By Luciano Sztulman, MD.
When we first hear the term “Beauty is Power”, our own culture has taught us this statement is a myth. After all, beauty is supposedly skin deep. Immediately the assumption is the beauty described refers to outer beauty at the expense of inner elegance. But why must we distinguish between the two?
Research has demonstrated that the lack of a positive attitude is associated with an inability to flourish. Likewise poor health habits affecting our inner body soon become evident on the outside as well. In contrast, we all can appreciate the feelings enjoyed when we are fashionably dressed, physically attractive and sexually appealing. These are just as much an ingredient to empowerment as is spirituality, optimism and inner courage. Brazilians have long realized this as an important ingredient to human success.
Brazil’s reputation of sensuality, beauty and youthfulness originates within multicultural influences. Despite the Portuguese initially discovering and colonizing Brazil since 1500, an influx of Dutch, Italian, German and Spanish immigrants populated many areas of the country in centuries to follow. Likewise the demands for harvesting Brazil wood and sugar cane prompted the use of African slaves which also influenced the national culture. The end result has been a unique brand of cuisine, fashion, expression and lifestyle that has nurtured Brazilians to perceive all forms of beauty as empowering. As a result, the Brazilian fusion of inner and outer beauty has created international awareness of its culture in respect to not only antiaging secrets but also to health in general.
One of the most notable aspects of Brazilian culture is dance. The Samba, which has been a part of Brazilian culture since the late nineteenth century, reflects a blend of African and Portuguese cultures and presents a provocative and exhilarating movement of the body. While as much as 400 calories may be burned in an hour of Samba dancing, the actual expression and sensuality of the dance is equally important to youthfulness and health. The Samba as well as its later counterpart the Bossa Nova reflects the openness of the Brazilian people to other cultures and new ideas. Such behaviors have been linked to positive health. The vibrancy and energy associated with such Brazilian dances have long been perceived as not only stunning but as a means to perpetual youthfulness in body, mind and spirit.
In my own experience, having spent my childhood and young adulthood in Sao Paulo, this vibrancy among Brazilians is exemplified in every aspect of their lifestyle. My parents and I along with many others suffered many hardships during the inflationary years of the 1970’s through the 1990’s. Suddenly we found ourselves as part of the lower middle class struggling to make ends meet. But Brazilians retain hope and easily adapt to challenges, both of which have been associated with health and youth fullness.
In Brazil, a smart man is not only the one who received a special diploma or degree but also one dedicated to his family and is able to survive while making minimum wage. The importance of mental adaptability runs deep within Brazilian culture and fosters a positive attitude, vitality and youth in a large way. Embracing their typical strong work ethic while looking for new ways to excel, Brazilians have repeatedly bounced back from struggles with a passion. In fact, passion and warmth lie within the heart of every Brazilian.
In everything they do, Brazilians thoroughly invest themselves towards a goal and do so with powerful optimism and energy. With intensity and passion, their focus remains on the positive and never the negative which is why over and over again Brazil has surprised the world with their achievements. As has been their course through history, Brazilians manifest their own destiny by infusing their lifestyle and culture with invigorating passion.
* Luciano Sztulman, MD has dedicated his professional life of over thirty years to women’s health and wellness. He is the author of the book “Beauty Is Power: Dr. Luciano’s Brazilian Beauty Secrets For Staying Young.