Defining Beauty

In Something to Dream On, Lizetta experiences a cruel and unjust reality: there are some who believe beauty has a narrow definition. If you don’t fit it, you can’t possibly be pretty, let alone attractive. As someone who disagrees with this, I have to be honest and say that when it comes to judging my own looks, I can’t help but fall into the trap.

Seeing tasteless headlines like “Ten Hot Celebrities and Their Ugly Spouses” does not help us overcome self-doubt. But if we step back and look at things a bit more globally, our personal realities are easier to digest. If you show me your list of the ten most attractive people in the world, it is likely that several will not fit my definition of attractive, but we will both be okay with that. When looking at others, we can see that part of the beauty of humanity is how we all find different people and things attractive. Some people are primarily attracted to thin people just as some prefer a little roundness. Some people love a lot of curves while others only love specific ones. Do I have a preferred body type for a man? Absolutely. Does a man need to match that ideal for me to be attracted to him? Not in the least.

But I tend to lose that positive view of attractiveness when it comes to my own reflection. I can think a friend who is not “Hollywood attractive” looks amazing, yet when it comes to my reflection, if I see anything short of a super model I am disappointed. I’ve spent my entire life fighting how society’s ideals affect how I view myself; meanwhile, I have seen the beauty in others with ease. Who do I blame for my twisted, double standard? Society? Hollywood? Barbie dolls? The kids at school who teased me? When it comes down to it, I can only blame myself for the double standard.

There lies the key. Because of my twisted standard for beauty, I have to force myself to look at the bottom line. When I do, I find that I’d rather look like me than like anyone else because I love who I am. Deep inside, most people probably feel this way too; they just need to remember it. If I could make a list of things that I would never hear anyone say again, anything to do with self-doubt would be at the top.

No matter how you feel about your physical appearance, I encourage you to look in the mirror on your wall, along with the mirror in your soul, and appreciate your beauty.