We asked 8 women to tell us how their upbringing shaped their idea of beauty.

Going Beyond Beauty
Thanks to our brand partner, Going Beyond Beauty

Philosopher Plato once said the famous words, "Beauty lies in the eye of the beholder."      

Simply translated, Plato meant that beauty is subjective, that each individual has a different idea of what it means to be beautiful; of how they perceive beauty and feel beautiful.  

In some western parts of the world thinness and youthfulness is often perceived as the top beauty goal. 

A friend of African background anecdotally shared that a more prominent figure is considered being the most beautiful. A Brazilian woman also shared that a voluptuous figure and long hair is deemed to be beautiful. But as we connect with people across the globe through social media, we are learning that beauty is boundless, and what you are born with can be enhanced to represent how you feel inside. 

We continue to be inspired by other cultures' ideals of beauty and recognise that we have the choice to shape ourselves however we feel most beautiful. 

This is the goal of Going Beyond Beauty, which offers an inclusive community for those who want to express their version of beauty, and feel empowered to decide how beauty is defined to the individual. 

Whether it is to be makeup free. To have regular, full-face cosmetic treatments. To enjoy enhancing your lips, or changing the shape of your body or breasts. Going Beyond Beauty helps to empower women to make their own choices about beauty and have the confidence to do so.  


So, in light of this, I did the call out to ask women how their upbringing shaped their idea of beauty and what it means to them.

“Growing up, my mother was a child of a cultural and social influence where makeup was out, and thinness was in,” said 42-year-old Amanda, who grew up in London. 

“So, when I was growing up, I watched girls wear makeup, which I wanted to emulate, which my mother despised, and when it came to my figure, my mother critiqued my weight constantly. To be beautiful, I thought it meant to be bare faced and thin.”

"In my later age, I've come to a place now personally where I've unpicked those values that to be 'natural' and thin is the standard in which to strive for. I think whatever women (or anyone) choose to do with their body and face is their own choice and not a value judgement on their character."

Suzie, who grew up in Lebanon and is the mother of an 18-year-old son, shared similar sentiments. “When I lost weight, I was told I was too skinny. I felt like I couldn’t win, so I stopped trying to please. Now anything I consume, apply to or change about my body or my face, I see as choices that are only for me, and to only serve myself, my confidence and my happiness – without worry about external judgement."

Image: Getty.


Ana, who moved from her home country of Brazil to Australia when she was 16, shared that beauty is an attitude in Brazil. 

"We feel confident and beautiful when we take care of ourselves.

"My mother would teach me to put egg and banana in my hair every second day. It was her secret recipe. She would also source material from a tree, dry it out, and turn it into a loofah, which we would use to buff dead skin. Thankfully now I don't have to do that anymore," she laughed. "I can spend some time at a salon and relax." 


She also added that although many associate Brazilians with Victoria's Secret Models, nothing could be further from the truth. "We all look different, different shapes and sizes. It is what makes us beautiful."

Image: Getty.

Jenna, 38, told me that her mother was always buying Harper’s Bazaar, Vogue and other fashion magazines. She grew up flicking through them and being in awe of the models and the creative fashion it offered on every page. 


"My mother was very much into fashion and beauty, and she always wore red lipstick. It was her signature." Jenna explained. 

Jenna shared that she often compared her nose to the women in magazines growing up. "My mother always made me feel beautiful and like I was perfect; it was never about that, I didn't feel good within myself about it." 

"So I changed my nose, and I honestly feel great about my decision – and I refuse to feel any stigma around changing my face and that being associated with being vain. It was the best decision for me and made me feel in control of my own beauty, which I love.

"As an ode to my mother, I sometimes wear red lipstick and flick through those magazines. Much more confidently this time."

Erika, 42 and mother of two, shared that the effects of ageing had an impact on her self-image.

"I looked older than I felt on the outside with my fine lines, so one of the choices I made was to get cosmetic injectables. I love that it makes me feel on the inside as I do on the outside, and I am not ashamed to admit to getting it." 

Many women I spoke to agreed with Erika’s sentiment: facial treatments have helped them feel much more confident in their appearance. 

Vanessa, 35 and mother of three added, "I have always hated the way my eyebrows looked in photos. One is significantly higher than the other, and cosmetic treatments address that asymmetry for me. I am much more confident in using cosmetic injectables for areas I want to feel better about." 


Caroline, 28, shared, "My grandmother, who I was named after, was my main caregiver for a few years as a child, and she would often ask me to take her photo if she felt her outfit was on point.

Caroline. Image: Supplied.


"She had so many mirrors in her house and would stand in front of them, telling me how beautiful she was. She had such a strong positive attitude towards her beauty without any shame, and I feel so lucky that I grew up with a role model like that."

When asked about how her upbringing shaped her idea of beauty, Carmina exclaimed, "Lots! We were always taught to care for our appearance, dress with confidence, look after our hair and skin. But in the same moment, never to be shallow, but to just take pride in however you present yourself. There is no harm in looking and feeling your best."

Beauty lies in the eye of the beholder, and what makes us beautiful is the notion that we can choose how we present ourselves to the world. We define what it means to be beautiful. Whether we choose to wear makeup, enhance our features, leave them as is, and everything in between. Whatever we prefer, is purely and simply up to us and to me, and that feels beautiful in itself. Don't you think? 

Allergan Aesthetics are a leader in Aesthetic medicine and are helping to empower possibilities through Going Beyond Beauty, an inclusive and empowering community for those who are passionate about beauty and wellness. 

They're about making bold choices and embracing a holistic approach to looking good and feeling better. Go beyond beauty and follow them at @goingbeyondbeautyanz

Feature Image: Supplied.

Going Beyond Beauty
For more information head to the Going Beyond Beauty website, an inclusive and empowering resource built by those who are passionate about beauty and wellness, and embrace a holistic approach to looking good and feeling better. Go beyond beauty. #goingbeyondbeauty