(originally posted on 16 Sept 2017)
“I hope you aspire to be so much more than a pretty little thing that decorates the room you walk into.” Something about this entire passage just spoke to me and I knew I had to write about it. When I posted my Part 1 and Part 2 “Self-Confidence” blog last month I had no intentions of writing a part 3 (and I’ve already got the ball rolling on a part 4).
Self-confidence is something I’ve never really been comfortable talking about because well, because I lack it. And I don’t like putting my fears and insecurities out there for the world to read. I don’t like opening up and making myself vulnerable to anybody, I am discussing some of my most personal kept secrets with the world, and that’s frightening. But I got such a positive response from Part 1 and Part 2 and all I want to do is help and inspire others, so if this is how I can do that, then I will. Even if all I touch is one single soul, it makes it all worth it. So here we go!
“Beauty without kindness and bravery is just a pretty empty shell.” Think about that for a minute, what does it mean to you? I asked myself this same question and my first thought was to Google the dictionary definition, so I did. This is was Google had to say, “a combination of qualities, such as shape, color, or form, that pleases the aesthetic senses, especially the sight.” And then I asked some of my friends and family what their definition of beauty is, and here’s what they said.
Cristian Diaz– “Simple. In the eye of the beholder.”
Bailey Soeder-– “I think beauty is not on the outside but the inside. When you are confident in everything that makes you, you.”
Nathalia Fiorete– “Ummm idk.. I feel like beauty is physical but also personality. I feel like someone who is beautiful has a skinny waist and a butt and boobs that match her body. Also clear skin…. something maybe one day I will have lol. But also someone who is positive and brings the good out in other people. Someone who just glows. But I’m the type of person who cares about physical appearance a lot… I have a very strong opinion on physical wellbeing and being fit… that society especially in today’s generation does not agree with.”
Tristan Kent– “It’s something that gives a pleasure or satisfaction (to the eyes or heart). Something that’s physical but also not physical. If that even makes sense.”
Mariela Ramos– “To me beauty comes from inside. Personality, sincerity, actions is what makes a person’s beauty shine. A face can be flawless but a bad attitude, pretentious personality makes that flawless face ”
Valentin Maldonado– “To me beauty means what’s on the inside. Who the person really is deep down. The reason I say that is because we see it all the time. People seek out other people based on physical appearance, and at first everything is great. But if the inner beauty isn’t there it literally changes the way you see the person, it becomes all you see and the outer beauty doesn’t matter. Their physical apperance fades, it no longer carries meaning, because you see there’s nothing on the inside. And as someone who believes true beauty never fades, the same can be said about inner beauty. Which through that example, makes it the only true form of beauty, in my opinion.”
Desiree Spears– “”Hm.. to me beauty is in your heart. If you have a beautiful heart that makes a person beautiful. It doesn’t matter how pretty someone is on the outside if you have an ugly heart.”
Andrew Ramos– “I think my definition of beauty is perspective.”
Kayla Valdez– “Beauty to me is the embarrassing moments you find your boyfriend doing that has you laughing so hard. It’s not your favorite qualities, although those do help, but it’s everything unique about a person that you find amazing. That could be the way they snort when laughing for example. It’s the quirks that make the beauty.”
Ellie Cesternino– “Something pure that creates a feeling of happiness.”
Tina Eihusen– “I think clearly for every beauty is different. I think it’s a combination of several things. What is beautiful and appealing to one person may not be another’s cup of tea. Growing up I struggled a lot with feeling accepted. Accepted by my peers and my family. I felt maybe I something was wrong with me and that’s why not only did my dad leave but that’s why he stayed away so long. As a kid I felt maybe he was embarrassed of me or something. Maybe I didn’t measure up. All these things lead me to a huge self-esteem issue and eating disorder well into my late twenties and then I just decided for myself that is doesn’t matter how thin or fat you are or how great you look with or without makeup because beauty… true beauty comes from within. From the ability to have a good heart, to put others before yourself. It’s forgiveness and kindness and how you treat others that make you beautiful. It’s being able to look in the mirror and accept and love who you are and how God made you. It’s ok to try and make changes to the outside by working out and eating right or even trying a new makeup but those surface things will fade as you age. It’s your heart and soul of who you are that matters. When I think of beauty I also think of a new baby who just knows love, who has no ability to judge or hate anyone.”
My interpretation of Google’s definition is that beauty is totally external, what you look like on the outside. But when I think of “beauty” or a beautiful person I think of the inside too. In my opinion, beauty is a full circle concept. Beauty is a characteristic one embodies. It’s not just how their body looks, or how soft their hair is, or how smooth their skin is, or how white they’re smile is. But do you they have a beautiful soul? Do they have a beautiful heart? Are they kind? Do they encourage? Are they considerate and compassionate? That is beauty to me, a characteristic. Similar to if someone is funny, or super smart, or very talented at X, Y, or Z. I read a quote from a fortune cookie once that said, Confidence is not something that you have, it’s something that you are.” And I like to look at beauty in the same manner.
And even though I think that, even though I belive it to be true that beauty is more so internal than it is external, it’s still something I struggle with. There are days I look in the mirror and I’m not happy with what I see. I don’t feel pretty without mascara, my stomach is looking too pudgy today, my hair is too thin, my arms are too fat, the list can go on forever and ever. And I think that can be a struggle for a lot of people. Outside looks are stressed so heavily on social media, and social media is a major influence on young teens today. Everybody is trying to have the “thickest booty”, the thinnest stomach, perky boobs, rock hard abs, big biceps. Females are so into a full face of make-up and struggle to leave the house with their bare face. Something I’ve always wondered to myself is why boys can go out and about without make-up and however they look is simply how they look. And if you’re attracted to them, good. If you’re not, then you move on to the next. But with girls it’s evident “Oh she’s wearing make-up today” or “Oh she’s not wearing make-up today”. Why is it almost a natural instinct for girls to apologize for “looking a mess” when you leave the house without their “face”? I hate that concept. I hate how that’s the norm.
For me personally, I don’t hardly ever wear face make-up. I don’t know the first thing about blush or lipstick, highlight, or contouring. And I don’t wear it for a few reasons; first, I don’t want to spend the money on make-up. Second, I don’t know how to do make-up and make it actually look good. Third, I’d rather catch a few extra minutes of sleep than get up and do my make-up. And last but not least, but for me it’s the most important, I never wanted to get to a place where I felt ashamed of my bare face. Where I felt ugly if I wasn’t wearing a full face of make-up. Where I got see a drastic noticeable difference from when I did wear make-up to when I didn’t. And so I never allowed myself to get to that point. Plus I love my freckles, so why would I cover them up?!
Even still, I struggle. And so recently I’ve been making an effort to go completely make-up less to work more often than not. It’s not easy, and when I catch a quick glance at myself in the mirror during the day I do some times think to myself, “dang girl you’re looking a little rough” but I force that thought out as quickly as it came. I remember I’m learning to love myself, just the way I am. I remember I love itching my eyes without working about smudging my mascara. I remember how I define beauty, and that I AM beautiful.
And you are too.
And so I hope, I hope you strive to be your own definition of beauty, whatever that may be. I hope you love yourself just the way you were made, because God makes no mistakes. And I hope you aspire to be so much more than a pretty little thing that decorates the room you walk into.