Like I wrote in a previous post, I consider myself vain. I spend a lot of time on my looks and I like to look good – as many women do. But beauty is not just physical; it is emotional and also very personal. In this blogpost I attempt to unravel beauty and discover what really makes someone ‘beautiful’.
When I young I was very insecure and spent a lot of time comparing myself to models in magazines and on television. These girls were perfect to me, and they always had something I didn’t have and desperately wanted. White teeth, straight hair, a flat stomach, long legs and full lips. I spent so much time focusing on everything these models had, and I didn’t, that I never focused on everything I did have.
There’s so much more to beauty
This isn’t a post about letting go of insecurities and “learning to love yourself the way you are” (although you should, of course!). This is about what I have learned about beauty since puberty and how it’s made me stop feeling so insecure. It’s not just the fact that I have come to accept that my hair is wavy and not straight, but that beauty is so much more than hair color, skin tone or weight. Why do we spend so much time focusing on these peripheral characteristics, when there’s so much more to beauty?
Think about it. What do you have, that makes you you? The things you can’t change? I’m talking about your smile, your laugh, your voice, the way you walk, the look you give someone you love. These are truly unique aspects that everyone has and these are so much more important when it comes to beauty. That’s because they let your personality shine through and can’t be learned or changed. You can dye your hair, whiten your teeth and put on lots of make-up to look ‘pretty’ but learning to laugh a certain way is much more difficult.
Beauty is personal
I’ve been thinking a lot about this lately, because first of all: beauty is very personal. I see it all the time when my sisters are talking about women they look up to. They often send each other photos of women they consider beautiful, and they very rarely agree with each other. What makes someone attractive is a very personal question. What one person considers beautiful is not the same for someone else. In addition, seeing a photo of someone is completely different from seeing them on video or meeting them in person. You can trick the camera to believe you’re one person, but it’s much harder to hide your personality. If someone’s a little goofy, they might be able to hide it in a photo, but it’ll be much harder to cover up in real life.
So, I’ve learned to stop focusing so much on physical beauty and embrace my inner beauty instead. Overall, I’m a pretty happy and positive person and I think people notice it when they look at me. I really like my smile and the way it lights up my face. I’ve also come to love my wild hair, my ridiculously small feet (how am I able to stand up?), my laugh, my freckles and how my positivity can inspire people to make a change. It’s worth so much more if people like your presence and want to be around you because of how infectious your laughter is, than if think you have beautiful eyes or envy how skinny you are. What’s that really worth anyway? Looks fade, but your smile and positive attitude can last a lifetime!
So what makes a girl attractive is different for everyone. Beauty is in all of us and it’s the things that make us unique that we should focus on. Had I realized early on that I didn’t need a perfectly symmetrical face, straight jaw line or Angelina Jolie lips to be beautiful, I would have saved myself a lot of teenage stress.
“Don’t compare yourself with anyone in this world… If you do so, you are insulting yourself” – Bill Gates
Bill Gates knows what’s up! You are wasting your energy focusing on what others have that you don’t. What have you got that others don’t? Look in the mirror and find those signs of beauty that make you special and unique – especially those unchangeable things that show who you are (that one freckle, the way you laugh, dance, sing, cry….). There’s so much more to you than just hair, skin and eye color. Pay close attention to what you see and what other people see. What do they love about you that’s not just physical? What do you love about yourself? What have you noticed about yourself that’s different from other people? Focus on that – if it’s your smile, smile a little more often. If it’s your tone of voice, let people hear it. If it’s the way you walk, run or dance – go out and do that! You’ll notice soon enough that you’ve never felt more beautiful. And we should all feel that way – every day.