Beauty Is Only Skin Deep

True Complexion - Beauty - Food For Thought

We hear people say that beauty is in the eye of the beholder all the time, and that there is no objective standard of beauty. I don’t think that is true, because if we talk in the “traditional” understanding of beauty, there is definitely a defined standard, however, this is strongly linked to a certain culture. Its like the fair skin / dark skin complexion argument that we hear all the time. Today, I want to address something completely different, unique skin conditions and how we can find them beautiful.

True Complexion - Eugenie - Beauty - Food For thought

I recently came across this project called True Complexion by Malaysian singer Rozella, and it consists of a collection of photographs of personal stories of people with different skin conditions. This blog celebrates acceptance of the variety of skin conditions that people commonly have. Unless you have had any skin conditions, you have no idea what its like to live with sensitive skin and such allergies. The constant itching and scratching, the burning of every broken skin, the inflammation of pores, and this is not even comparable to the worse pain of all, the psychological stress on your personal wellbeing.

True Complexion - Guy - Beauty - Food For thought

Our worldview on what beauty is shifting, and with the deepening of knowledge and understanding that there is no one standard set of beauty due to globalisation, things are changing. We live in a world where we have very arbitrary standards of beauty. In the west, being tanned means you’re attractive and in the east being fair means you’re attractive. All interesting but run the risk of a hyper-fetishism. At the end of the day, it’s just skin.

True Complexion - Rozella -Beauty - Food For thought

Beauty is skin deep, but true beauty resonates from within. If you are to appreciate what truly matters, you have to realise that superficial beauty doesn’t last all your life. Yes, you might have 30, and if you’re lucky, 40 years, but after that, superficial people will just look for a model upgrade. Someone out there who is younger, hotter, and willing to do it for much less. This is why it’s essential to understand that beauty exists not only from without, but within. Most people’s understanding of beauty should shift from one that makes you feel that you’re better than others, solely based on appearance, to one which focuses on what is within. People should embrace their unique qualities, back it up by a strong sense of character and good world values. That is, and what should be, the common standard of beauty.

Please show your support for this body positive movement at True Complexion.


Nicholas Ng

Nicholas Ng is a restaurant critic, travelogue and opinion columnist which is curated on Food For Thought. He has been a freelance writer for 10 years and has previously worked as a lawyer. He currently is the Principal Counsultant of A Thoughtfull Consultancy.


  1. Thank you for this. There is a very important messaging here, i’d like to comment on 2 of those.
    When we see unusual skin conditions, our first uncontrolled reaction maybe mild revulsion of a sort. This is natural, but generally false. Its a product of evolution that protect us from harmful disease. This is not just the case with skin conditions but across many where the affects are visual.
    When this reaction is dispelled we can see clearly again. They are beautiful, and more so for the courage of overturning stigma.

    We do get confused easily, us humans. We generally learn our lessons too late. There is superficial beauty, but the beauty on the inside contributes more to happiness.

    Keep waking us up to the Goof Life Nic.

    • When I came across my friend Eugenie’s pictures on my Facebook wall, it really struck me how amazing she looked. She has an amazing personality and her confidence really shined in her collection of pictures. This inspired me to write this post, because as a person who has lived with eczema for many years growing up, I had my own experience to add to this. I strongly believe that True Complexion is a great cause and will help, not those who already are strong on the inside and can appreciate inner beauty, but to help those that haven’t thought deeply about it. Beauty exists everywhere, we just have to open our eyes. 🙂

  2. I super agree! I wonder why people base beauty on what they see physically… but in reality true beauty is more than what people see with their naked eyes.

    • It’s easy to be shallow and base beauty of superficial attitudes. However, that kind of life view will not carry you far. Superficial beauty fades. Beauty of character never does.

