Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Not Alone Series: Beauty

What does authentic beauty mean to you and how can you be better at accepting or believing that you are, in fact, beautiful?

First of all, I want to share this wonderful perspective from a mom. I will definitely be needing that someday!

Now onto the nitty gritties of my personal thoughts.

All morning I thought about this question, and since the point of this series is, I think, to force yourself to be brutally honest so that you can recognize that everyone else has those brutally-honest-but-totally-secret thoughts {run-on sentence points, please}, I'm going to be brutally honest. Whew. 

Authentic beauty encompasses much more than physical beauty. No, this is not a pass or "get out of talking about fore-mentioned brutally honest thoughts" line. I'll come back to the physical beauty right after this rabbit trail. 

Call me morbid, but I've been thinking recently about how after someone passes away, you refer to their physical form as "John Doe's body." The body does not house John Doe anymore; John Doe is more than his physical body. It is his body, but he, the essence of his personhood, is no longer present in the body. Does that make any sense?

I think the same principle applies with beauty. Part of beauty is captured by physical features, but not all of it. Authentic beauty constitutes {including but not limited to} physical attributes, character qualities, and spiritual aspects. Someone can have beautiful eyes, a beautiful listening heart, and a beautiful relationship with Jesus. Authentic beauty is comprised of aspects of humanity, and physicality is a part of that.

That's all very nice, Bek, but let's get physical {not a euphemism!} already.

Alright. My brutally honest thoughts? Physical beauty is something I struggle to own and know. I don't always feel beautiful, meaning that most mornings I get up and look in the mirror...and sigh, because what on earth am I going to do with my hair? and why can't my make-up look as good as {insert anyone here}'s? and good lord I need to whiten my teeth and on and on it goes. Some days I feel good, like when my hair decides to work with me instead of against me, and when make-up brings out the blue in my eyes. Some days it is easier to believe I'm beautiful, and some days are hard. 

That's why the holistic definition of authentic beauty is so appealing sometimes, because it reminds me that beauty is not simply talking about my physical traits. But on the other hand, it can be really discouraging; it feels like a cop-out. "I'm not physically beautiful, but I make some bomb brownies" is not always what I want to hear. 

There are two things that encourage me when I'm feeling bleh. First, I know that God made me and that He did not nor does not call me a mistake. He says I'm beautiful, and that pretty much takes care of that. Secondly, there are other women I see who would not be called drop-dead gorgeous by our culture's standards. But their husbands love them and look at them as if they are Heidi Klum. I look forward to being beautiful to one man, and I know that my eyes and heart and soul will see him as the most handsome man on the earth. 

So there you have it! Hopefully my brutally honest thoughts remind you that you are not alone. I'm grateful to Jen and Morgan for hosting this series {here's the link-up}; this has been really, really amazing to process your questions.


  1. Bek, I really liked how you mentioned the part about beauty after death (it totally wasn't that morbid lol!). That is so true, though, because our beauty is so much more than just our physical body. Thanks for sharing!!!!

    1. Thanks, Joan! Glad it wasn't morbid ;)

  2. Great post, Bek! :) I completely agree that authentic beauty is way more than the way we look... like I said in my post, it's the way we behave. What we say. All of it makes us beautiful. And, so great that you pointed that out about after we die. It's so true! Such a great point to make about beauty being more than just the physical.

    I just rambled on and on. I hope I make sense!

    1. Thank you! I really enjoyed your post - actions are such a big part of beauty, because that's something we have way more control over, vs. how we are limited as to what we can change about our physical form.
      Your ramblings make total sense! Thanks for sharing :)