Name: Stella Xie
Professor: Teddy Chocos
Date: April 16th, 2012
In today’s society, it is more common to see how people are constantly judged by their physical appearances. Unfortunately, this factor is leading people to have low self-esteem, and hence lose their confidence. For instance, media are frequently shaping people’s mind with unrealistic and unattainable images to make people pursue the dream of the “perfect” beauty. However, it is important to acknowledge that beauty is separated by inner and outer beauty. As mentioned before, outer beauty refers to people’s physical appearance. Yet, inner beauty is defined by people’s qualities, attitudes, values, among others. With this said, inner beauty is much more essential than outer beauty as the outer one is just ephemeral, but the inner one remains. Furthermore, when people’s outer beauty disappears, inner beauty will more likely contribute to build up confidence and reflect who they really are.
Therefore, people should pay more attention on their inner beauty instead of the outer one. Inner beauty such like attitude makes physical appearance look different. For instance, the elders who lose beautiful faces, shiny hair and well balanced bodies are no longer to be admired as beautiful. The outer beauty disappears on these elders just like a fading rose drops its petals, loses its luster. However, attitude creates opportunities to regain beauty for these elders. Some of them have positive attitude to the life. Even though they are near to the death, they still smile and laugh. They look younger again and the wrinkles on their faces seem to be lovely when they smile. Some of them have peaceful attitudes. They just like a history book have their own stories and use peaceful vision to judge the life. These attitudes make these seniors look attractive again, and also they are respected and fascinated by people who always judge beauty by appearance. So inner beauty which reflecting our attitude will help the outer one have a different perspective. Hence, it changes people’s view of other people’s physical appearance.
Although beauty, either inner or outer, can affect people when they are old, younger people might be very affected by those factors as well. Actually, nowadays, younger people much care about their outer beauty than inner beauty because they clearly know that now they can depend on their young physical appearance to attract people, to acquire respect from people, and also to create opportunities for jobs. However, there is no beauty on these perfect faces, because their faces are full of tired, anxiety and anger for their busy works. So the perfect faces don’t look beautiful anymore. Attitude also changes younger people’s outer beauty.
Alice Walker, a famous American writer, expressed in her non-fiction story about herself “Beauty: When the Other Dancer Is the Self,” suffered an accident which caused her to lose one her eyes when she was only eight years ago. She said that “[t]hat night, as I do almost every night, I abuse my eye. I rant and rave at it, in front of the mirror. I plead with it to clear up before morning. I tell it I hate and despise it. I do not pray for sight. I pray for beauty.” (72) She was hurt deeply inside and outside on her scar which covered her eye and endured the strong impact by the difference between past and now. The depressed and negative attitude made her to be anxiety and to hate her eye. She cannot be respected by others because she did not respect herself. She should have had a positive attitude to fight against people who laughed at her and to require respect from them. Positive attitude encourages people inside spirit and also outlook spirit. Outlook spirit makes people still be beautiful even if there are some scars on the faces. It enhances the sense of identity of a person and leaves strong impression on people. So if Walker had changed her attitude about her scar and towards the people around her, many situations would have changed. For example, she would have more confidence to look at people directly to their eyes. And also she would be respected by others because she would be brave to prove that there was no difference between her and other people. She would not suffer for a long time. So attitude decides the fate of one’s decision.
In fact, this negative sense of attitude can hurt and make someone lose his/her self-confidence when the outer beauty is lost. The significant thing is how to rebuild up confidence again. So inner beauty helps people to stand the pressure from the society and protect themselves from the harsh and cruel judgment of others. Walker mentioned “Now when I stare at people-a favorite pastime, up to now-they will stare back. Not at the “cute” little girl, but at her scar. For six years I do not stare at anyone, because I do not raise my head.” (72) Because she was still young at that time, she could not have enough confidence to undertake strange visions and messy gossips from people. She hid her confidence in the deepest place of her heart. Then she lost herself. When a person loses this confidence; he/she will lose the sense of existence. With this said, many people still do not have courage to regain confidence because they are afraid to be hurt again and perhaps they will never build up confidence again more if it fails. So it is difficult to make a decision whether to lose confidence to protect self just like a turtle hides into the shell or regain confidence to fight with the dilemmas even if they fail.
