forms – beauty can engage all senses – scent and smell; eyes and looks; speaking and hearing; feeling and touch. Beauty can also be sensed the way that human beings can sense fear, confidence or even an attitude. So to be truly beautiful, try engaging all of your and others’ senses.
With a Caribbean colonial past of slavery and annihilation of indigenous peoples; a Colonial past that has been bloody, tumultuous, unfair and downright unjust; where divide and rule was the order of the day; it is difficult to emancipate ourselves from the belief that white is best; that the whiter you are the ‘better’ you are; that whiteness is something to be strived for.
After centuries of the ‘white-washing’, the mental affliction of ‘whiteness’ has not disappeared. This needs to change.
And it is amazing the lengths and breadths that – young girls and boys in developing countries are going to achieve lighter, whiter and fairer skin. This madness needs to stop! Young girls and boys in the Caribbean and other developing countries, in Africa and India are damaging their skins forever in the hope of becoming white.
For time immemorial, we have been weaned on a concept of beauty that was lean or maga. It was almost as if larger ‘plus’ sizes were not, or would never be seen, as ‘beautiful’.
Meanwhile, all of the pills and diets and surgical interventions to adjust body size, have become a multi-trillion industry. It is important to focus on health and wellness.
Do NOT be body-shamed. Beauty comes in all shapes and sizes. And it is amazing how many more valuable elements determine your beauty – a glowing complexion of any colour; a genuine smile; a good work-out; a great attitude; your view of the world; loving your neighbours and fellow-citizens.
Most people believe that you are either born beautiful or not. But beauty is more than genes. It’s an attitude. It’s a lifestyle. It’s a conscious choice to see yourself and the world in a positive way. That is true beauty. And you have control over all of those things. So rather than seeing beauty as the cards life has dealt you, make the choice to define and design the beauty you want to see in yourself and in the world.
Beauty surrounds us all of the time. You can see it if you just pause for a moment and take in the wonders of nature around you. There is beauty everywhere in nature – a colourful sunset, a verdant tree, a bird in flight, a butterfly, a winding stream, a crashing wave, the aroma of a rose, even the eruption of a volcano, and so much more. But to see the beauty in nature and in the world around you, it must start from within.
Beauty starts with appreciation. When you begin to appreciate and love yourself and appreciate the world around you, then and only then can you truly find beauty. This is the beginning of beauty and at once the final outcome.