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Hey You! Stay Beautiful!

West-coast aboriginal carvingRecently I saw an advertisement on Facebook, looking for indigenous models.  It was a scouting agency I believe, encouraging indigenous people only, to try out.  The image (not the one above but a real live human) was of a deeply bronze woman sporting a carefully styled blown longish hair look.  Very few characteristics made me peg her has indigenous, but I did have friends growing up from the local bands surrounding my home town who were indeed beautiful.  Plains natives I have worked with and volunteered under were also beautiful people.

aboriginal children in ceremonial dressThese images and memories were immediately contrasted with other memories of broken toothless smiles, faces wrinkled before their time, and then I remembered the various aboriginal babies and toddlers and young children I have seen, held, played with growing up, etc.  The question popped into my head, what happened between those childhood years and when these people became full-on teenagers and adults?  What happened to twist their beautiful faces from plump and round or chiselled and shapely, to the broken and prematurely aged?  Pondering this question led to a series of answers that affect many more people out there than merely the population whose shores we landed on.  These answers, if acted on, will beautify any person of any ethnicity and even of any age of either gender.

The causes for such twisting of features begin, often, in childhood or tweenage years and carry on into adulthood.  Causes such as:

  •  early introduction to alcoholic beverages of any type.
  • early introduction to drugs or being in the homes of those smoking them.
  • physical abuse by family members, friends, or strangers
  • mental/emotional abuse causing the person to lose their self-esteem and self-worth often leading to the first two points in an effort to find a crowd they belong to.
  • Bad eating choices either due to self-made choices or those of caregivers on a consistent basis
  • Poor sleep habits often allowed by caregivers, leading to a wide range of health issues.
  • lack of personal hygiene either because of consistent oversight by caregivers, or by personal neglect.

Plains native TeepeeNone of these causes are found ONLY in aboriginal homes, but those homes have been the public focus whenever people talk about problems in various communities.  Growing up surrounded by three native bands, I can say first hand that this list was also found in homes of other colours and languages.

If there are beautiful people out there, and there are, what is their secret?  There are actually a number of answers to this question.  Some answers are healthy, others are not when taken too far, and still others are unhealthy but pushed by the retail marketing media campaigns.

  • they wear make-up (generally only girls do this)
  • they wear nice clothes
  • they engage in “me time” with healthy or drastically unhealthy products depending on what they bought at the store. The point of “me time” is to achieve a sense of beauty often at the expense of both cost and long-term health.
  • they work out at the gym.
  • they eat well
  • they believe in getting their “beauty sleep”, better interpreted as a solid night’s sleep – early to rest/early to rise.

Four of the above points are aimed purely at the outside of the person, but for the right person, can contribute to maintaining or repairing self-esteem and self-worth.  The better answers are as follows:

– Drop the drugs and alcohol!  This point can’t be stressed enough!  These, by far, are the biggest disfigurement sources out there!  A person who gets hooked on drugs, alcohol, or both will often lose all sense of personal care and concern resulting in many health issues that show up on their face, in their voice, in their mind and eventually even in their motor skills.  Homes where drugs and alcohol are not present often have nice-looking members purely because they have not entertained what can destroy them from the inside out.

– Drop smoking, of any kind!  This particular issue ages a person’s skin very fast!  Want to stay naturally beautiful without resorting to expensive treatments?  Simply don’t smoke, whether it’s cigarettes, cigars, weed, or other smokable drugs.  A smoker develops bad lungs, bad lungs lead to poor oxygen intake, lack of oxygen affects brain operations, skin repair, and many other functions in the body.  If a person stops smoking early enough, it is possible to reverse some of the bad effects on their overall health and therefore their appearance by extension.

– Daily engage in proper personal hygiene!  This point too can’t be stressed enough!  Brush your teeth at least once per day.  Wash your face at least once per day.  Clip your finger nails.  Trim your beard and mustache.  Shower at least twice a week, every other day at most.  Personal hygiene tends to your skin, your hair, your teeth, and your nails of hands and feet.  Your skin covers your entire body and is the largest organ of your body!  Look after it!  Failure to do so results in many skin-related problems that could otherwise be avoided.  Failure to brush your teeth regularly can lead to dental problems that you may never outgrow.  Not clipping your nails can lead to various nail diseases, terrible “hang nails” and other conditions.  Keeping a guy’s beard and mustache trimmed lends itself to pride in a man’s appearance and ability to look more approachable by others.

– Get a decent night’s sleep!  Staying up to all hours of the night and sleeping irregular hours at night or during the day can also lead to health problems that take their toll on your overall health and outward appearance.  Scientific studies over the years have debated what the optimum amount of sleep is for a person, but one way to find out for yourself is to take a one or two-week staycation.  Hide all your clocks, including your alarm clock.  Go to bed whenever you start to get tired (not when you’re exhausted, it’s too late by then) and wake up when you can’t sleep anymore.  After a few days have gone by with what seems like a regular habit developing, get your clocks back out but don’t follow them.  Use them as markers only.  Note when your body told you to go to bed and note when your body decided to get up.  Do this for several days and then do the math.  How many hours of sleep was that on average?  When you go off your staycation, remember that number and schedule your life so that you have the opportunity to get a good night’s rest every single night!  Your body does most of its healing and rejuvenating while you sleep, so failure to give it the time necessary to do its job will result in ill-health, lowered immunity to common airborne diseases and viruses, etc.  A tired person often has bags under their eyes and make-up companies are capitalizing on this with eye pencils that blend out the dark circles.  Sure a woman can spend money to “look good” or “look awake”, but why bother?  Save your money and just get a good night’s sleep on a daily basis.

– Exercise is a valid way to stay healthy, but don’t worship the gym, the hiking trail or the bike lane!  Our bodies were built for activity and sedentary lifestyles as a result, lead to long-term problems.  Keeping the body moving often enough in a day allows for oxygen to get where it needs to go easier and more frequently, allowing bodily functions to take place with less stress or strain.  A person who exercises regularly will also think more clearly and be able to process life around them better.

– Eat properly!  This isn’t referring to manners or cleanliness so much as it refers to what you eat and how often you eat it.  Spending money on sugary products, processed foods, junk food, fast food, etcetera is a long-term recipe for ill-health that will eventually show up in weight gain, skin problems, digestion issues, mental problems and more.  Choosing to learn to cook at home and buy healthier options will benefit your body sometimes in as little as a few days.  What you eat affects your body’s ability to function and repair itself.  Help it along by being choosy about what you spend your money on at the grocery store.

As I said before, the causes of “ugly” people are not specific to any ethnicity.  The answers to those causes are also unspecific to any ethnicity, and will positively benefit both genders no matter where they live in the world.

Every single person alive has been born beautiful in their own way, and if they eat well, stay active, sleep well, look after themselves and stay away from harmful substances whether addictive or otherwise, they stay beautiful in their own way as well.

Think about this second list above the next time you hear the phrase, “Stay Beautiful”.