So the decision is like the gamble. However, if people attempt to regain confidence, they have chances to change the destiny. If not, they have no hopes for the future. Thus, Walker believed “Now that I’ve raised my head I win the boyfriend of my dreams. Now that I’ve raised my head I have plenty of friends. Now that I’ve raised my head classwork comes from my lips faultlessly as Easter speeches did, and I leave high school as valediction, most popular student, and queen, hardly believing my luck.”(73) She was so brave to regain inner strength to acquire confidence, but this took place after a period of time when Walker got older. She never forgave her dreams and tried hard to accept all facts. Beauty explodes out from inside when people recover confidence. Inner beauty builds up confidence to let people have power to chase dreams constantly. Outer beauty can also let people feel confident, but it is temporary and it will disappear when people get older. Yet, confidence will more likely remain as long as they keep a positive attitude about themselves.
Therefore, inner beauty is much more essential than outer beauty. Walker realized “Yes indeed, I realized, looking into the mirror. There was a world in my eye. And I saw that it was possible to love: that in fact, for all it had taught me of shame and anger and inner vision, I did love it. Even to see it drifting out of orbit in boredom, or rolling up out of fatigue, not to mention floating back at attention in excitement, deeply suitable to my personality, and even characteristic of me.”(74) She was free from her eye; she did not mind the outer look anymore. She only cared about her family. She owed love just like owed whole world. The power of love makes her inner beauty be stronger. People who have love always can create magic. If people who have only outer beauty but do not have love, they are like Roberts which have perfect faces, bodies but do not have hearts. These kinds of people actually cannot understand what beauty is. Beauty is created from nature and the nature put love inside the beauty.
Hence, the outer one is just ephemeral, but the inner one remains. People change their appearance when they grow up. However, people’s personalities, attitudes, values cannot be easily changed by age. Nowadays, in order to chase outer beauty, some of people sacrifice their faces and their bodies for plastic surgeon. They don’t know the results of side-effect of the surgeon when they get older. They just want to be beautiful forever, but the outer beauty is a short-term. Even though some people who decide to have plastic surgeries, sometimes, they will not get the expected results. In turn, they will be more affected not only emotionally, but in terms of health. As an illustration, Edward Iwata, in his article “Race Without Face” showed how his vanity led him to have surgeries. He mentioned that “My lead and limbs felt dull and heavy, as if buried in mud. A draft swept up my surgical gown and chilled my legs. Although my face was bound bandages, I felt naked. Without warning, a sharp sense of loss engulfed me, a child away from home who is not sure why he aches so. (65) So he suffered not only on his physical appearance, but also was hurt psychologically. He lost himself and he didn’t know where he was. He became afraid of his decision about taking plastic surgeries because he lost sense of belonging. So plastic surgeries will hurt deeply on these people who take care over of outer beauty. They should believe that their original physical appearance can also be accepted and respected by people. However, they should accept and respect themselves first. They have less inner beauty to believe their natural beauty. So people should have an inner surgeon to treat defects. Because only we have inner beauty constantly, our outer one can be always existed while people get older or disfigure. Inner beauty can burst out power to create a new image of physical appearance.
At last, most of people want to be born with a lovely face and to develop as a handsome boy or a fascinating girl, but actually not everyone can get such luck. Therefore, most of people have to develop their inner beauty. Inner beauty plays an important role for people. It builds up confidence to outer beauty and also attitude gives outlook spirit to the appearance. And also inner beauty can remain forever, but outer beauty can lose easily. Now if there are some advertisements to appeal you to purchase more cosmetic products or beautiful clothes or have plastic surgeries, you should control yourself to buy less and have no plastic surgeries because now you understand the real beauty is not only depend on the outer beauty, but the inner one. You should accept, respect, and love yourself first. Then you can be accepted, respected and love by people even if you haven’t a good looking.
Walker, Alice. “Beauty: When the Other Dancer Is the Self”
Iwata, Edward. “Race Without Face”