I was contemplating this New Year, 2016, and a couple of my resolutions and I was pleased to discover none of them had anything to do with beauty. The physical kind.
In the past, I've always had some physical goal. Lose weight. Gain weight (muscle). Learn how to do my makeup. Buy cute clothes that flatter your figure. You get the idea. I'm a die hard fitness geek, I'm a Chegan. A cheating vegan. I like my wardrobe and face creams and curling irons. The truth is, I'm like every woman who has lived with body insecurities most of her life. The silly thing is, I have always been in the best shape of my life the year before. Hahaa....so as I'm getting older, I am learning to appreciate what I have, while I have it, instead of thinking, "Man I wish I was skinnier...." Only to look back and realize, "Wow I was skinny!" Or, "I wish I didn't have these wrinkles!" and then realize a year later, "I'm only getting wrinkly-er!"
I've become a little annoyed with this concept of being ageless. What is wrong with looking 30? 40? 70? What is right with being 50, and simply looking like a plastic version of your 50 year old self instead of a 20 year old you?
I remember what it was like wanting to stay in my prime longer. I remember distinctly when I woke up no longer there. I also remember when it didn't matter.
The way to discover what level you are is to ask yourself this question: How Pretty Did You Feel Today?
A level one will have a response similar to this : I did not feel pretty. I thought about it all day, every time I looked in the mirror. I thought about ways to look prettier, but none of them worked. I went to bed feeling very unpretty.
A level two will have A response similar to this: I felt sort of pretty. I thought about it a couple of times. I felt okay, unless I compared myself to someone else. I changed something about my appearance, and then I felt prettier. I went to bed knowing how to make myself look prettier tomorrow.
A level three will have a response similar to this: I did not think about it once today.
I'm proud to report I am between level two and three, closer to three. I wake up most days and go throughout my day without a care for how "pretty" I am. Not to brag, but I know where I stand on the pretty-0-meter, and frankly I just don't care. If you know me, you know I take great pride in my body by exercising. You also know I make a hobby of fashion, and I dress cutsie and trendy because it makes me happy. But if you've known me for many years, you've probably seen a huge transition in me, from what was once a girl who would not leave the house without makeup, who could not be seen in flats, and who took an hour to get ready, and STILL felt ugly everywhere she went, into a girl who mostly wears yoga pants, looooves her hobby of replacing all those fun heels into flats, rocks the natural curly wavy messy hair on a daily basis, and goes makeup free 90% of the time, and STILL feels confident. Yep, I sometimes go to bed not even wondering at all how pretty I was that day.
Of course, I still believe in being put together. I brush my teeth and find ways to be an attractive spouse, don't get me wrong. However, that large, spacious, superficial hole in my self-esteem has been magnificently reduced over the last two years and I feel SO FREE !!! I love not letting that stupid, stupid pressure from the world to look or be a certain way govern how good I feel. I can feel happy and confident and beauty in being me, just me, the motherly me that I am. Insert a small spiritual bit, cause I do that...I don't think my Heavenly Father and Mother care if I'm a super model (no offense) I've just met so many people the world would call "poor looking" and they were such content people. On the contrary I've met many "blessed looking" people who were wildly unhappy. No part of my divine destiny includes being "pretty" as you may call it. I am no better a daughter of God than any other girl, pretty or not. It will not lessen my value as a mother to be "unpretty" . It is only good for me to learn to give up arrogance and conceit, finding happiness within, and then radiating that confidence in other aspects of my life instead of surface deep attributes. I understand how the Adversary has been working to destroy the happiness of humankind, and train the focus of success and triumph in such artificial appearances.
Disclosure as a conclusion: I in no way mean to offend women by this. We all have different opinions on the matter of beauty and I withhold my judgments. This is a personal endeavor, one that has brought me contentment. I enjoy being pretty in smaller ways, in that I'm happy with who I am, with aging, and with being the best ME. I wish more girls could find contentment with their beauty, in whatever way possible. The world is a different place, with strong women. I think a strong woman is the ultimate super hero. She who is confident and brave can conquer anything. Besides, there are so many talents and heavenly qualities beyond physical prettiness. I envy the woman who thinks not of her looks, is still beautiful, and helps bring other women into this realm. Being absorbed in looks was a weakness of mine for many years and I no longer let it consume me. That is my feat. And it has left plenty of room on my resolutions list for this new, fabulous year!!
My 2016 New Years Resolutions will be posted soon! Share yours with me!