I have not been in the mood to write recently, but my monthly feature of babe musing has somehow been compelling me to turn up with a post once a month. Gratefully, I always find myself a bit happier as soon as I start writing down whatever has been bubbling inside my mind. I’ll be setting aside my attempts at verbal gymnastics temporarily and try to write more spontaneously this time.
I’d like to touch on the subject of eye appeal for this particular post because it’s the quality I am destined to lose sooner or later; made poignant by my having to face the mirror each day of my life. Besides, who wouldn’t want to deal with this subject especially if it has the promise to make us feel better or more beautiful and youthful? The concept of beauty is no doubt equivalent to the concept of youth which has never ceased being a negotiable asset everywhere, every time. Men make no bones about winning the love and attention of pretty young things even if they act start acting funny around them. Which automatically means you could get more easily what you want from men if you’ve got “the power of beauty (plus youth).”
I can’t totally fault the opposite gender for that because frankly, I prefer handsome men, too (What about younger, you ask? That’ll be another story for another post). When I was in college, there was this guy who liked me and wanted me to be his girl. He was delightful in conversations and could make me laugh practically non-stop for two straight hours. The problem was I just couldn’t make myself fall in love with his face. I chose the other guy with the dashing facade, yet with blander sense of humor. A choice I came to regret in retrospect.
But let’s get back to the subject of beauty in a woman. For a start, I have to tell you: I wish my nose were different, my forehead narrower. Morgan Fairchild has got the perfect nose, in my book. And I also wish I were taller. In my secret life, I’m Angelina Jolie. Minus her history of drug use, minus her past with Billy Bob Thornton, and definitely minus the six children (Oh, the twins can stay, they’re so cute I won’t mind).
My parents did put a lot of weight on external matters. They were convinced the ultimate success of a woman is largely measured by her physical attributes – and how she makes use of them to her advantage. In parallel, an aunt and two of my paternal half-sisters won the major title in national beauty competitions in some distant past. They subsequently married guys from well-to-do families. What’s more, my mother had unceasingly been infatuated before by the allure of showbiz she constantly dreamed of one of her children making it as a movie star.
It was literally my elder sister who had had the potential to make it huge – as backed up by the never-ending praises she got from everyone for her apparent good looks since we were children. Her facial features are more regular than mine. She’s taller (she’s 5’3, I’m 5’1) and has fairer skin. She’s nearly perfect – and I’m not exaggerating. She’s smart and talented to boot. As a consequence, she made it successfully in the field of broadcasting and married a guy from a rich family. What about me? Shucks, don’t ask.
Truthfully, all my life people have labelled me on the side of beautiful – for the principal reason that I am a “mestiza” (with mixed blood), even though I can never be considered drop-dead gorgeous. No way could I match my sister in most aspects so I appeased myself with whatever God-given assets granted to me in birth. An amusing incident three years ago gave it more credence when a customer, who had been frequenting my booth at my other job to buy tickets, casually said out of the blue: “You aren’t really beautiful. You just look striking mainly because of your fair skin.” Whoa. Hmm… Did that surprise or offend me? Not much – except for his temerity in telling it to me straight and his opaque purpose for doing so. I have always been aware of the truth of his statement anyway, and it somehow validated my own long-time perspectives about my looks.
It’s true that here in my country what’s generally accepted as beautiful connotes regular features and some rubric measure of prettiness. Like most Asian countries, we also have our definition of a standard beauty. My mother had once remarked how she found Jackie Onassis unattractive even though the latter had been hailed as one of the most beautiful women in the world. By the same token Angelina Jolie’s beauty isn’t the popular benchmark of a gal’s loveliness here.
Here’s another thing you should know about me: I associate beauty with smell. You think you’re beautiful? Ok, but how do you smell? You see, I went to a neighboring Asian country a few years ago and found out that more than one-third of its population is made up of nationals from another huge Asian country which used to be a British colony. These people have dark skin (to my surprise) and inexplicable, pungent smell (because of their diet, I suppose) – their odor excruciatingly strong I almost fainted every time I was around them. Yet it was appalling that they are arrogant snobs who carry within them an air of superiority over other Asians, especially filipinos. I don’t know why. Perhaps they’ve been thinking all this time their species are endowed with a higher proficiency of the English language. Oh yeah? Frankly, they aren’t that good. As I watched them then act insolently towards others, I could only think, “Get real, you smelly people.” 🙂
Well, my real point is, cleanliness – both in looks and smell – is essential to make it on my list.
If I had to choose between beauty or brains, say, between looking exactly like Salma Hayek or possessing prolific writer Margaret Atwood’s cerebral skill, I’d go for the former. No contest. Yes I know; looks eventually fade and Miss Hayek will end up looking like a raisin after dozens of years, just like the rest of us will. But hey, at least I’d have a shot at marrying a multi-billionaire (she’s some very rich guy’s wife now, fyi) and romancing Antonio Banderas in a couple of films.
For the meantime, I am tired after teaching my English-deficient students all day in my job that pays little with non-existent perks (Whatta life). Please leave me in peace now so I can lie down in bed and begin fantasizing I am Angelina Jolie (with a clean-shaven Brad Pitt in tow).