What do you think beautiful means? What makes someone beautiful? Are you beautiful?
I was curious as to how the Internet defined it, and what I found shines light on how our culture views beauty!
What really caught my attention was “especially the sight.” I used to think of beauty as a physical appearance. “Ugh, she’s so pretty. I wish I had her curves and glossy hair, or her straight white teeth.” This mindset naturally led me to compare myself to everyone. It created so much frustration and negativity. It was consuming. I knew I had to change something.
I chose to redefine beauty.
Throughout my high school years, I struggled with disordered eating and a really negative body image. The way I looked was always on my mind. I couldn’t walk past a reflective surface without looking at myself; my relationship with food was so unhealthy with feelings of guilt and shame. It all happened so quickly and it started to affect all areas of my life, too. My sleep wasn’t as restful, it was hard to focus in school, my energy levels were depleting and made it hard to push myself in sports, I was irritable and hard to be around, and I started to lose joy in the things I loved most. One day I looked in the mirror and I didn’t even recognize the girl staring back at me. Her eyes were empty and her smile was forced. I wanted to love myself again and I knew the only way to help myself was to change my mindset. I don’t believe there is anything wrong in wanting to change your physique; it’s the intentions behind the change that matters most. Instead of working out as a punishment or to look like other girls, I trained to be the best version of myself, and to become better than the person I was yesterday, not just physically, but emotionally and mentally as well.
I can honestly say that having this outlook on beauty has changed my life for the better. I now see beauty as the way a woman’s smile lights up a room, the passion in her eyes and voice when she talks about something she loves, the way she carries herself with confidence, the way she cares for those around her, the positivity that emanates from her, and so much more.
With this new perspective, there is far more beauty in the world and the people within it. Instead of comparing myself to others, I became empowered by their “beautiful” qualities. Shifting to this mindset has been pivotal in my own happiness and success, and I believe it will have the same effect for you, too. If you’re reading this, know that you are beautiful and always will be, because your passion and energy will always be with you, and only flourish if you let them.
I thought about putting pictures in this article, but I really aspire to emphasize that these qualities of beauty are not ones you can really see. Beauty becomes an experience, a feeling, an energy, not just something that “pleases the aesthetic senses.”