Today’s article: “Yes,You are Beautiful” was inspired by NEW MOON GIRLS magazine. Their May/June 2009 issue features “25 BEAUTIFUL GIRLS.” (As you can imagine, this is NOTHING like People Magazine’s 25 Most Beautiful People)
Each girl was nominated as a “Beautiful Girl” because of WHO she is and the inner beauty she shares with the world around her. Although in each case, her inner beauty is reflected in her outer glow, her confidence and the way she cares for herself, her true beauty doesn’t come from the size of her body or the length of her hair. Her true beauty comes from honoring what she loves AND from being conscious of how she can inspire, support and give to other people. These girls feel beautiful and others feel more beautiful around them!
(Being beautiful and being pretty are 2 different things, by the way.Beautiful people “glow.” Pretty is more 2 dimensional. Our popular culture focuses on “pretty.” Yet it’s the truly beautiful people that light up the world).
Start walking the talk:
You may be thinking “oh, yes, this is really important. I wish our culture didn’t focus so much on outer beauty.” Or: “I am going to help my daughter feel beautiful for who she is inside.”
Yet, let me ask you: Are you able to acknowledge and shine your own beauty? Are you aware of how beautiful you really are?
(HOW ARE WE GOING TO TEACH THE NEXT GENERATION OF GIRLS ABOUT TRUE BEAUTY if we don’t really buy it for ourselves?)
Or perhaps you’re thinking: “Come on, Karen. How the heck am I supposed to be beautiful with these thighs? Or this butt? Or these wrinkles?”
No matter what you’re thinking, I challenge you to go ahead and try something different: Stop focusing on what’s WRONG with your body or your face or your life, and start thinking about becoming more authentically beautiful in the world.
What is authentic beauty?
Authentic beauty is beauty that reflects the essence of you.
What makes you FEEL beautiful? What do you love to do? What are you naturally good at? What excites you, inspires you and makes you feel GOOD? (I mean, really good, not martyr-good). Go ahead and start doing it (SERIOUSLY). How can you begin to share this with others in a bigger, bolder way so others can experience your authentic beauty?
What would happen if you held your head a little higher and let yourself stand up for something you feel is important? What would happen if you started doing something that really lit you up? What would happen if you took care of yourself – with food, with how your dressed, with your self-care, and with how you carried yourself – as if you already felt like you were beautiful enough? (Because you are).
What about making someone else feel more beautiful today?
If you have a daughter or a mother or a friend or a mentor, go ahead and write them a letter or a note telling them what’s beautiful about them. See if you can acknowledge the beautiful in someone around you each and every day. (Need a little help? Check out New Moon’s online cards here .)
Because here’s my beautiful vision:
My vision is that one day, in the not too distant future, all girls and women will KNOW they are beautiful, not because they finally achieved the look that our culture defines as beautiful, but because they are aware of, acknowledged for, and celebrated for, their true beauty.
I predict that as you allow yourself to feel more beautiful, and help your daughter and all the other women around you feel more beautiful, our world will also be a more beautiful place to live. We will have: lower rates of depression, lower rates of suicide, lower rates of obesity, lower rates of eating disorders, lower rates of overeating, lower rates of domestic violence, lower rates of teen pregnancies. And we’d all live in a world that was more peaceful, less hungry, more equal, and safer.
So go ahead: Do your part in making the world more beautiful, starting with yourself…
Want to use this article in your next newsletter or on your website? You have my permission as long as you include this complete blurb with it: Karen Schachter is a licensed clinical social worker and certified health counselor who is committed to helping girls and women find peace, nourishment and wellbeing with food, eating, and in their bodies. To receive her FREE audio class DISHING WITH YOUR DAUGHTER: 5 Ways to Nourish Her Self-Esteem and Help Her Feed Her Body and Her Soul with Delicious Self-Care, go to www.healthybodieshappyminds.com. (You’ll find recipes and other free resources there as well!)