They say that beauty is in the eye of the beholder. Honestly though, it’s hard to FEEL beautiful in a world where everything around you is yelling what is beautiful and what is not. How can we compete with a set of rules that tell us that thin is beautiful… perfection is beautiful… polished is beautiful? How can we look at ourselves in the mirror and believe that we are beautiful when so much of who we are doesn’t measure up?
I am here to tell you right now, YOU ARE BEAUTIFUL! No, not the person standing behind you… I mean YOU! Your body is beautiful. Your heart is beautiful. Your abilities are beautiful. Every single strand of your DNA that makes you unique and different is beautiful. No other person on earth can be as beautiful as you are.
I want to challenge you to do something right now. Go stand in front of a mirror and just look at yourself for a little bit. Be naked it you want. Dress up if you want. But seriously, just look at yourself. I want you to name all the things that you like about who is staring back at you. Don’t linger on the things that you don’t like. Rewrite the negative. You may need to dig really, really deep, but I want you to find the beauty in your reflection.
What do I see in my own reflection? I see my lazy eye middle schoolers like to talk about… but I also find the eyes that SEE those same students, extending kindness and compassion to the most awkward of humans. I find my unruly mane of hair, full of wiry grey strands… the same hair that crowns my head with volume, warmth, and so much to style. I see my slightly crooked and chipped teeth that contribute to a warm and welcoming smile. I see my plump mounds of flesh… a body that could be seen as a failure… that can still rock a great outfit and provide warm, safe hugs. I see my wide, stupid flat feet that can still run, jump, dance, and carry me on adventures. I see every scar and imperfection on my skin… telling the story of every battle I have faced and survived.
You don’t have to be perfect. I know it sounds like a cliche… something a motivational speaker would say… something people say just to be nice… but it is absolutely true. The things that make you unique and what makes you YOU. And my dear, THAT is what makes you beautiful.