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The Qualification of Beauty

Beauty. There’s one word that gets thrown around with meanings varying from the aesthetic to the intrinsic. Who is to say what makes something beautiful? And even in that, should beauty a qualifier for anything one decides to do or seek? As usual, I’ve been talking with some folks about this and it had me thinking. There’s a couple of things at work, really. The fact that our society (and by our, I mean predominately developed Western countries like the United States) highly prizes a standard of visual beauty makes the average woman very uncomfortable. The thought is, “I’m not a size 2, so I’m not beautiful” for women or “I don’t have that six-pack” for men, and that couldn’t be any further from the truth. But truth being relative, it can force people to do absolutely crazy modifications to their bodies, some of which are unnatural and have no business augmenting your form. Why? Why is it that we are unable to accept ourselves for who we are? Why don’t we have enough consciousness to keep ourselves healthy by more natural means? It’s because of the whole concept of instant gratification and self-gratification. I want to be thin, and I want it NOW — it doesn’t work that way. Life doesn’t work that way, or at least it shouldn’t. Still, I think that wouldn’t be enough for some folks.

This reminds me distinctly of something I read about Japanese women getting skinnier and skinner all because of their internal conversation about “the other girl” being skinnier than me. Where is the logic in this? I need to be skinner because SHE is? What about YOU? Couldn’t you be happier without that rampant comparison? I just don’t understand this point of view at all.

Beauty in this framework is exactly like money — you always want more. With all that work, how can anyone see any shred of confidence inside of you? There’s always that doubt, creeping up that this isn’t enough. Only you can say that you are enough in this life, that who you are or what you look like is enough and without artifice.

What really matters though? Will that Botox do you justice at age 55? Will those biceps be rock-hard when you’re 60? Why use or define yourself with artificial criteria? I won’t front; yes, there’s attraction factors to consider. There’s a draw with the visual, especially if you work in certain types of industries. I have a comment about this, but as always, I can only speak for myself, and in that, hope others can hear an alternative perspective.

It’s valuable to take care of yourself, eat healthy things and live a healthy life (mind and body). Those are things that can make you beautiful and make life beautiful. Having confidence without arrogance about how you look shows through beyond the facade, and becomes an intrinsic part of who you are as a human being. Most of the time, what we see out there with beauty is all about the male/female game, who’s hooking up with who and all that. That’s craziness to me. You’ve got to know your value, your allure, your wholeness, what you want… before that conversation even comes up. Beauty is all-encompassing: it is the way you live your life, it is what you think is important in this world, it is how you are with others, being real and not pretentious… and it’s just so terribly simple.

I’m not interested in being with a “hot guy” at this point in my life; it holds no allure. What matters is substance, and I think through substance — compassion, genuineness, love, positiveness, simplicity — everything else will follow. You would WANT to take care of yourself and lead a healthy life. You would BE the best person you could possibly be. You would find someone that could appreciate all of those areas about you, the “good” and the “bad”. And more importantly, you wouldn’t look elsewhere to validate what you already know about yourself.

So don’t let the concept of beauty screw with your head. Don’t let that make you do things that are unnatural and foreign to the one body you have — keep it natural, work it naturally. And for heaven’s sake, don’t let it mess with the good that’s already a part of you. You ARE good enough; you just have to believe it.