What’s your perception of beauty? How do you define it?
Is it limited to thin young women with glowing skin; fancy sports cars; and an exquisitely dressed fashionista?
To ask a tired question, what’s hot and what’s not?
I asked my new friend Paula if she wanted me to discuss anything in particular on here, and she mentioned society’s definition of beauty. In her exact words, “I am very interested in the way we as a society perceive beauty especially feminine beauty. As an artist I see beauty in just about anything and feel we have lost the richness that life has to offer.”
My response? “Now that’s some poetic expression. I can totally relate to what you’re saying and also feel we need to expand our perception of feminine beauty. It has nothing to do with our body measurements and/or sense of fashion; it has to do with our hearts and our souls and all the MAGIC we have to share with the world.”
I said that because beauty based on appearance alone is fleeting and shallow. I don’t care how skinny you are or how many designer brands you rock on a daily basis; if your inner self is ugly, your outer beauty is hard and bitchy.
So, what’s hot and what’s not?
It’s not hot to make women feel dowdy or undesirable because they can’t fit into a size 2 dress. Helloo, these are women not teenage girls! It’s all well and good for women who are naturally petite, but others aren’t. Many are big and luscious and they ought to be able to celebrate their softness and curves without feeling judged for their “plus size”.
I read Dusti Arab‘s On Loving Ourselves and Each Other and absolutely loved her reaction to a company marketing clothing for real women. She ranted we are all real, skinny or not, and questioned who the hell the company thought it was to market to “real” women based on size alone. I mean, does that mean some of us are “fake” or something?
A woman’s body tells you nothing about the size of her heart. It tells you nothing about her capacity to love and give and bring joy to others. It certainly doesn’t hint at the feminine magic she carries in her aura. These are things that that have to be felt. These are things you have to experience before you can say if a woman is beautiful or not.
What IS beauty, anyway? It’s just not something that’s pleasing to the eye, is it? It’s something pleasing to the soul. It’s something that soothes you and wraps you up in warmth and makes you feel good about yourself.
A new dawn. A cool summer evening. A fragrant rose just opening its petals. They don’t have sizes or numbers attached to them, but we see them as beautiful all the same. Why then, do we treat women and even ourselves differently?
We’re so wrapped up in numbers and measurements that we drive ourselves crazy trying to hit the perfect spot. “I’ll be beautiful when I lose 20 pounds.” “I just need to shed these last stubborn 5 kg and I’ll be golden.” “Oh, for the joy of losing 1 stone.”
No! You’re beautiful! It’s your demeanour that makes you beautiful. It’s your character that makes you irresistibly enchanting. It’s your aura that makes you wonderful and delicious and a joy to be around.
We’ve all come across physically stunning women who are absolute bitches, no? Whether it’s their nature, a family problem, or work pressure, their outer beauty can’t hide the ugliness in their souls. And you know what? Artificial beauty doesn’t last very long before it crumbles. You know I’m right.
It”s not hot to make a woman feel bad about herself because she has to shop “plus size”. So what? As long as she’s healthy and her weight’s not harming her system, who are we to judge? What if her partner or spouse likes her that way? What if her family likes her that way? I’m not saying it’s okay to be obese because it ain’t, but it is okay to be bigger than the supermodels splashed all over magazine covers and TV ads.
We can’t all look the same, people. We’re a diverse species. some of us are slim and long-legged, some are curvy and average height, and yes some of us are short and round. So what? Are we any less beautiful because we don’t fit the mould of society? I say NO. Who’s with me?
Beauty is a magical thing to me. It’s in a woman’s smile and the twinkle in her eye as she laughs or tells a good story. It’s in the confidence of her walk as someone comfortable in her own skin and happy with her body. You feel it from women you’ve never met through the richness of their expression and their sheer joy at being alive and doing what they love.
I see beauty in the feminine soul lush with sensuality and passion and zest for life. I see it in a woman’s willingness to share her story so others may benefit from it. I see it in a mother’s sacrifice for her child and her fierce loyalty to her tribe. I see it when a woman opens up her heart and gives freely, joyfully, bountifully, because she believes in something enough to do all she can to support it.
Beauty is also magical because it exists in men as well. While attractive men are described as “gorgeous” or “handsome”, beautiful men are the ones who let their souls shine through in all they do. Their passions and dreams, love for life and others . . . it all manifests as a glorious aura you feel whether you meet them in person or not. It simply hugs your heart and you think, “Wow. That’s beautiful.”
Little boys are beautiful. They’re cute, innocent, curious, friendly, often smiling. Little girls are beautiful: they’re adorable, playful, curious, and also smiley.
Do you see a common trend?
Beauty lies in our hearts. It’s more than having glowing skin and perfect white teeth and no wrinkles anywhere in sight. Look at Helen Mirren and Maya Angelou; aren’t they beautiful? They know the true secret to beauty: it comes from within, and it has nothing to do with how old or young or slim or big we are. We are Beauty, if we would only let ourselves believe and enjoy it.
If you go on a diet or start exercising so you can feel healthier, fantastic! More power to you and I hope it works out. But never let what the media says affect how you feel about yourself. Never let anyone’s petty or hateful comments take away one simple truth: You are beautiful as you are. Right now. As long as you’re healthy and not harming yourself, you’re beautiful.
And EVEN IF you’re struggling with obesity or an eating disorder, you’re still beautiful. Your heart is still beautiful. Your soul is still wonderful. Show yourself some love and get the help you need. How you look on the outside does not determine what you are on the inside. Always, always remember that.
The magic of beauty lies deep within us. Sometimes we’ve buried it so deep we can’t believe it of ourselves anymore and are suspicious of those who try to convince us otherwise. But I promise you it’s there. It IS there.
Have you ever stopped to marvel at the speed at which fashion and “acceptable” standards of beauty change every season? Sometimes my head spins just trying to keep track of it all! “Oh that’s so last season, how can she come out looking like that?” Really, people? REALLY?
Forget external trappings. Forget the media. What makes you feel beautiful? What delights you and inspires you and makes you want to skip with joy? That’s your beauty, your magic, your unique expression. Embrace it. Cherish it. Dance in it. Own it. You’ll be surprised just how many people find themselves drawn to your wholehearted way of being. 🙂
Beauty is radiant. A radiant soul is a beautiful one. A beautiful soul radiates warmth and magic. You can’t separate one from the other because beauty is radiance, it is magic. It comes from within, and it hugs your heart every time you encounter it. On the phone, in person, on TV, in a magazine or on a billboard . . . it doesn’t matter. True beauty has a certain glow and magnetic pull that keeps you in its orbit and makes you feel good about being there.
You’re happy and smiling and brimming with pleasure because the magic of beauty is ethereal and potent; you can’t grasp it, you can only feel it. And it’s a glorious feeling, no? 😉
The richness of life depends on the breadth of your vision. Open your eyes and free your mind. See the beauty in a budding daffodil, a magnificent oak tree, a family of ducks at the pond. See the beauty in women of all ages and sizes as they go about their daily lives. Feel the beauty in the auras around you and bask in their warmth.
And most importantly, feel your own beautiful soul and dance in its light. Share your warmth with the world; that’s what makes it such an enjoyable place, you know? Each one of us showing up and feeling wonderful about ourselves because we know we are beautiful and no one, but no one, can take that away from us.
So how will you choose to experience beauty from today? Has your perception of it shifted in any way? Do let me know what you think in the comments below! Can’t wait to hear from you. 🙂 Ciao, lovelies.