Today I was home sick and decided to spend the entire day watching documentaries. While normally I love watching/reading/listening to thoughts on body image, I found myself thinking, “who cares if you’re not beautiful?”
As someone who used to significantly value my physical appearance, I was slightly taken aback by this thought. For I used to spend countless hours in the gym (almost three hours every day) and spend hours and hours gazing in the mirror convincing myself that not only I think I am beautiful, but the rest of the world does as well. I always overdressed for every occasion waiting to scoop up all of the compliments from who ever was willing to give them to me wherever I went.
Not only did I value a beautiful exterior for myself, but I believed everyone else needed to hear how beautiful they were as well. I thought everyone needed that validation of outward beauty.
Today, those thoughts and actions seem so… silly.
When thinking of the personal traits and strengths within myself.. my outward beauty does not even cross my mind. I value my intelligence, wit, silly sense of humor.. my giving nature, the love that I have for everyone around me, the relationship that I have for my higher power.
If someone today, told me that I am beautiful, it would be nice. But it certainly would not raise the levels of which I value myself.
I know that what makes me valuable is not anything physical. What defines that value is the way that I treat myself and others, my spirit, and my mind.
Worrying about outward appearances now seems so much like judging the food in the fridge by what Tupperware container it resides in. I wouldn’t ever say “Look at that plastic wear! It may be old and have wrinkles from the microwave, but it is still beautiful!” I would immediately disregard how the container appears and look at its inner contents. The same way I look at humans, I don’t care how you look. I want to know who you are.
Whether we are aesthetically beautiful or ugly, it does not matter. We do not have to try to be anything but healthy. For I don’t want a lover or friend to think that my worth is derived from my appearance… I want person in my life that sees who I am as a human with thoughts, ideas, and emotions.
I cant ever expect the entire world to suddenly realize that it doesn’t matter, and if that does happen it certainly wont be overnight. But what I can do, is go out of my way every day to give someone a compliment, not on how they look, but comment on the innovative ways of thinking, or their positive leadership, or their viewpoints on scenarios, their funny jokes, or the kind actions they have taken.
Maybe if we all start talking about and affirming who a person is rather than how they look that day, our world will finally start to change.