“True beauty is not related to what color your hair is, or what color your eyes are. True beauty is about who you are as a human being, your principles, your moral compass.”-Ellen DeGeneres. It’s crazy how we look at the chunky thighs on a baby, and we just want to pinch them and kiss that precious baby fat. We smile at, and adore, the toddler who proudly pushes her little belly out while she struts around with her bottle. Sad to think in a few short years, our culture will teach that same toddler to suck her belly in, and chunky thighs are no longer adorable. Society holds our girls, and later our women, to a completely unrealistic expectation. We show them mystical creatures and fictional images as models of what they should aspire to. As a woman, I’ve never loved the way I look. I’ve never thought I was thin enough, tan enough, pretty enough. I’ve never been able to look in the mirror and give a thumbs up to the
person staring back at me. Conversations with other women are often about calories, skin care, hair care, whatever the latest trends and products are that can make us as close to those fictional images as possible. But, we will never be satisfied. How can we? We are aspiring to be someone who isn’t real. The truth is when I set aside social media, magazines, and all the crazy images I am bombarded with about beauty; I realize my trainer at my gym is beautiful — not because she has an incredibly fit body, but because she has this unrelenting philosophy of “paying it forward.” She is always doing for others and giving back to the community. She taught me working out is about seeing what we are capable of, appreciating we can move! I have another friend who is beautiful, not because of her unwrinkled skin and her size zero body, but because she has the strongest faith in Christ I have ever seen. And, she is a fierce friend, who is always available when I need her. My mom, in her 70’s, is beautiful, gorgeous, actually. Every wrinkle she has tells a story. Her stomach reminds me of where I came from. Her mastectomy scar tells me how incredibly strong she is. She is always smiling and loves everyone. My mother would literally let a serial killer live with her saying, “everyone deserves love.” I have another friend who grew up being told she was “too skinny.” It was really hard to wrap my head around how those words were insulting to her! But, again, she was told she wasn’t enough. She, too, is beautiful, not because of her youthful looking skin that still gets her carded in her 50's!! (eye roll) But, because she is a true friend to everyone. She is the least judgmental person I know. She is always thinking of others. My perfect daughter is beautiful (and yes I’m prejudice!), not because of her sick fashion sense and her youthful looks, but because she is always a joy to be around. She is forgiving, compassionate, and easy to get along with. She doesn’t take life too seriously. My girl knows how to have fun, and I adore her for it. These women in my life (and there are many more) are all gorgeous! Wrinkles, stretch marks, surgery scars, baldness, curves, and even fat — yes fat, can be beautiful. Beauty comes from the light in our souls. You know it. You’ve felt it. And, like me you are drawn to the people whose inner beauty shines so forcefully, you just want to bask in their light.