So Unpretty

Maintaining beauty is just one of the many pressures that women in society often face and a have to address at some point in their lives. The pressures of fitting into a culture that often defines a woman’s worth by the way she dresses, her body is shaped, hair is styled or her make-up is fashioned is a lot of work. Some days women don’t want to do all of that. And when those days arise, women shouldn’t have to feel less than beautiful. I never look in the mirror and indulge in the practice of seeing ugly. Some days my eyes may look a little tired and other days may present bad hair moments. Some days none of my clothes fit right. And through it all I find a way to see the beauty I know others may not find. I call these my unpretty days. Not “ugly”, just not my best.

Though I strongly believe that this perspective is something that should be cultivated early in life, before and while being tainted by the media images that set the standards of beauty; it’s not too late for those who are more seasoned. What makes you beautiful? Look at yourself both inside and out. So, on those days the exterior doesn’t feel its best, you can feel secure in knowing that your inner self still shines.

Once you’ve identified these attributes, cultivate them. Everyday develop and grow. And for those things you’re not so happy with, cultivate them as well. Evaluate why you view those attributes as not being beautiful. Try to identify the origin of these standards. Does the origin care for you? Why are they important? How does this entity bring value to your total person? Do they see your true beauty? Learn to love who you are despite your flaws. We ALL have them. Know your value and don’t allow someone else’s attributes define your beauty, even on your unpretty days.

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