Beauty is as beauty does

by meerabel

We’ve all heard those sayings: “beauty is only skin-deep”, “beauty is in the eye of the beholder”. Clichés? Sure, but many of us find them reassuring too. Sadly, societal expectations and pressures can make it so hard for us to retain confidence in our individual beauty.

I’m pretty sure you’re all familiar with – if not afflicted by – the desire to conform to media-endorsed standards, so I won’t beat you about the head with it. (Although this is a phenomenon that affects both men and women, I’m only writing it from a female perspective as that’s my frame of reference.) I don’t want to talk about beauty as we “know” it. What I do want to talk to you about is true beauty, which doesn’t lie flat on a page. Beauty is not the one-dimensional image we see in a photograph. Beauty, to me, is fierce, radiant, and unconcerned with what anyone else thinks about beauty. So how about we turn the beauty cliché into a beauty paradox: “beauty doesn’t care about beauty”.

Personally, I love the aesthetic aspect of beauty. I love my makeup and my products, and it’s something that I have a lot of fun with and take a genuine interest in. That said, I think it’s also important to aspire to a healthier and more holistic sense of beauty than the mainstream version that’s thrust at us every day. I also know there are a lot of people who are confident in themselves, which is exactly what this post is about. I’m just writing this for anyone who might agree that there are ways of feeling uniquely beautiful that could free us from constantly comparing ourselves to cover girls.

I’m lucky that I have a lot of strong and inspiring women in my life, who are also incredibly beautiful. Although they’re all so different, one thing they share is a confidence in their own beauty – physical or otherwise. Who they are inside shows on the outside, and they radiate. Let me introduce you to some of these women:

The Warrior
She is the very model of three-dimensional beauty. She goes through life kicking ass and she takes no prisoners; there is nothing she can’t do, physically, mentally or intellectually, and she can scare the crap out of people. But incredibly, she is as soft as she is hard; she is kind and generous, and stunning in her femininity. Most importantly, she knows all this about herself and she embraces it, and she’s one of the most beautiful women I know.

Talk about an empowered woman. She built her empire from nothing, and did it with both barrels. Her brains, self-belief and tenacity made her hugely successful in a man’s world, where she never concealed or defended her feminine attributes and she welcomed those that underestimated her so she could prove them wrong. She is the busiest and most powerful woman I know – but she still makes time for the salon and is groomed to perfection.  

The Mother
My friend has always been beautiful, but I’ve never seen her happier or more peaceful than she is as a mother. Even though she has her troubles, the sense of purpose she now has changed her outlook, and how she sees herself. It’s like her pregnancy glow never left her, and she’s a perfect example of inner calm and confidence reflecting outwardly. She’s the most beautiful I’ve ever seen her.

The Creative
She is always eager to learn and to develop, and her motivation is inspiring. She is absolutely gorgeous but has zero interest in maintaining herself aesthetically, preferring to focus on other more rewarding pursuits. She doesn’t wear a scrap of makeup but still has men walking into lamposts, because she is so confident about who she is and how she presents herself, which is so uniquely her.

These are just a handful of the women I know who’ve challenged my superficial perspective of beauty. Actually, I know very few women who aren’t beautiful so there are lots more where these came from. This post could just as easily have been about you, so go sing some Christina Aguilera – I had ‘Beautiful’ in mind, but go for ‘Dirrty’ if that’s what makes you feel good – and own your beauty 🙂