What do you think makes a person beautiful? Really truly beautiful…think about it for a minute. What is the first thing that comes to mind? The very first thing, you know the thing before we try to think of a more meaningful description of beauty. Is it a physical trait? Or an internal characteristic? If we had to change one thing about ourselves to make us more beautiful what would it be? For you, would it an outward change or an inner change?
Beauty in our society seems to stem from outward appearances not someone’s inner spiritual, emotional or intellectual traits. Why? Why is it that how we look is what we often feel we need to base our personal beauty on? The saying “Beauty is in the eye of the beholder” stands true for some, but for many this idea of beauty is based on societies popular idea of beauty at that time.
So much time is wasted on the achievement of this ideal of beauty. If I had spent my youth learning a new language instead of looking in the mirror wishing I had blond hair, or a thinner nose, or that I was taller I would be bilingual! If I had spent my time actually practicing a sport or musical instrument instead of looking at magazines wishing I could be like the best athletes and the top models I would have then had more self-confidence and an ability to share instead of a teenage feeling of inferiority.
And what about the money spent on beauty. Beauty products are a multi-billion dollar industry. Huge bucks spent on trying to reach some perceived ideal of beauty. Analysts at Goldman Sachs estimate that the global beauty industry consisting of skin care is worth $24 billion, make-up at $18 billion, and $38 billion worth of hair-care products. The average American woman spends upwards of $5,000 per year alone! If I had saved the money I usually spent each year on products designed to make me outwardly beautiful I could have taken a really amazing meaningful trip each year. If I had spent that same amount of money on classes for painting or music lessons I would have a feeling of accomplishment and a skill, because to tell you the truth I don’t feel much more beautiful each year even with the time and money I have spent on it.
I’m thinking that this idea of physical beauty is an illusion. It constantly changes with the seasons and the times. Fashion and beauty standards come and go, so maybe what we are reaching for isn’t really attainable. Yes, we can be healthy, we can exercise, but it does not need to be an obsession. Plumping and cutting and grafting and sucking and staving and hiding and covering has gone overboard. Believe me, I’ve thought about it. After having my two daughters the idea of a “mommy makeover” complete with plastic surgery sounded appealing. Until I really thought about it. My body grew and birthed two amazing people. It shouldn’t look like it did when I was a teenager or even in my twenties. Yes, I will do what I can to keep it in good health, but any lamenting, despising and wishing will not make it any different. It’s my attitude I’m now concentrating on giving a make-over.
Now those two amazing people…my daughters. I am so proud of who they are and extremely excited to see who they will become. I hope to nourish their inner beauty and encourage them to spend the most of their time and money on experiences, activities, and interests that will make them beautiful on the inside. Their confidence will shine through and they will glow. I hope to teach them to travel and learn about other cultures so they can see that there is truly not one definition of physical beauty anyway so to stop trying to find it. I hope to nourish their spiritual beauty by helping others with acts of service. So that they will feel beautiful by seeing the smiles in others.
We will all grow old. Our looks will become a thing of the past anyway. I think that’s why those who make it to old age seem so happy. They know what is really important. Why do we wait until we are older to understand this? We should be concerned with inner beauty, spiritual beauty, intellectual beauty while we have the time and energy to really dive into it. I am trying to change my thinking about beauty to be more meaningful and real. I hope that my daughters start with the base I’m building in them now and continue to grow their inner beauty throughout their lives. When I am old and look back I hope to have made a difference and that my inner beauty shines through my actions and my words. Someday after I’m gone I hope someone will say, “She was beautiful because….” and the answers will have nothing to do with looks.
When my daughters ask me if they are beautiful I will not hesitate to say yes. But I will add, Yes, you are beautiful because you are kind. You help others by offering a smile. You share and love with your whole heart. You care for our planet and you help make it a better place. You are beautiful because when I see you learning and growing my heart learns and grows with you. You are beautiful because you are smart and you always try your best. Your beauty radiates from the inside out. You glow. Yes, you are beautiful. ❤
“She was beautiful, but not like the girls in the magazines. She was beautiful for the way she thought.She was beautiful for the sparkle in her eyes when she talked about something she loved. She was beautiful for her ability to make someone smile even when she was sad. No, she wasn’t beautiful for something as temporary as her looks. She was beautiful, deep down to her soul.” ~Unknown ( http://www.quotesfrenzy.com/tag/beautiful/page/1?s=beautiful )
Question: Who do you know who is an example of true beauty? 🙂