Beauty: (mass noun) A combination of qualities, such as shape, colour, or form, that pleases the aesthetic senses, especially the sight.

Beauty lies in the eye of the beholder, said the very wise Margaret Wolfe Hungerford. But if the eyes of every beholder were to be influenced, then? If day after day, the eyes of the beholder were to be subjected to photoshopped and digitally mastered ‘flawless’ images of gorgeous men and women, then what does the beholder see?

The aforementioned definition of beauty, taken from Oxford Dictionary, clearly states that it is one’s “aesthetic senses” that are at play here. But in this age where every major cosmetic brand is trying to sell their precious products, aesthetic senses have become sort of redundant and the beholder squinted. All we see is the definition of beauty that we have been fed – thin and fair.

Here is an experiment. Google the word ‘beauty’ and click on the Images tab. Scroll down till you find a woman of colour. Settle down, it might take a while.

(We know that the issue is not with Google. The issue is with the content that has been accumulated over years. The issue is with people. This basic search has only been used as an example.)

Including Beyonce, who makes an appearance towards the end, there are approximately six women of colour that the search shows up.

Another thing common in those images are that they are roughly of the same size. Google’s algorithm shows up images of women or men who have been tagged under beauty, so naturally, it does not discriminate.

Don’t worry, fellow men.

You can do basic Google search of the word ‘handsome’ as well. Then click on Images and see what is in store.

One of the first men of colour is Jeremy Meeks, a convict whose mug-shot went viral because of his good looks. He will keep on appearing at intervals throughout. Handsome then is Leonardo DiCaprio, whose images are present in abundance there. (Don’t get me wrong, that man is absolutely gorgeous!)

But if we start judging ourselves by these impossible yardsticks then we will not only harm ourselves, we will be damaging to other people as well.

With the abundance of beauty products that are super driven to make everyone transform into one shade and size, it is hard to look beyond that. But that is exactly when and what we should do.

We need to change our perceptions and eventually the results spewed by the Google algorithm, till it includes people of all colour, size and whatever pleases the aesthetic senses, including the sight.

Point is, you are your own beholder too.

Do you feel beautiful? Yes? Great, you should. Do you feel beautiful? No? But, you should.