beau·ty: a combination of qualities such as shape, colour, or form that please the aesthetic senses, especially the sight.
synonyms: loveliness, belle, fairness, prettiness.
I googled “definition of beauty” and the above is what I found. REALLY? Someone needs to change this because it makes me sad.
All my life, I’ve struggled with the idea of what “beauty” is and whether I fit into its definition or not. Based on the definition above, no wonder I struggled with it so much. By age six, I had coke bottle glasses and a mushroom cut. In elementary school, I wore my brother’s hand-me-downs. Needless to say, my early years were rough. I was teased as a kid for a few reasons, but my looks were one of them. Even one of my brothers made me feel like I wasn’t beautiful. To this day, I still remember what he said to me as I posed for a picture that my grandpa was taking. He said, “You could never be a model”. He probably doesn’t remember saying this, but it’s stuck with me for eleven years.
I accepted the fact that I would never be a model early on. In addition to the teasing, the magazines I bought also gave me some pretty big clues that I was not the world’s definition of beautiful (anyone remember Tiger Beat or J14??). The female celebrities in these magazines were what I considered perfect. Every single one of them was skinny, tall, had big boobs, flawless hair, clear skin, and trendy outfits. By grade six, I began striving to be as close to “beautiful” as I could be.
Miraculously, my eyes healed by grade six and I didn’t have to wear glasses anymore. This was very exciting for me. On the first day of grade six, one of my guy friends said “Wow, you look different than last year!”. This is another comment I still remember because it was a monumental moment. I finally felt like I was beautiful…or at least a little closer to it.
Once I was in high school, I realized that being pretty or beautiful wasn’t the only thing I needed . I realized that I needed to have a good personality and maybe a little bit of charm to make it through life. I learned this through job interviews and more importantly, trying to win over boys! As much as I strived to be a good person with lots of personality and charm, it was still always in the back of my mind that I needed to be beautiful. I spent most of my money on clothes, makeup, tanning minutes, and getting my hair done.
As I moved through life, more and more people began commenting on how “pretty” I was and some people still say that I “blossomed later on in life”. I used to CRAVE these kinds of words.
Now that I’m almost 25, my definition of beauty does not match what I used to think it was. Through my life experience, I’ve met women who are stunningly beautiful on the outside, but are beyond ugly on the inside. And I’ve met women who would never be considered beautiful based on their looks, but have the warmest, most beautiful souls. This is what I strive to be. I have a huge love for fashion and makeup (hello, Pinterest!), but all I want to be is a beautiful person on the inside. If I ever have a daughter, I want her to be proud of me, and I want to instil in her that she is beautiful, no matter what people or society tell her. I don’t want her to go through the same struggles as I did.
So let’s change the definition of beauty. How about this?