Rahvuslik ilu. National beauty.


We are working on a special project called "Beauty Around the World" and would love to hear from our viewers in around the globe. We want to know what is considered BEAUTIFUL in your country. Is beauty defined by large or small body sizes, or tight or loose-fitted clothing? Do you live in a country where women are covered? What are the cultural or religious influences behind beauty in your country? Is getting plastic surgery considered beautiful where you live? Do women have unique traditions that make them more beautiful? What are your special beauty secrets or tricks? We would love to hear how beauty is different in your country compared to beauty in the United States. 
[leheküljelt  http://www.oprah.com/ownshow/plug_form.html?plug_id=3579942 ]

Oprah üleskutse. Ja ma ei tea kas ma suudan vastata.Oprahs´ call. and I dont know if I can find any answer at all in the context of my own country
I don´t think we know. I don´t think we do think about it. All we have is some kind of illusions and reactions and comments in concrete situations. But we haven´t really ever put in words what an estonian thinks is beautyful, have we now?
There are visions, stereotypes and models that are sort of meant to illustrate "the imagined estonian perfection", but those don´t exist in real life. Like the dolls in national costumes or people in fancy costumes dancing on the "penguins ball" or the presidents´ reception celebrating the birthday of the republic. Which is, by the way, today.
When I google "national beauty" in estonian (rahvuslik ilu) I only get news about clothes, architecture, enivornment, home decoration, nature, art and jewelry. Not people. When I serach "criterias for beauty" (ilu kriteeriumid) it is even worse. The first post then talks not about crietrias for beauty, but  for success. I guess thats what overshadows our thoughts of other things. We know how to talk about beautyful THINGS, but not about beauty as such?
OK, what if I tranferred the conceptions and understanding of beauty from architectural field to humans in my country? Estonians bow to spacious dwellings surrounded by nature, but squeeze cramped offices inbetween architectural heritage in our cities. We dream of country houses, but we abandon the countryside. Can I say the same about our attitude towards ourselves? the lush, natural, fell-good-beauty thats comes from inner satisfaction and self-confidence is forcefully abaondoned for the sake of appearance and stereotypical margins of "what I need to be like so they´ll accept me."
Hmm.... I dont think we are all like that, but some are. And if it comes out we have never just sat down about thought about the things in ourselves we consider beautyful, then based on what are we searching for better looks, better shape, better appearance? We used to, at least Miss Estonia WAS a very popular and fashionable event in the beginning of the 1990ies. Then its popularity dropped rapidly. Wealth, success and image drew us more.
The exhibition of nationalities in Kumu exhibits a work called "estonian race", which presents young soldiers´ heads. I can´t see any beauty in them - I can´t read anonymous faces without background and personalities.
But you certainly cannot rely on me when it comes to wording crietrias for beauty. I love exceptionality, originality; I am an artist, I sometimes even prefer the grotesque to the stereotypically beautyful. I consider the ordinary and bland faces ugly and I am drawn to defects rather than symmetry.
they say peoples´ basic perception of beauty is common around the world. Symmetrical faces, big eyes, high cheekbones, broad forehead, small ears etc. The estonians get puffed up when someone says again that estonian women are the most beautyful in the world. How clever of the ones who say it. they must know we don´t really take time to analyze what it actually means. maybe it is not even said about the estonian girls but the russians living here.
                  Is beauty defined by small or large body sizes or tight or loose-fitting clothes?
Well, the body size is such a relative matter and depends on the age, position and location a lot. No one complains about a country granny being a little plump, but when the bit younger wife of a businessman in a bigger city has a swimming hoop around her waist or is a bit apple-shaped, everyone starts pointing fingers at her. Young girls compete with each other about how slim their jeans can be, their legs are like sticks. They get scolded of course. Bu mothers-secretaries-housewives who spend hours in gyms, beauty salons and live on ceasar salad and orange juice. Well, thats women. In general, women need to be fit - hourglass shaped, tall, sportive. But men don´t have to be. They can be the poet-type, nerdy, frail, not-suitable-for-the-army-service stick figures, they can be beer-bellied politicians and over-exercised Goliaths. I dont think the word "beautyful" or even "handsome" is ever used in this country about men. We do have the "sexy-unsexy" categories though... thats a completely different matter. The men receiving the title aren´t even "beautyful". Lord knows. The women on the other hand need to be loud, proud and provocativein some way to receive that title.
I don´t want my granny to look like Joan Rivers. I am not asking my dad to straighten up and become taller and more muscular. he´s going to be a tiny, whiny old guy some day who needs a ladder to get into the bus. I have never considered myself beautyful, and I have been all possible sizes.... So can size actually be a criteria for beauty? Is a smaller apple prettier? Or is a mouse more beautyful than a cow? Big or petite, it is not about that [or taht alone].
 But I do think I look chic in my self-made, fitted clothes that emhpasize my personality. It´s like with Jane Eyre, with bland looks you need a certain aura to compensate. that aura is affected by many things, buts most of all our actual well-being. The most universal and independent criteria for beauty is to look healthy, energetic, happy and fit (not in the sense of being very muscular, but being a functional human being, having strenght and energy to live and take action. The thing people fear most IS death. Weary, unenergetic, static, emotionless, sick, terribly upset or mad, yelling and shouting, agressive people are demons from the Netherworld. Negativity in the pose, looks or state of mind pushes people away, no matter how stunning the appearance may be. Sicknesses are repulsing, even if a person is close to us and we may feel sorry and stay with them and be afraid, all the actual beauty still  disappears from them. Whether you´re thick or thin, a muslim or a buddhist, feeling good and being healthy gives you a shine. It is like the sparkle of life in people. You either glow or you are gray, gloomy and put people at an unease and make them stay away from the breath of Death and demons. I have had the demons of sickness in me, and I know exactly how ugly I was. I was so ugly I counldn´t look at my own reflection on the shop windows. Well, I can´t buy more attractiveness for myself, and I couldn´t ever have someone CUT me into a pretty person (cutting means hurting, breaking, scratching the entity, it is no cure, it is an attack against oneself, it is having someone take away your balance and wholesomeness). But people arent turning their looks away any more. They are not avoiding speaking to me.
Looking healthy is the key. A healthy person (in the body and mind) is also energetic and active, that keeps us fit (and most likely slim too!) Feeling good shows on our face. We smile more. Smiling makes people prettier. Well not everybody but...in most cases. A person who is not afraid to smile and doesnt need a reason to smile other than feeling good inside can approach others with ease. The closer you go to someone the more likely they are to notice the things that make you attractive. Good health shows others that you make the right choices in life. You are a role model.
Stay away from ugliness, the things of death and demons. Cherish yourself, take care and keep up a positive mentality. I think that´s where beauty lies.


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