Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Are You Beautiful?

Well, are you?

Does that question make you uncomfortable? Probably. It's awfully direct and it demands a clear Yes or No. There's no grey area or room for an alternate answer.

And as southern girls, we all know that if we say YES, then the devil has led us straight into the vanity trap. Our mamas have taught us the dual lesson of always looking our best (Lord help us if we leave the house with our hair wet) while never prizing personal appearance over our virtues. Pride, for heaven's sake, is a sin.

If we say NO, for goodness gracious, then we disappoint our mamas, too. We are lovely in their eyes and it breaks their hearts if we discount our gifts of good figure and calm complexion. Our mamas want us to believe in ourselves and appreciate ourselves.

Beauty is a double edged sword.

Did you know that, according to Dove Research: The Real Truth About Beauty Revisited, that only 4% of women consider themselves beautiful. To me that's a staggering statistic. One that reveals the sad state of our understanding of beauty.

What is "beautiful" to you? Is it a flawless face on a glossy magazine cover? Is it a thread-thin model on a fashion runway? Is it Sissy-Dell Mathias's perfect hair that never flops no matter the weather? If so, that's the devil getting after you again, because he knows most of us don't look anything like that. Our perceived deficiencies breed envy and down the devil's row we go again.

Are you beautiful? If you dare to define beauty differently, then you'll have a much easier time answering that question.

To me, beauty is self-confidence. Beauty is smiling through adversity. Beauty is finding fulfillment in the routine of daily life. Beauty encourages friends and helps strangers. Beauty takes care of herself. Beauty is kindness, compassion and combed hair. It's lipstick and lending a hand. Beauty appreciates her assets and knows that God made no mistake in creating her. A beautiful woman manages to be the whole package, always becoming the best "self" that she can.

Are you beautiful?

Today's Assignment: In your Book of Lists, define beauty. Write down what it is to you. Are you beautiful? If you still answer No, then list what you can do to get there.

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