I love the juxtaposition of the graphic black & white against the wild and lushness of the tropics. Counting down the days until I see a palm tree again. I’m dreaming in black & white & sunshine.
I came across this post entitled “Are you beautiful? I asked 100 men what ‘physical beauty’ is and the results shocked me” earlier this week and found myself drawn to the title and perhaps this photo of Marilyn Monroe looking incredibly…normal.
I was a bit incredulous as I began to read, but quickly saw that the author, a truly AMAZING young woman named Rozanne, had hit on a nerve with many, many women.
“I’ve travelled around the world and met women from every continent, and every woman I have met– no matter how attractive she is – is battling the same battle and asking the same question: “Am I beautiful?”
I’ve met girls from India who bleach their skin to be lighter. Their mothers tell them: “You will never find a man to marry you if you are too dark.”
I’ve met girls from South Korea who have their eyes made bigger, their jawlines shaved, and bridges put in their noses. The competition to be ‘the most beautiful’ in Korea is so fierce that plastic surgery is a common Sweet 16th gift from parents to their daughters.
I’ve met girls in bathrooms throwing up their food in an attempt to lose weight.
I’ve met women who have had breast implants, butt implants, lypo suction, face lifts, botox, tummy-tucks, knee implants, plastic surgery on their legs, spray tans, and more…
Now, I’m not judging. In fact, these options are very tempting (I even went for a spray tan once… DISASTER) and I understand why we go to these extremes. But because I wanted to get to the bottom of why we feel the need to do this to ourselves, I’ve asked every one of them (and myself):
Them: “Because it (that part of their body) needed to be fixed.”
Me: “Why did it need to be fixed?”
Them: “Because it wasn’t beautiful.”
Me: “Why do you need to feel beautiful?”
Them: “Because I want to feel confident and secure in myself.”
Me: “Why do you need to feel confident and secure?”
Them: “To be happy.”
Me: “How will that make you happy?”
Them: “Because people will like/love me.”
Me: “Which people?”
***(simplified conversation sample)
To be loved.
Loved by a significant other.
So THAT is what our need to be beautiful comes down to: To to be ‘good enough’ for love.
Intrigued, I set out to find out FROM MEN what they consider to be PHYSICALLY beautiful. I asked them informally during conversations, I conducted surveys, and I asked on social media.
I asked single men, married men, young men, old men, straight men, gay men, and men from various religious and cultural backgrounds – from all over the world.
THE RESULTS SHOCKED ME. “
They shocked me as well… I think you should head on over to her blog and finish reading her post (and all her other posts because she’s got some good stuff on there).
Spoiler alert: YOU ARE BEAUTIFUL! No one else gets to define your beauty. You do. What’s more, you’re worthy of love because YOU ARE and not because you look a certain way.
“Beauty is: loving yourself.
It looks like: taking care of yourself.
It has an attitude of: Confidence in your own uniqueness rather than vanity/arrogance.”
So today, I hope that you recognize that you, just as you are, are enough. You are beautiful. You are more than enough. Not just more than enough for someone to fall in love with you but more than enough to tackle the wonderful, amazing, adventurous life that is out in front of you. You’ve got what it takes!
Thank you Rozanne for taking time to highlight an issue that clearly means so much to so many of us. You are truly beautiful inside and out!
“I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly.” John 10:10
Is there anything more intoxicating that holding an armful of fragrant blooms? I love burying my face and letting the scent transport me back to the moments in my childhood when I first experienced the phenomenon. There’s something positively decadent about the experience. It feels too much, too good and just too wonderful to contain.
That moment is what I think of when I read the verse from John listed above. It’s that kind of over the top, too good to believe, abundance that God wants to give us in life. Kind of like burying your face in a fistful of flowers. (Am I the only one who does that?)
I’ve realized though that too often we can settle for a just “good-enough” life. We stop dreaming and opt for ok. “It’s comfortable enough” we tell ourselves. We think “You’re too old, too young, too stuck, too…” and the list of limitations goes on. Before you know it we’re living in a box of our own making. Bordered in by our own lack of imagination and faith. What’s crazy though is sometimes we even have the audacity to look at our lives and blame God for the pieces we feel are missing.
How far from the truth that is! His very goal is for us to live the life of our dreams and then some. He dreams bigger dreams for our lives that we can even imagine. He is a God of abundance.
So as we prepare for Spring and watch the world to burst into bloom, my prayer is that each blossom reminds you of the over-the-top, abundant life that God dreams of for you!
Don’t settle for a solitary dandelion* when there are armfuls of peonies in your future!
*I’m not hating on the dandelions. I think they’re just dandy.
I know the saying goes that Christmas is the most wonderful time of year, but I have to disagree. Valentine’s Day is in fact my most favoritest time of the year. I’m allowed to indulge my love of Pink. People give each other flowers (& chocolate!). Things sparkle just a little bit brighter. We get to celebrate love be it of a significant other, a friend, a family member or in some cases, chocolate. AND it means my birthday is just around the corner. I’m definitely what some would define as an adult now but it doesn’t change the fact that I love birthdays… like a lot.
Anyways, back to Valentine’s day. I know some skeptics will say that this is a holiday created by greeting card companies to get rich. All I know is, if it’s wrong, I don’t want to be right.
If you find yourself a little blue this Valentine’s because maybe you’re not in a relationship or perhaps you haven’t had enough chocolate might I suggest you find a way to make it special for someone else. You’ll be amazed how wonderful YOUR holiday will be when you make it about someone else.
I’m going to share a few fun ways to do that on the blog this week. Stay tuned!
Did I mention, I ❤ Valentine’s Day!?!?!
I love this soft color palette. Who says peach has to be springy. I love it coupled with the cool black & white and gray tones. It’s very peaceful. Life is just peachy!
My life is but a weaving
Between the Lord and me;
I may not choose the colors–
He knows what they should be.
For He can view the pattern
Upon the upper side
While I can see it only
On this, the under side.
Sometimes He weaves in sorrow,
Which seems so strange to me;
But I will trust His judgment
And work on faithfully.
‘Tis He who fills the shuttle,
And He knows what is best;
So I shall weave in earnest,
And leave to Him the rest.
Not ’til the loom is silent
And the shuttles cease to fly
Shall God unroll the canvas
And explain the reason why.
The dark threads are as needed
In the Weaver’s skillful hand
As the threads of gold and silver
In the pattern He has planned.
– as quoted by Corrie Ten Boom