I witness and create beauty on an-almost-daily basis, on women, men, girls, sons, moms, uncles, grandmothers even! Because of this, I learn about beauty just as frequently- where it comes from, what it looks like and the different types that exist. The following are (important) observations that I’ve made through the years based on my experience with all genres of the ambiguous attribute:
1. Its usually not what you think.
Question: Have you ever looked at a magazine and seen all of the seemingly unattainable images of stunning women that you could only strive to look like in your skinniest, most fashionable and clearest-skin daydream? If you’re a woman I already know the answer: YES. Even the most confident woman has her share of insecure moments.
–To feel better about this, continue reading. —
These women (and SURPRISE, sometimes men too) have all been through hours of grooming. Hair styled by geniuses with extensions and potions, make up applied by professionals who, literally, transform face shapes and features, wardrobe stylists shopped for days or weeks to buy outfits tailored by color and size to flatter that person’s every curve. They also paid hundreds (maybe thousands..) of dollars to have their hair cut and colored, for facials and waxing, for detox wraps, cleanses and fancy meals to be prepared for the perfectly calculated calorie intake suited for their body.
I wish I was exaggerating, but alas, I am not. These, ladies (and maybe gentlemen), are my clients. There is so much time and effort put into the appearance of celebrities that there is no way the average girl (or guy) could compete. And ya know what? We shouldn’t want to.
As glamorous and shiny as it can be, at the end of the day, they go home to their couch and eat ice cream straight out of the carton with their house cat and watch Justin Timberlake on SNL. It sounds SO cliche, but they truly are normal, average people. Just like you. Just like me. With insecurities and fears and hopes and dreams, even still! They just want to be loved and seen and known and appreciated for who they are, not what they look like. So next time you flip through the latest Glamour Magazine, please remember this post, and smile.
2. It fades. Literally and figuratively.
Have you ever known someone that was just entirely, on all accounts, in every way, flat out stunning? You’d just stare at them and try to wrap your head around how one person could be so beautiful? And then time goes on.. and you get to know them… you learn things about them, pick up on quirks or even negative personality traits. Then what happened? That once enchanting beauty you were in awe of suddenly faded. You’ve acclimated to this new standard of beauty, and its just not quite what it used to be. Where did it go? Why don’t you appreciate the aesthetics of this person like you used to? Because real, true beauty lies beneath that perfect nose and fabulous bone structure. It’s the layer beneath the surface that you grow to find MORE beautiful over time. Physical beauty can’t carry a friendship or a relationship or give love, and at the moment we realize this, it loses its luster.
Then, of course, there is age. Wrinkles and sun spots, saggy skin and hormonal weight. What youth seems to perfect, age takes away. Or does it? Yes, maybe your skin isn’t what it once was, maybe no matter what you do, that last 5lbs around your waist just won’t vacate its home. But as a 25 year old who sees the whole spectrum of women, the ones I am most drawn to are those who have aged gracefully, and genuinely love and find value in the years they’ve lived. To do this, it takes a confidence in who you are, in what you’ve learned and how you feel about the present. That, to me, is far more beautiful than anything a plastic surgeon with a scalpel and some silicone could ever fabricate. Let’s embrace every phase of our fantastic lives… even age.
3) It can come from the ugliest of places
Some of the most beautiful and wonderful people I have ever know are the ones who have lived through the most hellish of life experiences. Abuse victims, dysfunctional family lives, surviving terrible relationships, personally witnessing poverty and sickness on international and 3rd world capacities. All of these things (and more) can, if we choose, create within us the most sustainable beauty there is. It opens our eyes to what exists outside of us. It often corners us into choosing to come to peace with ourselves and the world, even if it takes time. It uses a part of our heart that empathizes, that forgives, that desires to help others, and to love in way that is beyond family or romance. The beauty that this creates cannot be replicated by any moisturizer or 3-step nightly routine. Now, don’t get me wrong, a great skin care regimen can help in many ways, but the beauty that is on the other side of intense life experience is simply untouchable.
It excites me to continue to learn about “beauty” in all facets. It can be such an anomaly at times! What are some observations you’ve made about beauty? What does “beauty” mean or look like to you? Share share share!