It was a Tuesday evening, and I was driving home from work. I was on the same route I’ve been taking for the past seven weeks. Everything was completely normal until it started to rain. Of course, driving in the pouring rain isn’t always the best experience, but this time it was different.
I was about 10 minutes away from my house when I reached this opening on the highway. On each side of the concrete structure, I was driving on was a valley with emerald trees covering every inch of its natural ridges. The sun was setting at just the right moment, and everything was golden, the light raindrops bouncing and reflecting each ray of sunlight into my peripherals.
In one word, it was simply beautiful.
Looking back at this memory as I write this article on natural beauty, I am reminded of how much nature reflects who we are as people.
Just as nature is beautiful for just being, we are beautiful in the same way. We are beautiful just as we are, hence the term human being.
One of my friends, Sarai Uesato, described natural beauty as “genuine, pure, and real. Not artificial, not faked. Natural beauty comes with little effort.”
Before I dive further into this topic, I’d like first to define natural beauty. Merriam-Webster defines nature as “the inherent character or basic constitution of a person or thing: ESSENCE,” and beauty as “the quality/qualities in a person or thing that gives pleasure to the senses or pleasurably exalts the mind or spirit: LOVELINESS.” Thus, natural beauty can be considered basic qualities in a person that brings pleasure.
What is Natural Beauty?
Natural beauty can be taken in a couple of ways. One would be, being completely bare, not wearing any makeup, and can go as far as not shaving or doing anything else that changes your body from its natural state.
Sammi Oh said, “When I think of natural beauty, I think of more like not altering your appearance. Like not using enhancers such as makeup or things that can drastically change a person’s given face and body from its ‘natural’ state.”
Although this is one way to define natural beauty, it can also refer to making small changes to enhance your natural beauty. For example, I would personally consider natural beauty as being able to shave, pluck your eyebrows, and putting on a bit of mascara and chapstick when going out—not caking on layers of makeup just to go to the grocery store. In other words, doing whatever you need to do to feel comfortable.
Why is it important to realize your Natural Beauty?
Growing up in an age of social media, where people can curate perfect lifestyles of looking fit and “natural” at every second of the day, can be toxic. We can’t take these manufactured realities and equate them to normal life.
Although it may look like these people just got out of bed, there may have been an entire production that went on behind the scenes just to create a “simple” and “effortless” picture. You will never know what lights, what filters, what edits, and how many times it took to take that one picture.
Because of this created misconception, at the base of natural beauty, we should not and cannot compare ourselves and try to be like these people we see in our feeds.
Beauty comes in being. Just like nature, we are organic and genuine at our core.
After taking a couple of years to discover what beauty meant to her, Madison Seto said, “I find the most beautiful people are the ones who accept themselves…Someone who believes in themselves and their causes can influence others to do the same, and I think that’s the most beautiful thing people can do for each other in a world that makes us so critical of each other and ourselves.”
Whenever I question my own beauty, I like to think about a time when I didn’t care about my appearance. I think of the days when I was a carefree child, running on the playground with my friends, sweat rolling down my face, hair in a tangled mess, and a huge smile on my face.
To a passerby, they would simply see this as a moment of pure joy and happiness, but as I think of it now, I think it is beautiful.
At the end of the day, natural beauty has no solid definition. Natural beauty is whatever you do or don’t do that makes you feel completely yourself.
Overachiever Magazine was started by Rehana Paul in October of 2018 to give a platform to all Asian women, non-binary people, and other gender minorities.
Our name is poking fun at the stereotype that all Asians are overachievers, especially Asian women, non-binary people, and other gender minorities. It’s also in recognition of all of us who have had no choice but to be overachievers: managing societal expectations, family obligations, and educational opportunities, all while fighting the patriarchy.
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