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A little self perception on beauty

Throughout history, there's been so many changes about what defines beauty.  Throughout my thirty-uhhum years of life, these perceptions of beauty have continually changed - not only with the clothes and hairstyles we wear but the appropriate weight, dimensions, and other personal characteristics that are sometimes difficult to hide and impossible to change.

I was blessed to have been born with a lanky, scrawny body which bore numerous marks of teenage hormones and frizzy hair before the invention of Frizz-Ease and when you straightened your hair via a perm.  I spent years going through different exercise routines, certain that strengthening my pectoral muscles would increase my chest size and, when that didn't work, purchasing the most highly padded bras I could find within my limited budget.  I tested out numerous hairstyles and hair colors determined to emulate the looks of fashion models gracing the covers of magazines and actresses in my favorite TV shows and movies.  I applied every gel, serum, mousse, cream, pomade, spray, stylist treatment and home remedy to get ride of my out of control, frizzy hair.  I tried every acne-prone skin cleanser, cream, gel, face mask and more to get flawless skin and then went tanning or used tanning sprays to get that fresh-from-the-outdoors-but-made-inside look.  They all failed to give me the beauty for which I was searching.


Then, I got married and, later, had kids.  Wow - my body changed.  Body parts moved, swelled, sagged, shifted, changed colors, and more.  I didn't sleep, so I searched for better under eye creams and concealers.  I didn't have time to spend an hour attempting to control my hair, so it got chopped off after the first kid and grown long to continually keep in a pony tail after the second kid.  Most of my clothing didn't fit right and what did was out of style or quickly became stained with things flying out of my children's mouths, hands and rear ends. 

Then my eyes became opened by my four-year-old daughter.

Through the eyes of my child, I was told I was beautiful and loved.  She shows me how her hair curls just like mine and how we have the same color eyes.  She puts on my old shirts and wants to wear them as dresses - saying they're so pretty.  She reminds me I don't need makeup to be beautiful because then we look alike or, when I do wear makeup, she points out that it's silly to paint my face and that paint goes on paper.  She calls attention to the fact that she came from my tummy where I protected her and she grew until she was ready to come out to see me face-to-face.

Oh, how blind I've been.

The parts of my body that I look at negatively are not flawed.  The flaw is in my perception - only in my mind.  Every part of my body tells a story.  The scar on my forehead from the joy of playing a little too roughly - yet having fun - with my sister.  The bunions on my foot are the same as my mother's - making me think that at times I am taking a little stroll in her shoes (knowing I still have a long way to go).  My curls are from my father - who wore his as an afro in college - and may bring a bit of his craziness and humor to my life knowing that I can laugh through the hard times.  My sagging chest and stomach cause me to realize I've brought life onto this earth and nurtured it through sickness and health.  The wrinkles around my eyes and mouth show the good times I've had talking with friends and watching each moment we've shared.  The dry skin on my hands proves that I am productive.

I am changing my outlook on beauty - starting with myself.  I am choosing to teach my daughter about what is truly beautiful and worthy.  Appearance does not tell the story of who we are or what we're worth.  Beauty is not defined through our appearance.  Appearances will change, but our stories - and our beauty - will continue to grow and expand.

Please leave a comment below to let me and others know about your own beauty.

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