(Dove Real Beauty Sketches video)
“I should be more grateful of my natural beauty. It impacts the choices in the friends that we make, the jobs we apply for, how we treat our children. It impacts everything, it couldn’t be more critical to your happiness.”
Beau.ty –1. a combination of qualities, such as shape, color, or form, that pleases the aesthetic senses, especially the sight.
2. a beautiful or pleasing thing or person, in particular.
Beau.ti.ful-1. pleasing the senses or mind aesthetically
I witnessed something this week that made me question what is true beauty, and how does society define it? According to the definitions given, there is not one specific way to define beauty or what one may deem beautiful, it is a subjective description, left to one’s own interpretation. If this is a plausible statement, then why are so many women left to question their own beauty? I say question, because, without the makeup, hair extensions, weaves, wigs, fake eyelashes, breast implants, liposuction, butt injections, tummy shapers, spanks, and all the other things women use to make themselves feel beautiful, many would not. So, why do women need temporary things to “make them feel beautiful” shouldn’t they feel beautiful because of who they are, uniquely and fiercely made? Don’t women realize because they are one of a kind, that gives them a permanent stamp of beauty without all of the temporary fluff? In a perfect world, the answer would be yes, but we live in a world that is far from perfect, where young girls learn at an early age, there is an “unsaid standard” of beauty that they are expected to adhere to. Not realizing that the standard is a facade of smoke and mirrors. Children buy into “unsaid standards” because adults do. Which leaves me to question, with all the augmentations, how are young girls and boys supposed to truly understand the concept of real beauty?
It sounds like an old cliche, but real beauty truly does start from within. It’s a confidence that can’t be bought, and is cultivated differently for each individual. For some girls, it’s in having a solid relationship of love and encouragement with their parents. For others, it’s through excelling in athletics or dance, academics, or music. It’s being good at something that builds confidence. It’s the confidence that helps a girl evolve into a woman that knows her own worth, because she knows she is one of a kind. When you know your own worth, that is when you will fully be able to know and understand your true beauty. I believe it was a woman coming to understand and know her own worth, and the ridicule she received from other women, that caused me to write this week’s blog.
I don’t know the details of this woman’s story nor do I know her name. To be honest, I’ve never met her in person, or actually seen her face. I was thumbing through social media and came across a post on an open forum. It was a picture of five women standing on stage with their backs towards the audience. They were competing in a bikini competition, and one woman was quite a bit heavier than the other girls. The comments that were posted about this woman were rude and cruel. Other competitors were questioning why she would get on stage looking like that? Why she would waste her money or compete in a bodybuilding show if her body “wasn’t ready?” We, as women are so critical and unhappy with ourselves that it causes us to criticize others to make us feel better about who we are and how we look. Instead of encouraging this woman for having the guts to get on stage people took shots at her. I believe she had a story to tell, a goal she set for herself, a hurdle she was leaping over in her life journey. I believe in continuing to jump those hurdles in the midst of naysayers she will continue to build confidence and I believe that if she doesn’t realize it yet, one day she will wake up and know she is beautiful. Not because of the weight that she lost, but because of the courage it took and the confidence she gained from moving forward in the midst of fear and negativity. See we often don’t realize how beautiful we are, because we don’t tune out the critiques and judgement of others. We want to believe in that “standard” of beauty that is only a facade.