I still find this annoying. I still feel enraged by what I see as media-driven insecurity that makes women undermine their real power. Women tend to focus way too much on the value they add by being appealing to the eye. Women still feel that their worth diminishes in direct proportion to their age.
I had this entrenched from a young age. I come from a family of strong and powerful women. My aunt used to change the details in the books she read her boys at night. She’d swap the words so that instead of reading about the “beautiful” princess, she’d speak to them of the “talented” or “clever” or ‘courageous” princess. How brilliant is that?
Teaching her boys from a young age that women are worthy, that woman have more to bring to the table than the simple value of looking good.
What’s interesting, however, is that no matter how hard I fight the principle and try and convince myself that looks don’t matter, I realize that it’s something entrenched in all woman: we all want to feel beautiful.
I have a friend who never made any effort with her appearance. She expressed confidence in what she had to offer and simply didn’t believe that “dressing up” would add anything to her life, or her potential suitors. I always admired her ability to buck the norm.
It was interesting then to observe how she changed when she found love. She suddenly started wearing (small!) heels, and adorning herself with a bit of make-up and jewellery. She didn’t become someone she wasn’t and she didn’t get swept up with perfection.
She just started valuing herself enough to take better care of herself. When she met someone who helped her see her own worth, she stepped into her femininity, and that’s what made her feel beautiful.
Looking perfect is trying to be something you’re not. It’s speaks to insecurity and control: trying to change something that cannot be changed, trying to reverse the ageing process, trying to lose the 4 kg that really aren’t going to make you a happier, fuller, more satisfied person. Looking perfect is an illusion and the mask that hides a much deeper feeling of “less than”.
Feeling beautiful is soft. It’s feminine. It’s a radiance that comes from feeling good in your own skin. Feeling beautiful is about respecting yourself to do the things that nourish you. It’s about taking care of yourself at every level. It’s about being fully in your body whatever your age or size, and confidently owning the power of your Queenhood.
Feeling beautiful has nothing to do with how you actually look. It doesn’t matter if someone compliments you on you hair, your skin or your clothes (the familiar “you look great?” “Huh? But I feel crap!”) Feeling beautiful is about how you feel in your body. And that’s related to the care and attention you put into caring for yourself.
By Jessica Uys, Guest Blogger for the BodyMind Institute
Jessica is a BodyTalk Practitioner and Wellness Coach who helps women part with perfection and find freedom in letting go so they can create space for a life they love. She’s big on self-care, self-kindness and small, gentle changes that empower you to get to the root of what you really want and desire. Jessica is smart, funny and daringly honest. Her clients value her empathy and insight, her ability to see things from a different perspective, and her practical and straightforward approach. www.jessicauys.com/
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