Beauty? What does it actually mean? How can someone tell what is and what is not beautiful? Society? Individual tastes? Is it really that subjective?
I have to admit, after writing about Speaking Positively, I’m a little frustrated by this part of the BYJ – Name The Beautiful. The author suggests writing in the Beautiful You Journal the people I find beautiful and what about them I find beautiful. This is a challenge for me for two reasons and I have already decided how to handle one of the reasons. Honestly, I have quite a few followers on here that I find amazingly beautiful for several reasons, but I’m not going to list them. I’m not going to list them, because I don’t want to put any of them on the spot and I don’t want to inadvertently create any Rivalry between anyone. The other challenge is that defining what I see as Beauty creates an automatic negative feeling within myself, because some of what I find beautiful is truly shallow and I recognize that I can never meet those standards of beauty that I have. But before I talk about the second challenge, let me list the qualities of some of these women that I think are beautiful and why I find them beautiful.
I tend to look at beauty in a couple different ways – physical (or surface), attitudinal (behavior towards others) and spiritual (inner). It seems readily obvious that there is physical beauty, so let me list some of the things I’ve seen here on WordPress that I find beautiful:
- There is a woman I follow that I absolutely love her hair. It’s long and beautiful. I simply love it and it appears as if she maintains its health. She also does her make-up softly, truly in a way that enhances her features. And she has an absolute amazing smile. Granted, it’s always hard to tell online, but her skin also looks exquisite. There is another woman that I’m friends with that has an amazing body and curves that any guy would probably die to get his hands on. And yet, another lady that has such a beautiful smile and wonderful teeth that it makes me wish I could show that kind of joy and brightness. I know for a fact I can never meet these levels of beauty.
- I follow another woman that has amazing fashion sense and I love the outfits she wears and shows off. Actually, I follow several blogs with women that show various outfits and the dresses I see are absolutely amazing. Granted, I have worn a dress and skirt from time to time, but I am totally and utterly self-conscious about how I look in beautiful clothes and dresses and shoes. Sometimes it makes me feel like I just don’t make sense. OMG! And there is a woman on my local news station that I totally LOVE and totally wish I could dress like her! I know it’s all for the camera, but she is so beautiful…I’ve literally had dreams where I felt like I WAS her – silly, I know.
There are many others that exemplify some of the qualities I mentioned above – in fact, some are way too numerous to mention….ugh…I could probably spend all day writing about it and it just made me realize how shallow I might be.
Then, I mentioned something I call “attitudinal beauty” and these are the women that treat other people so wonderfully. There are sooo, sooo, sooo many of these wonderful ladies on here that it’s hard to indicate each and every one of them, but some of the qualities that I have noticed are the fact that they are encouraging, accepting, challenging, loving and caring. I have one friend that no matter how negative I feel about myself, she is always willing to help me see something more positive. I have a friend that has offered to have a girls’ night out, if we ever get the chance to meet. And there are a couple of Christian women that don’t judge me, they don’t make me feel bad and are truly loving – although, I’m not what they might expect in another woman, they still treat me like I’m a human being, I love the encouragement I receive from others and I find it wonderful when people offer compliments. Basically, those girls that focus on treating other people as important, like they matter and do everything they can to make someone feel good is a great example of attitudinal beauty that I believe I already exemplify! ❤
Spiritual Beauty almost seems like an obvious thing, but I think it’s difficult in practice. I have a follower on here that I absolutely love her spiritual beauty (she demonstrates the other qualities, as well) – she is at peace with herself. To me that is the essence of spiritual beauty and I can’t really put it into words. I’ve also a couple of followers that have expressed desires of prayer for me and demonstrate, through their words and posts an awareness of a Higher Power (or God) and do not express that belief in any negative way. In fact, one is so conscious of how that makes others feel, she doesn’t shove that belief onto anyone else, but she is comfortable in her own beliefs – I love that quality of spirituality. I am comforted to see a lot of women that have found a way to be comfortable with themselves and love themselves. I hope that I can have this level of beauty someday, as well.
I have to be honest with myself, however, the concepts of beauty that I listed present an difficult challenge for me – especially the first one. I find myself, often times, getting frustrated when I think about being pretty or beautiful. I think about the ideal I have on what beauty is and what it would take to achieve that and it would be a massive undertaking and probably change life for, not only myself, but those around me. I’m not sure that sacrifice would help me achieve the other two standards of beauty I have. Although I appreciate my feminine interior, the reality is that my exterior is a hard shell and way too difficult to change.
But I know, what the author really wants us to achieve – she wants us to achieve Inner Beauty. ❤