Beauty is in the eye of the beholder yet should it be? Do we afford others too much control over our view of self? Why do so many women struggle with their personal beauty? Why are women so judgmental of each other and why do we let others have such an impact? The media is another issue entirely! How did I let the person who was closest to me have such a negative impact on my own perception?
Last week I had a conversation with a friend about the Facebook challenge; a person challenges you to post five pictures where you think you are beautiful. I have known her for years and she is an inspiration to me, smart, wise, an engage loving mother and wife who faces life with a happiness and joy to which I aspire. She is beautiful but she struggled with the challenge. The week prior with another friend I discussed how she let her discomfort with certain body parts impact her choice of clothing. Another friend and I discussed her hesitancy with presenting information to her peers because they will be judging her and throughout the conversation arrived at her discomfort with others gauging her worth based upon her appearance. As I reflected on these discussions many of the standard questions surfaced. Why does the media have such an impact with words live reduce, minimize, hide? Is this why women try to take up so little space in the world? Why do I not even consider how others think of me, physically yet struggle with my own perception of my physical self? How can I offer reassurance to others but lack the comfort in my own life?
I need to share that I believe with all of my heart and soul that you should cherish what you are blessed with and not try to refine it into something you want it to be. So looking back, I am still shocked that I found myself in a relationship where my former spouse spent the majority of the marriage by trying to mold me into what he wanted. While very subtle in the initial stages, he worked diligently to make me into the person he wished he had with very overt actions. It took years for me to realize I was striving to please him and as soon as I attained his wants, it was on to a new desire. It took many more years for me to learn this was not about me and who I was, but clearly about him. Trying to force a square peg into a round hole repeatedly does cause some dings and damage that is irreparable. Although I know this, I still find myself not considering myself in a manner others’ may. I do not often think of myself in physically attractive manner.
Finding myself contemplating relationships I became harshly aware that others judge us initially based on their own interests. I am aware that physical attraction is an instinct. I believe the importance of platonic attraction far exceed the initial attraction of physical desire. Standing in this new phase of life, I found myself considering my worth. I am an intelligent accomplished woman. I have seen my IQ and have no doubt my ability to achieve anything academically. I have wonderful friendships and the capacity to love unconditionally and deeply. I have affected the lives of many people throughout my career and knowing I was able to help them achieve their own success. My body has created three lives and continues to nurture them, it has created art, and offers compassion at time of need. I have offered comfort to those in need and fed those hungry. I have shared moments of joy and happiness while laughing deeply and openly. I have moments of intimacy and passion. All of those have helped me become who I am and I am happy with all I have offered to the world.
Beauty is not in the face; beauty is a light in the heart.
Below are sites that discuss the topic.
http://stylelikeu.com/the-whats-underneath-project-2/part-1/#!bnNPPk is a project that discusses how one’s style is on the inside. A very touching series of videos.
http://www.upworthy.com/2-people-described-the-same-person-to-a-forensic-artist-and-this-is-what-happene is a wonderful video that can demonstrate how we perceive ourselves and a reminder of what others may be seeing.