Someone posted a picture today that really made me stop and think about perceptions and the definition of beauty.
Think about it, who do women dress for? Other women. How many women live on a diet? I don’t know about you, but practically every woman I know is striving for “skinny” even though they won’t admit it. I’ve been guilty of this myself. Then I realized what a poor example I was setting for my sweet impressionable daughter. What exactly was wrong with the way I looked? The truth? Nothing. All I know is I would often compare myself to the woman on the front of the magazine cover who has been airbrushed to perfection, or I’d walk into a room and think to myself “Is she thinner than me?” Mistake. And inevitably I end up seeing a photo of myself (because who isn’t snapping photo these days) and think to myself, “I look great. What the hell is my problem?” No matter how perfect you strive to be, chances are there will be someone who seems “more perfect” whatever the hell that is.
Women are their own worst enemy. Women live in an uber-competitive world where the most perfect woman wins, and the rest are left to feel inadequate. My friend told me about a conversation he had with a woman who stated “whenever I enter a room I have to be the hottest woman there.” What a sad existence. What happened to being “the nicest” or “the most compassionate”? I refuse to do that to myself any more. My husband, my daughter, my friends, my family – they all love me just the way I am. If I die tomorrow, what does it matter? Are people going to walk by my coffin and say, “too bad she’s dead, because it’s the thinnest I’ve ever seen her.” What I HOPE they will think is, “wow, she lived a wonderful life, and was an amazingly giving person.”
I am an advocate for “healthy.” News flash…skinny does not automatically equal healthy. Healthy means living your life in a way that promotes well being, both physically and mentally. When you are healthy and happy on the inside, it always shows. Beauty is rarely about physical appearance. Beauty shines from within, and that is what makes a person beautiful. I have known women who are not necessarily the “standard” for beauty, but are beautiful to me. Likewise I have known some who are stunning and turn the head of everyone when they walk into a room. Then, they open their mouth and you realize that they are so ugly on the inside that they are no longer beautiful on the outside.
Three cheers for the women bigger than a size two or four. Say what you want about Kim Kardashian, Jennifer Lopez, or Christina Aguilera, and a few others that are in the public eye. They make no apologies for their curves, and are, in fact, really quite happy with them. I applaud them for not being bone thin, for being real about their bodies. You want to be healthy? Find your “happy place” within yourself. I promise that if you can do that, you’ll find that the person looking back at you in the mirror will be one of the gorgeous women in the world, inside and out.
My hope is that every woman will stop being so hard on themselves, and learn to love who they are. A tall order, I know, but how lovely would that be?