When we talk about beauty, our brains often click on aesthetics embraced by popular culture—features like Angelina Jolie's pillow-y pout, Gisele Bündchen's hair, Megan Fox's, well, everything. And in some kind of sick mind game, thoughts often jump to how we might morph our own looks to meet those impossible standards.
But true beauty in the broader sense of the word is more than what's deemed pretty or even sexy by the collective eye—it's anything that stands out, holds our attention and, according to research, lights up the same neurological reward center of the brain as money and cocaine.
These beauty looks can include anything from Bowie-esque face paint to tear-tinged mascara lines, and they're what musician Hayley Williams, frontwoman of the rock band Paramore, will be exploring in Kiss Off, a beauty and music show that just launched on popular.tv. She explained to WWD:
"[The show] isn't about what color looks good on your skin tone or how to make your lips look bigger or contour this or that. It's about what do you like and how can you express that and find out what your look is by trying new things."
The best part of tapping into uncharted beauty? It doesn't call on individuality-stripping measures like injections, plastic surgery or face-morphing contouring tricks.
Instead, alongside Brian J. O'Conner, her makeup artist and hairstylist of 10 years, Williams will tap into working with what you've got to come up with creative and unconventional looks that reflect your unique perception of beauty.
The first episode shows how to use eye makeup to color outside the lines via the power-punk look of Corinne Burns, a character played by a teenaged Diane Lane in the 1982 film Ladies and Gentlemen, the Fabulous Stains. It's a strong choice; the film follows a group of girls who form a band, hit the road and inspire legions with their hard-edge style and "we don't put out" battle cry.
In future episodes, Williams will talk to fellow musicians about how they've found their own unique beauty looks and in turn, inspire us to discover where our true north for beauty lies—however far away from the cultural ideal that may be—and wear it as a badge of honor.
Now that's a beautiful thing.