  3. Thanks for your sharing. Sigh..most of the ppl out there still judge a female based on appearance beauty…Hope in the future, ppl mindset will change then to appreciate the inner beauty/ personalities of a female : )

    • I think this is slowly changing. People appreciate beauty but are drawn to attractiveness. There are so many different types of beauty out there. 🙂

  4. True, beauty always come from inside rather than physical look. My dad also having skin pigmentation problem but he still can overcome his condition as don’t feel shy or sad on it, I feel so proud on him 😉

    • A friend of mine has pigmentation problems too. People who can appreciate true beauty will not think it’s an issue.

  5. I truly agree with you. Beauty is from within. My parents have pigmentation too, they don’t complain about it in fact they are its part of their aging life.

  6. Sadly there are too many shallow people out there… And it is good when we can learn to appreciate people as they are imperfections and all….. Beauty is more of an overall thingy with character being the most important, not just exterior

    • Character is the basis of what we should consider important in life, doesn’t matter how physically beautiful a person is, as long as they can see beauty can see and appreciate that beauty comes in all sorts of forms.

  7. This is just beautiful. I believe that imperfections are perfect in its own way. Because thats what makes you who you are. Why hide it when you can embrace it right?
    Aliza Sara

    • We should embrace our diversity to begin with. It’s social conditioning that makes us feel that we should appreciate only a certain type of race or feature.

  8. Beauty is something inside, deep within the heart? But sadly, people still judge the book by its cover…

    • I don’t think its just a within the heart scenario, there is a general accepted level of traditional beauty, but attractiveness is deeper than that. Some of the most attractive people in the world are traditionally average looking. That’s a great thing I suppose.

  9. What should I say? I don’t know where to start. To me being beautiful means being comfortable with yourselves and being able to look into the mirror and liking what you see. 🙂 anyway, I suffer from ekzema. I know the stigma. 🙂

    • I have had eczema most of my life on the creases of my arms, so I know how uncomfortable it can get. Stigmas just need to be destigmatised. and that starts with us. 🙂

  10. I need to apologize firstly because I thought that it’s gonna be another post about product review. But then, your post is truly beautiful and I am officially now your fan! And I need to agree that beauty is not only about our appearance, but how we behave and our personality definitely plays a main role as well. Keep the hard work ongoing!

    • Thank you very much Jun Jie for the kind words. I believe that through the right avenues, especially if beauty is discussed in the right way, we can all achieve a higher form of living that is best for everyone.

  11. Didn’t know about this, thanks for sharing Nick 🙂
    True that people get swallowed into the superficial beauty standards all the time till they forget about themselves.

  12. What an amazing post.
    Thanks for writing such a beautiful and inspiring post.
    Beauty has always been within however nowdays everything has changed. We need to remember that none us of us have chosen the way we look, real beauty comes from the inside.

    • I definitely agree. The thing is because people put so much weight on what is pushed to us through the media, and I’m not saying that it’s bad, but that that avenue should be used for good. We should actually use the power of social media correctly, and responsibly.

  13. so proud of Rozella for doing this, I always believe beauty is flawsome, not perfect. the people in the pics, they are so beautiful and unique and special in every way.

    • They are! I know Eugenie and she is a really cool and beautiful woman. I just thought that this needed awareness raised about it, as not everyone has half the courage these people have shown, and I’m not even talking about people with skin conditions.

  14. i fully agree that beauty goes beyond our outer appearance and skin outlook. A thought provoking writeup. thanks for sharing

  15. Love Rozella’s True Complexion collection, don’t be shy with your flaws, it makes you who you are now 🙂

  16. Everyone has different definition of beauty. Personally think inner is important but then people look at someone with physical beauty at first sight.

  17. I totally agreed with you! Love your post so much, it’s so beautiful and inspiring post. Thanks for sharing!

  18. I worked in Africa previously. When I saw black people I feel scare and wanna running away. It’s racist actually. But when I get in touch with them, worked with them, they are just like us, an ordinary people. Skin is nothing when you see through it…

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