Saturday, January 17, 2015

On beauty

We are told that beauty is all about flawlessness. Perfect, even skin, completely devoid of scars, stretch marks, wrinkles, any signs of life or experience. It's ingenious really. Make people feel bad about their differences in order to sell them a boatload of products that claim to fix these invented "problems." But why is it so easy to fall victim to these ploys? Why is it so easy for us to believe that we're not enough as we are, that we need to buy all these things to "fix" us?

Don't get me wrong. I think the pursuit of self-improvement is quite commendable. The quest to become a better person is one of most worthwhile journeys one can undertake. But the attitude towards change is an important factor. If you approach self-improvement from a place of inadequacy, from the belief that you won't be an acceptable person until you look a certain way or achieve certain things, it's near impossible to feel happy or good enough. But if you approach self-improvement from a place of abundance, from the belief that there is beauty and light in everything, you can then embrace change with an open heart and allow yourself to evolve, not as punishment for what you're not, but in celebration of what you are. You can accept yourself as you are now while still challenging yourself and making positive changes to your life. I'm not saying it's easy, but it's possible.

I just think the beauty industry has it all wrong. Why would we want to look like we hang around inside all day, careful to do absolutely nothing so that we won't have any bruises or scars, refusing to laugh so we won't get any lines around our eyes or mouths? Those laugh lines, those stretch marks, they're not something to hide. They are marks of a life of adventures and risks, changes and growth, resiliency and joy. What is more beautiful than that?

If you want to make healthy changes to your life, by all means do so. Treat yo'self to all the nutrients. Get some of those exercise induced endorphins. Do all the things that make your insides feel good. But just know that wherever you are in your self-improvement journey, you are already enough. You are the one and only you. Experience it to the fullest. Love it and live it up.

Lyric of the moment: "I tried to do handstands for you. But every time I fell for you. I'm permanently black and blue, permanently blue for you..."

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