Beauty, on Loving From the Inside Out? Yep, and I'll tell ya why. I'm on a mission to redefine what beauty means. Ask most people what they think beauty is, and they'll probably give you some version of "something that looks good, that's pleasing to the eye." And of course, our world is obsessed with physical beauty. We even have contests, euphemistically disguised as pageants, to see who the most beautiful people are. Magazines devote whole issues in some cases to show us who the most beautiful people are, not to mention the bajillion heavily-retouched, unrealistically perfect ads you have to turn past to get to the pictures of those most beautiful people. And if it's a beauty or fashion magazine, then of course all of that is surrounded by articles on how to perfect the latest beauty technique. Seems to me the message this sends, to young girls and even to still-insecure women, is: "You must change yourself to resemble as closely as possible this arbitrarily defined and impossibly narrow set of physical characteristics, or you're not beautiful." And in a culture obsessed with physical beauty, if you're not "beautiful," you're not worth anything. The havoc this wreaks on the hearts and self esteem of women breaks my heart.
But...what about Kindness, Compassion, and Selflessness? Duty, Honor, and Country? Courage, Commitment, and Sacrifice? These things are beautiful.
A mother sacrificing what she wants to do to spend time with her kids: that's beautiful. A dad spending all weekend building a treehouse for his daughter: that's beautiful. Giving back to those less fortunate. Fighting for justice in the world. The willingness to put your life on the line for your buddies and your country. These things are beautiful.
But it doesn't have to be a grand gesture to be beautiful. Being thoughtful, remembering that everyone is fighting their own battle. Looking for the beauty even when it's hard to find. Keeping a kind word at the ready. These things are also beautiful.
So...what's your favorite way to be beautiful?