Beauty from within

Friday, 17 February 2012
dimitris2
Argiroupolis, Crete

anoyia5
Anogeia, Crete


vasilis b&w
Anogeia, Crete


kafe1.1
Dimitsana, Greece


pancake1
Cappadochian region, Turkey


teenager
Istanbul, Turkey


hippy doc3
Hampshire, U.K


bidayuh
Anna Rais, Borneo


In this day and age, we're constantly bombarded with images of impossibly beautiful, skinny and tall individuals. Furthermore, they're exquisitely dressed with immaculate make up and hair. It's enough to make us feel rather dowdy. Whilst I'm not saying that one shouldn't do all this, I can't help but notice that the bar being raised with the rise of social media (pinterest, twitter, instagram, facebook etc) where beauty opens doors. Let's face it, we all like to look at pictures of beautiful people.

I love fashion like every other woman. It's easy to get sucked into the fashion whirlpool. There's the next miracle anti wrinkle cream. Or the ultimate foundation that profess to give us the luminous look. It's little wonder we end up with a million products crowding our bathroom. I'm often asked about the scratches on my Hermes bag. Hey, the first scratch is pretty hard to swallow, the next few are easier and the rest.....bring'em on, baby. It's no different to the fine lines on my face. One doesn't know happiness nor compassion unless the person has experienced pain, rejection and hardship. Every line on this face is earned and through it all, I hope that wisdom has been gained along the way.

While the exterior has been expounded by the media to the nth degree, it's the beauty from within - kindness, thoughtfulness, charity, grace etc that we often forget. When I think back to the people who have helped me, it's their act of kindness or generosity that lingered on and stayed in my memory forever, thus making them beautiful in my eyes. The love and affection from your family. A friend who dropped everything to help you. Whenever I travel, I'm naturally drawn to people. I often end up taking lots of portraits. Their lives, be it hard or easy - bitterness or innocence are all etched on their faces. I'd like to show you some of the portraits of the locals that I'd met over the past decade. I found beauty in all of them.

**A HUGE thank you to my dear friends, Mandi of Find me a Muse, Meg of Haus of Gala, Melody of Chicology and June of Stylish with a Budget for the awards. I was really touched when I read what Melody and June about  wrote about my blog.

Melody - "I like her style of writing, I like the nicely taken photos of her blog, I like her somewhat minimalist and classic dress sense, I like the varied content of her blog. It's like reading a magazine (sometimes fashion pieces, sometimes sharing recipes, sometimes just sharing lovely pics of her travel or on her daughter, Little L). Her latest series of entries on using chemical free products has influenced me quite a fair bit". June also wrote, "I love this blog because it's more of a diary of blogger's life, everything. Fashion, travel and cookies. I just love that touch of ease & luxury in life". The support and encouragement from fellow bloggers and readers alike have been tremendous. Thank you.



26 comments:

  1. Did you take these portraits? They are amazing! :)

    Having worked in the media industry for 8 years now I know that nothing really is what it seems to be. I always like to say it's not what you look at, it's what you see..

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    1. Steph, thank you! Yes, I took the photos. My camera is permanently fused to my hand.

      I'm intrigued by what you've said. You must have amazing stories to tell having seen and heard it all. I guess the moral of the story is to look below the surface.

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    2. Wow!!! You are an amazing photographer, such powerful human photos! I really enjoyed reading this post as it does bring me down when we are constantly bombarded with perfection in beauty and feeling like unless you look a certain way you're not good enough. My confidence has been at a low or a while now due to weight issues and your post has helped me focus on just being happy with who I am.

      I love what Steph said and have to say when I meet someone I only judge them on how they are towards me, a friendly smile is all it takes! :) xxx

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  2. Beautiful as usual ... And what lovely praise about your blog. I could not have said it better myself :)
    S in NY

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  3. What a beautiful piece of writing and the portraits are incredible, you're very talented.
    Yes, beauty is becoming very homogeneous nowadays, character and personality are what make a person.

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    1. Both you and Estrella have hit the nail right on the head and said it better than I did.

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  4. I really like your realism , and agree with Tabitha : what is so lacking now in media driven fields like fashion is individuality .
    I look back at fashion pictures from late 60s and 70s , and see beauty in the freshness and love of life coming from the models . And it's the little imperfections that make a beautiful person IMO .
    I work in a medical field with a cosmetic interface, and always see the attractive confident people with a strong grip on life being more relaxed about aesthetics, and more interested in health and function.

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    1. Estrella, one of the rewards of blogging is being able to engage with readers like yourself. It's enlightening to hear from your perspective particularly in the industry you're in.

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  5. i love this post! i agree the media and now all the crazy amount of social media it's really hard not to be down and out about yourself!!! GRRR!!

    i can't believe you took this photos they are OUTSTANDING! you are so talented!

    as for the chanel pearls... i haven't had a problem with the coating rubbing off but that would make sense.. considering i think they're glass beads w/ crushed pearl coating? i think.. but i've only had the necklace for 2 years so perhaps i haven't had it long enough.. i'm not really a fan of chanel costume jewelry to be honest.. it was a gift from the hubs on our first wedding anniversary when he took me to paris.. one of the pearls popped off sometime last year.. fortunately i was still in the states and my chanel SA took it and had it repaired free of charge.. however.. now that i'm no longer buying from her and living in another country.. i'm sure it'll cost me an arm and a leg to get it fixed now :( hahahah

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    1. Thank you so much for the compliment. Glad you like the photos. In the past, I often had to ask if I could take the portraits. Lately, I've had people tapping on my shoulders asking to have their photos taken. Nevertheless, the photos brought back many memories including my conversations with these individuals.

