What does it mean to be beautiful? This is a question that many of us have pondered and often feel overwhelmed by. Often, our idea of beauty and what it means to be beautiful, is influenced by what we see in the outside world; by the pictures of models in magazines, by the actresses on TV, and what society and the media tells us. Do you feel you have to look a certain way to be beautiful? If so, you might need to redefine your beauty standards before you go craZy trying to fit them!
Often, I’ve wondered what we would consider beautiful, if we didn’t have the media around. If you look at paintings of women in the past, it is evident that their idea of beauty is not the same as today. What we consider overweight, was once considered beautiful, and the image of being “super slim” as it is portrayed today, was not at all present. Not saying that their definition of beauty was right or wrong, but this is evidence of how the outside world influences the way we think of beauty, and consequently, the way we see ourselves. My mother has always told me that beauty is relative; what one considers beautiful is not necessarily what others consider beautiful. To be honest, I have not always believed this, but as I have grown my mom’s words seem to gain more and more truth.
Beauty also varies by culture. I come from a culture where it is valued to be curvy. When I went to college, I was surprised, my friend from Italy was self-conscious and ashamed because of her curves. In Italy, she told me, people are expected to be slim. Naturally, I always aspired to have curves and appreciate my curves. Yet, my friend who is curvaceous, aspires to be slimmer and is not a fan of curves. Beauty is relative and this reassures me that beauty is ever changing.
Another beauty lesson that I have become more reassured of, is beauty goes way beyond someone’s physique. In fact, a person’s physique is highly influenced by what we have inside. Look around at the people that you consider to be beautiful. Have you ever looked at someone and thought, “Wow, she’s beautiful; she just has that something!” Lately, I have noticed peers at school that I find to be beautiful, not just because of their physique, but because they portray “the it factor!” They just have something; an aura, a feeling, a spark that they transmit whenever they walk, talk, or look at you; which makes them shine like a ray of sun, and makes them beautiful beyond standards.
Note To Self: There will always be days when you will feel less beautiful than others. As GIRLS, we know, when you feel good, you look good. Our feelings and the way we see ourselves, influences the way we look and how we portray ourselves to others. Beauty, my friends, comes from embracing who you are and being ready to show that to the world! Beauty comes from confidence, from happiness, from accepting your attributes and flaws, and turning these very special parts of you into features worth celebrating. If you feel beautiful, you will show the world you are beautiful!
Next time you look at yourself in the mirror, tell yourself you’re beautiful (you may not believe it at first, and that’s ok). Constantly remind yourself of the things that make you beautiful and accept yourself like you truly are. I promise that eventually, you will believe it. Feel beautiful; be beautiful!
A Quote to Digest!
About the author
Program Development & Operations Intern