Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Beauty: Define

1. Definition of beauty (n)

Bing Dictionary

o beau•ty

o [ byóotee ] o

4. pleasing and impressive qualities of something: the combination of qualities that make something pleasing and impressive to look at, listen to, touch, smell, or taste

5. pleasing personal appearance: personal physical attractiveness, especially with regard to the use of cosmetics and other methods of enhancing it

6. beautiful woman: a beautiful woman or girl synonyms: loveliness • attractiveness • good looks • prettiness • exquisiteness

So, I put my exact title into Bing and this is what came up. Weird, isn’t it? To absolutely define what beauty is? What it looks like? What it feels like? ”Especially with regard to the use of cosmetics and other methods of enhancing it.” I don’t get it.

I’m going to be completely honest and say that when the yearly Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show comes on television, my stomach turns and I immediately have the urge to work out for hours…and hours… and hours. And I really can’t give you a great answer as to why. I don’t want to look like them – honestly, I think that they’re very thin and very hungry. But, I almost feel like I need to look like them. Embody that image of beauty. Silly, isn’t it? And I know I’m not the only one.

Men catch a lot of the flack for this. But – can we (women) really give them all the blame? Ask a man if he noticed his girlfriend lost 5 pounds and I am willing to guarantee that he will say no. Why? Because that typically just doesn’t matter to them. They don’t have the expectations that we have to look like those we see in ads and television. Just like we don’t have the expectation that they look like a GQ cover model.

As women, I feel like we are constantly in competition not only with ourselves but with each other. Constantly comparing and contrasting and trying to outdo one another. We are constantly wondering if our mate looked at that other woman and liked her hair/makeup/clothes/shape/weight/tan/whatever better. The question is why. I’m guilty. Constantly. A goal of mine is to stop this cycle within myself and to stop it when I hear my girlfriends share these same thoughts aloud. Comparing and contrasting is for fine wine, not for our bodies.

“Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness, that frightens us most. We ask ourselves, 'Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, and famous?' Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God. Your playing small does not serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that people won't feel insecure around you. We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us. It's not just in some of us; it's in all of us. And when we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others.” Used by Nelson Mandela in his 1994 inaugural speech

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