I’ve spent some time today doing a lot of thinking. Here is the product of that thinking…
The song goes: “I am beautiful, no matter what they say, words won’t bring me down today…” and the video that accompanied Christina Aguilera’s song is a story of different people coming to realise that who they are is OK. That, actually, whatever society tells them or has against them, that really they’re beautiful – and it’s OK to think that about themselves.
I don’t need to point out, that ‘being beautiful’ means pretty much, usually, one thing in our society. It’s about having the right body, the right hair, the flawless skin and the gorgeous smile. It’s about LOOKING beautiful – by the standards set by magazines and models.
But I don’t think there’s any shame in simply coming out and saying this – I am beautiful. And so are you.
I may not conform to societies ideals of beauty, I may not pay much attention to my physical appearance, but that is just the mere surface of what makes me who I am. The world is better because I am in it, the world is better because you are in it. And, the impact you make on the world, or the people in your world, is far more remembered than that bad hairdo you’ve currently got going on.
Now, I am not an outgoing person. I’ve done my best, I’ve told myself to snap out of it – I think other people have told me to snap out of it, to get involved, to be braver. Someone once said to me “Be confident in yourself – you have so much to give!” and although the sentiment was well meant (of course) and it was actually a compliment, as time has gone on I’ve realised who’s to say I’m not giving ‘so much’ just because I am reserved? The quiet conversations, the trust people can put in me or the fact that I can listen to someone else talk for hours without needing to interrupt – all valuable traits of mine. Perhaps what I’m thinking probably isn’t the best thing to say anyway, a few more quiet minutes might give me a chance to say something constructive, or phrase it better. If you’re shy, quiet or like the company of one or two people instead of twenty-one or twenty-two then that’s OK. Because you are who you are and that is what makes you beautiful.
If you’re loud, and outgoing and love the company of hundreds of people, then that’s OK too – because everyone is different and that is what makes YOU unique, and that is what makes you who you are. And it’s what keeps us quieter folk entertained – and we love you for it!
I feel it’s so important that we work out who we are, that we continuously develop ourselves to live out who we want to be – no matter what anyone says. Being beautiful doesn’t mean being perfect, or getting it right all the time. In fact, I think it’s about being brave enough to say that you’re still a work in progress and still figuring it out as you go. But at the same time it’s OK to have some self-belief, to be proud of who you are and what you’ve achieved – and to be genuine about it as well. Humility is great, but it doesn’t mean putting yourself down continuously or always thinking cautiously about yourself. We don’t have to wait for approval from anyone else – it’s OK to say to yourself that you are beautiful – inside, outside (and any other side you want).
Beauty isn’t about how you look physically. Beauty is in a smile, in the kind gesture, in being patient, in giving your time, in lifting someones mood or being with them in the difficult times. It’s you – and it’s me too.