Editor’s Note: Today’s beautiful words are by Renee Roden. At the end of this post, you may want to sit down and write out a moment that you felt truly beautiful. And if you’ve never felt it, ever? Wrestle why you feel afraid to feel it. Renee blogs at finnabealightbearer.blogspot.com – Lauren.
There are some days—we all have them—when you look and the mirror and simply groan.
Your reflection is just not what you wanted to see.
On those days, all you can notice is that scar on your chin, or the blot on your nose, or how your eyebrows need trimming. You are incapable of noticing how bright your eyes look that day, because you are too busy trying to erase the dark circles underneath them. Your hair seems to be varying between wildly frizzy and completely untamable, and dead and flat, looking absolutely lifeless, lacking any volume. Those are the days that you wince each time you walk past a mirror.
But there are some days, for some magical reason, you feel as though you are floating in a cloud of beauty.
Your confidence in your own radiance is unflappable and unshakable. No mirror, tape measure, or scale could possibly do away with your solid belief in your own beauty. You step is lightened, as you walk through the world, feeling beautiful from the tips of your split-end-riddled hair down to your un-manicured toes.
Those moments are little lifelines to hold onto in a world that shoves conflicting, confusing images of beauty in our face.
We are constantly being pulled between different standards of beauty. When it comes to being beautiful, there seems to be a never-ending stream of dos and don’ts being shoved in our faces.
One magazine devotes pages and pages to products that will give its readers perfect hair and skin; while another touts ideal BMIs and the perfect weight goals, and provides its audience with rigorous diets and exercise stratagems to achieve them. One of our friends pines for curves and complains that she has no chest; while another comments on how big her hips are and how she needs to lose weight.
Although it seems that beauty standards, styles, and fads are perpetually in flux, and changing at a moment’s notice, there does seem to be one consistent trend. None of us can manage to be satisfied with how we look.
We all seem too busy being dissatisfied with our appearance to take the time to appreciate our own unique beauty.
There is one moment in my life I always remember as a moment of unshakeable beauty.
I was at senior prom, and I walked into the girl’s bathroom.
The bathroom was very softly lit. The floor and ceiling sparkled with a very deep blue, almost black, glossy tile, which had little flecks of mica embedded in them. That bathroom looked like a little nook carved out of the night sky.
When I walked in, my dark blue dress mirroring the starry sky of the bathroom, I felt as though I walked right into a constellation. Everything sparkled: the very air was iridescent.
I looked into the mirror, and I softly caught my breath. There was a girl in the mirror looking back at me, and she was beautiful.
And I was that girl.
It was shocking.
I remember looking in the mirror and being surprised. I was surprised that how beautiful I felt matched exactly how beautiful I looked. Or that how beautiful I looked matched how beautiful I felt. It was a moment where my interior beauty I knew was there was somehow present in my face as I looked in the mirror.
That starry little bathroom was filled with joy. I’d never felt such a joy in being beautiful.
I looked at the mirror and smiled at myself. And blushed at the audacity of doing so. I saw a girl with long cinnamon curls and sparkling eyes smiling back at me. Her cheeks were flushed from dancing, and her entire body was reverberating with excitement.
That girl in the mirror and I smiled at each other, basking in the radiance of the beauty I’d just discovered. I felt like the brightest star in that luminous sea of shimmering lights.
No matter how many bad hair days I have, or how blotchy my skin is, or how full or bloated I feel after eating a large Thanksgiving dinner, I will always look back at that moment and remember that I felt beautiful right then. There is nothing that can shake my confidence in my beauty at that moment.
We are too scared to talk about our bodies as though we actually love them.
We forget to rejoice in having a body uniquely our own, and glorious in its uniqueness. It’s easy to find beauty in nature around us, or look at all our friends and find their beauty so evident. But it’s harder to look in the mirror and acknowledge the beauty right in front of us.
It’s hard to accept a compliment on a day you feel particularly not beautiful. It’s hard to accept the fact that our point of view is not the only one that matters: there are people who love us and find us beautiful even when we cannot see our own beauty. We are too afraid to acknowledge that we are worthy of being loved, and beautiful because of that.
We are too afraid to rejoice in our own beauty.