While shopping at one of my favorite boutiques, I ran across this adorable little trinket that had a modest inscription on it that read: “Be Your Own Kind of Beautiful”. The timing was perfect for me to receive this message because I had just recently decided to end a long-term friendship that had become severely dysfunctional and was weighing me down emotionally. Like most people who experience an end to a long-term friendship, whether it was a positive experience or not, the finality of the split left me feeling relieved and out of sorts all at the same time. Feeling beautiful was probably the last thing on my mind at the time because the “friendship” had become so offensive to my psyche. It felt like an all-out assault to my spirit in an attempt to systematically convince me that I had nothing to offer. Yet, when I read the caption on the little ornament that day in the boutique, it spoke to me in a way that I cannot describe. I felt like my soul had just awakened by a fierce inspiration! I thought how wonderful it would be if each of us could feel the same reassurance that I felt that day by simply taking a step back and appreciating our own God given beauty! Not just the physical beauty, but our entire beautiful self, inside and out. I reflected on how important it is never to give anyone control over our perceptions of ourselves because God created each of us in his own image and He did not make any mistakes on any of his creations!
Even though we know in our heart that we are uniquely designed by God, we all at some point in our life have fallen victim to allowing ill-intentioned “friends” or that nagging voice in our head that try to persuade us that we are less than. In so doing, we fail to fully appreciate our own individuality and the marvelous qualities that we have to offer. Not recognizing or appreciating our own unique beauty is similar to the inference in the quote by Alice Walker that says: “I think it pisses God off if you walk by the color purple in a field somewhere and don’t notice it”, (The Color Purple). That may be putting it a bit bluntly, but sometimes we need a candid wake-up call. The same concept applies to how we view ourselves, not just how we view a color somewhere in a field. Even though we get the point, I have noticed that women in particular repeatedly fall into the trap of comparing themselves to others and not embracing their own beauty. Physical beauty has become such the end all, that many people have such blind envy of others because of their physical appearance that they have no regard to the personal struggles someone might be going through, despite how well put together they may appear on the outside. In spite of this and as straightforward as it may sound, if each of us would begin to practice being our own kind of beautiful, then we would realize that each of us is beautiful just the way we are.
At any rate, although physical attractiveness can be quite enticing, outer beauty is fleeting. Therefore, a person’s character, morals and values should be the factors that true beauty should be judged. These core traits are not merely handed down through great genetics and more importantly; they never fade away. Remember the old saying, pretty is as pretty does? If someone is lacking in these three intrinsic fundamentals, then it really does not matter what they look like on the outside. Physical beauty has no correlation at all to the goodness or essential quality of a person. OK, for those who may be a little harder to persuade maybe we can take gradual, baby steps toward adopting this revolutionary standard of looking at beauty. For the sake of compromise, let’s say the new standard of judging beauty can consist of a combination of both physical and inner characteristics. However, in all fairness the fundamental core of who a person is should at least carry a higher weighted average than what the person looks like. Fair enough? Well, until this notion becomes widely accepted, which quite frankly may take an act of God; I will suggest a few simple ideas to help remind everyone to honor God by simply being your own kind of beautiful on the inside and out.