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  6. this is great pictures dear! this is why I love portrait and b&w photography it shows the beauty of the subject. i miss taking photography class, and i'm sad my dslr just broke :( besides i don't have enoough time to go ot and take pictures anymore maybe you notice my baby became my one and only model right now :)
    have a nice weekend dear!!!! xoxo, Haus of Gala

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  7. Wow. This is a beautiful post. As much as I adore my dear blogosphere, I definitely find that I can get caught up in the pretties and desire to be lithe and perfectly styled all the time. But seeing true life and joy in the eyes of these subjects, as well as signs of a life lived and effortless beauty, I am so inspired and reminded that my focus needs to turn inward and upward. Thank you for sharing your insightful words and beautiful photos. xo

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  8. Wow you take pictures like a pro, I can literally see emotions in them. Beautiful and artistic.

    As much as it is hurtful but it is true that people can be quite shallow sometimes and that includes me. Most of us like seeing beautiful and pleasant things and the industry knows exactly what to present to their consumers/viewers. Beauty and good look has always been an image of a fashion industry for decades. In this day and age, models/actors/actresses do not look natural anymore. They all look made up but i guess that is a standard of beauty in their world which real people cant achieve...flawless porcelain skin, sparkling white teeth, big boobs and etc. They make us ordinary people feel like we need a total full body makeover..haha.

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  9. Love those pictures Marlene! I think I've said this before, but you can really capture the essence of your subjects in the pictures. And, again, thanks for the reminder of inner beauty!! It's so easy to get caught up with everything else! :)

    Have a wonderful weekend!
    xo, sam

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  10. What a great post! and your pictures are gorgeous!

    ♥ Pjlatte's Bag Book ♥

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  11. Amazing photo's that capture so much character of each of the individuals. You are so right in relation to there being so much fashion, beauty and the bar seeming so high. It's so difficult as a female to try to achieve what each of us feel is beautiful. We are often our own worst critics and the fact that the media feels the need to constantly photoshop images of the world's most beautiful woman can make the rest of us feel some what inferior or need 'fixing'. Personally, I think beauty is far more than the latest pair of shoes or flawless skin or a nice body. The character of a woman, her self confidence and ability to feel comfortable in her own skin often attracts and radiates far more than visual beauty.

    xx Mandi
    www.findmeamuse.com

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  12. Lovely, lovely photos and sentiment!!

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  13. What a talented photographer you are! The beauty of the truth and the look in their eyes, it's like you can see straight into their soul - or maybe it's the feeling of THEY looking straight into my soul and heart... The photos touches something inside and that's what makes them outstanding.

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  14. Gorgeous photos! I agree that one of the oddest things about the Internet is its ability to raise a pretty face to a very high social (if only e-social) status. I remember the phenomenon of Myspace queens a few years ago, followed by the Korean ulzzang, and now 'Tumblr-famous.' I think there's something about the media-heavy formatting of these sites that allows others to latch onto an image or face much more easily--or, posters can get away with posting just photos, and viewers can be deeply impressed with the photographs very easily. The evolution of being 'e-famous' has been something very interesting to me, and I definitely think the Internet has changed our standards of beauty-particularly when we view many contributors to be 'just another girl' in the sense that they do not undergo certain industry screening or training to look the way they do. In that sense, the Internet can be a particularly depressing place to be, and I do wish that young people wouldn't spend so much time on it as I think it can be a real esteem killer!

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  15. This is one of the best posts i've ever read and i am so proud of being your reader and getting to read this post, since seriously this is really one of the best posts i've ever read. I am so happy that there are bloggers out there blogging for beauty from within or any other related subject.
    a beautifully written post, and one i will certainly come back to read whenever i feel bad for my little flaws.

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  16. Well said Marlene. The girl in the first photo is naturally beautiful in her own right as are all the others.

    Your photos are also gorgeous as always.

    I did a major happy dance yesterday when I saw Adelle on the March issue of American Vogue. Let's hear it for women with a real figure and (GASP) real breasts. Women don't have to be model thin (or thin at all really) to be sexy or beautiful. Many cultures (sadly not ours) actually value serious curves on women. My BF, who comes from a country where there is much want, thinks "hunger", not "sex", when he see's a model-thin woman.

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  17. Excellent post Marlene! I've met so many people that were beautiful on the outside, but so ugly within. It turned me against them. That's why I connect with people like YOU!
    http://www.averysweetblog.com/

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  18. Gorgeous pictures, well said, and so heartfelt, as always! - exactly why I love your blog so much.

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  19. Thanks for sharing your perspective and beautiful photos. You are very talented! Hope you have a great weekend.

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  20. I like this post...it's so true that beauty should not be skin deep, but then again, I think that's the sad reality of life. That's generally how it goes..

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