Saturday, July 9, 2011

being beautiful does not mean you have beauty

(Yes, I'm a gleek - as of late anyway as a result of the issue last weekend - but I find this bizarrely moving)

Beauty is an interesting word for me as while I feel beautiful I also feel unbeautiful at the same instance.  This possibility made me ponder if there was a difference between being beautiful and having beauty. I've come to the conclusion that there is a distinct difference... and that the latter is actually the better commodity.

If you've ever seen the show "Say Yes to the Dress" (yes, I've watched that too -- thank you Netflix... erm...) you will see women start to cry when they look at themselves in the mirror and say that they finally feel beautiful. I don't really think that the beautiful they're feeling is really what most people think of. I think it's the beauty of what that image of themselves represents. An image of themselves that holds beauty. 

Being beautiful is a manufactured thing. In the literal sense that your genes manufacture the quality - there have been studies showing that the more symmetrical you are the better the responses you receive (mainly from babies). 

It's also manufactured in the sense that we live in a world where we manufacture products to help people achieve what we current advertise as being the most beautiful, the most pretty, the best. We truly have manufactured being beautiful - by turning it into an industry fueled by self loathing - sort of detracting from the beauty of being beautiful.

Having beauty, however, is not something that's manufactured. It is something from within that reflects on the outside. 

Diane Von Furstenberg during an episode of America's Top Model said, "if you're not healthy you lose your beauty"  She wasn't talking about the act of being beautiful (as she also said the model in question was beautiful) rather the beauty you have that shines from within.  The beauty that can be tarnished or diminished when you don't love yourself enough to take care of yourself or are sad. The beauty that can dissipate if you're not a nice person.
The child picking up change on the sidewalk or doing underdogs on the swingset with their friend has beauty. The receptionist at my therapist's office who is funny and also incredibly kind-hearted to me has beauty. My great aunt, wrinkled from age, has an abundance of beauty. They may not be beautiful, but they have beauty... which in my humble opinion is better.

This post was written as a part of the Self-Discovery Word by Word series which was started by Ashley over at Nourishing the Soul -- which is being held this month by Balancing Val, who picked the word Beauty.If you want to participate, you can go check out her post OR just write a post about Beauty and get in contact with her via e-mail with your post, the link, or with any questions!


  1. I've often does one define their own sense of beauty? Yes, I can see huge amounts of beauty in those around me, but how do I decide what in myself is beautiful? Thoughts?

  2. a) this was one of my worst posts ever... sorry, just want to get that off my chest -- I'm calling a redo on Saturday

    b) I think sometimes you have to start out with ONE thing about yourself. ONE thing that you love. Like your kind heart (well, maybe you don't see that...) or the fact that a couple of people love you a lot. Cling to that one thing and start from there

    c) I think if you can find beauty in others, you have to have some in yourself...


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