Wednesday, July 27, 2016

In the Eye of the Beholder

Last night a friend tagged me in a Facebook post about being beautiful. I needed to upload and post 5 pictures of myself where I feel at my most beautiful. I cringed. I had a small panic attack. I am not known for posting "selfies" online. I have a lot of image issues.

Let me explain:

I have very crooked teeth. I have had them my whole life. There was never enough money to afford braces so I learned to live with the smile. I was told to cover my mouth, smile with my lips closed, anything so no one could see my teeth.

I am not a small woman, never have been, never will be. I have rolls, always have. I was told how much prettier I'd be if I lost weight. I've tried, but I LOVE food.

I wear glasses. "Guys don't make passes at girls who wear glasses" was something I heard repeatedly as I went through high school. I got contacts and wore them constantly. Guys didn't make passes at me then either.

I wear make-up and do my hair...when I feel like it. My grandmother always had earrings in her ears and her bright pink lipstick on her mouth. "You never know who you're gonna run into."

My feet are a size 11 huge. Dad used to say we'd be better off buying me gunboats to wear. I've never been horribly self conscious about them, but they are substantially obvious.

My eyelashes are short and stubby. I have one pupil that is larger than the other. I have a double chin. I have thinner lips. My cheeks are chubby. My "trunk" looks like a hoarder is hording way too much junk in it. And I get easily distracted. Maintaining focus is hard for me. My life is in constant creative chaos.


I've been told my smile is beautiful and lights up a room. So what if my teeth are crooked? It's a smile uniquely mine.

I'm a bigger girl. That is one thing that will never change. However, I eat healthier foods, I don't snack very often, and I am learning to take care of this body of mine. It is a body that has been called voluptuous and sexy on a few occasions.

I wear glasses. I can't change that. I need to see! Years of contact wearing destroyed the blood vessels in my eyes enough that I've been told that even wearing a pair of contacts for 10 minutes could cause me to lose my sight. So I buy flattering frames to make me look like the sexy nerd girl that certain men like to flirt with.

I put my make-up on when I'm feeling insecure. I put it on like a light mask to hide myself from the world. If I'm not wearing make-up around you, then I feel secure enough to let you see the real me. My hair is colored (because the gray makes me look too old), but rarely is it straightened, curled, or done in any way. I like the waves that have come with age and the bounce that is there.

My feet? Well, I can't change them. So, I put them in cute shoes...when I can find them. When I do find them, I tend to buy multiples simply because I can't always find cute shoes in my size.

As for the rest of me...well, I can only change so much. Most of it I have to live with. And I'm learning...I"m learning to see the beauty in myself.

Let me share some things I've learned while I did this little challenge:

We are not made to be perfect. We are made to be unique and individuals. Our bodies are ours. They are what makes We don't need to look like whatever celebrity is popular at the moment (not a pop culture sort of woman) because even THEY don't look like themselves. Air brushing, touch-ups, professional make-up artists and hair stylists, SPANX, etc. keep them looking like their "natural" selves. The things we see as flaws in ourselves are what the people who love us see as beautiful. We are imperfectly perfect just as we are.

The friend who tagged me in the post stated how you fall in love with someone's laugh, the way their eyes shine, the way they talk with their hands, or the way they move. We can't necessarily see someone's beauty simply from a photograph.

To wrap up this post, I'm going to quote an old adage: "Beauty is in the eye of the beholder." I'm not beautiful to everyone and that is okay. BUT I am beautiful to someone...a lot of people if the comments on my Facebook post are any indication. Beauty isn't merely in looks. It is your heart, your compassion, your intelligence, your wit, your mischievousness, your confidence, and so much more.

So go forth and shine like diamonds, you beautiful beings!

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