Shakespeare said: "Beauty is in the eye of the beholder". Easy to say considering he was a man (please forgive the feminist comment) but art, photography and literature were all male dominated, thus lending a one-sided perception of what is considered beauty.
Mr Shakespeare had a myopic opinion: the pressure of attaining symmetrical beauty surrounds us woman more than ever before. Day by day, the illusion of ideal beauty is notched higher and higher to ridiculous heights - take for instance, the latest winner of the Elite Model Competition 2011, 15 year old Julia Schneider whose glamorous allure but waif-like figure has raised plenty of eyebrows. It somehow has set the tone that we all must be uber slender, be blessed with cheekbones that cut glass and bone structure that rivals Kate Moss.
Of course, there is resentment, frustration, guilt and shame. Femininity is out, replaced by hardcore sex-on- legs role models. I've started noticing women who opt for plastic surgery; a majority of them opt for the button nose, high cheekbones and inflated lips, tilting towards the Angelina Jolie look.
In the midst of all this mangling of the female body, I have to ask, what do women find beautiful? We easily criticise one another thinking: she is too fat, too unkempt, too plain, too boring, too this or to that; oh dear, the list of sharp criticism continues to rip apart our beauty identity.
So I'm asking you, right now, just stop, listen, observe, look around and appreciate those women who may not always understand, know or have the confidence to see what makes them beautiful. Before letting your mind judge, send your thoughts down to your heart the next time you see a woman who you may not consider a conventional beauty and attempt to see the beauty that lies within her.