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!
Hey girl! Hey!
So maybe you already made (& ate) yesterday’s cake. If you’re still looking for ways to make this weekend extra special I’ve got some great ideas for you. Like I mentioned yesterday, it’s easy this time of year to get caught up in what you don’t have (i.e. Ryan Gosling) BUT I’m convinced that taking the focus off of yourself and instead giving back is the most sure fire way to ensure that you have the…
Here are two fun ways that you can do just that.
FIRST, if you’ve been around here for longer than 2 minutes you know that I ❤ the A21 Campaign. They’re an amazing organization committed to fighting the total travesty that is human trafficking. Here are a few shocking and sobering statistics on the matter. If you’re anything like me, when you read those numbers you’re overcome with the need to do something…anything. A21 launched a campaign called #LOVEGIVES that will help you do just that.
They’ve made it easy for you to not only support a survivor of human trafficking financially BUT they’ve enabled you to send valentines and words of encouragement to these amazing women as they rebuild their lives. You can check out their website here for the easy steps. Awesome sauce.
SECONDLY, another great way to give back and support the A21 Campaign while getting your dance on is to join me and the rest of the Piccadilly Creative team this Friday night for a like, totally AWESOME, 80s dance party. We’ve joined together with another local DC events company, JBC Events, to throw “I Wanna Dance With Somebody: An 80s Valentine’s Day Party” starting at 9:30pm this Friday night at Malmaison. Tickets are $10 per person and a portion of the proceeds from the night will go to the A21 Campaign.
Pretty cool huh?
We’ve got some rad styling going on. You can follow Piccadilly on instagram for a behind-the-scene sneak peek, but you’ll have to come on Friday to see everything we’ve got going on. You can buy your tickets here!
See you on the dance floor!
Ah the new year! So fresh with possibilities and newness. Is it just me or does the air smell different on January 1? There’s so much possibility in each breath. It’s amazing how in one stroke of the clock I become convinced that I can leap small buildings in a single step and suddenly love leafy greens with a burning passion. Somewhere in about that second week of January, however, that burning love affair with broccoli starts to wane. I don’t know about you, but right about now, I start getting hit with two little words.
They barrage my subconscious until I’m pretty much ready to call it a day and curl up with my favorite blanket, a box of wine (swirly straw sold separately) and every Netflix marathon ever made. All my wonderfully laid plans start to unravel. I realize that I’m still me with all my hang ups, insecurities and inadequacies AND I’m still not a fan of broccoli.
It’s not a fun revelation. The temptation to crawl back under the covers and go back to la la land indefinitely is almost too much to bear. Here’s the thing though, even in the midst of my finest sulks, there’s this pesky little verse that I learned as a child that keeps coming back to me. Gah!
“I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me!” – Philippians 4:13
Thanks to Mr. Donut Man I will never be able to forget this verse. Follow this link for a trip into my childhood. You’re welcome!
While there may be any number of things that you (and I) feel inadequate to tackle, the truth is you were never intended to face them on your own. The key in that verse is the “through Christ” part. When you invite him into your life He actually takes you up on the offer. He moves in and starts helping you tackle even the hardest obstacles. Why you might ask? Because He’s God and He’s cool like that.
So in the midst of all my spectacular spirals over the years, God has shown me a few things that have helped change my can’t into a can.
Here’s 5 quick (please note I didn’t say EASY) steps:
1. Take a personal survey
Ask yourself, “What am I listening to?”. Is the voice that tells you that you can’t louder than the voice that says you can? Are you spending more time thinking about the negative what ifs instead of the positive what ifs? I’m not talking about living in a dream world, but I’m talking about facts. It’s been proven that what you think about over and over effects what you become. In Hebrews 4, we have the example of Abraham who they say recognized (HE RECOGNIZED SON) that his body was as good as dead BUT (I like big BUTS and I cannot lie) He believed that HE who had promised is faithful. He believed that he would have a son at like bazillion years old. Spoiler alert: He got one!
So all I’m saying here is make sure you’re feeding the voice that says you can. Spend time with the one who put the dream in your heart to begin with. He’s got a plan to unfold it too.
Want to hear more about this point? Check out this great message, entitled ‘The Struggle is Real” from one of my pastors.
2. Set realistic goals
Awesome, so you’re telling me you already set AND broke all your New Year’s Resolutions. Well done you! You’re not alone. Here’s a thought, how about you go set some more. I wrote a post about setting SMART goals last year and it still applies. Make sure the goals you set are Specific, Measurable, Assignable, Realistic, Time-related. Here’s the kicker though, DO IT ON A TUESDAY AFTERNOON. Don’t wait until the new year or even a Monday. Do it now!
3. Take Baby Steps
Recognize and celebrate the little wins. Baby steps are still steps. You don’t have to be perfect. In fact, there’s no way you will be. You were born human. You will die human. You are not perfect. The end.
4. Make Friends
This relates to point numero uno, surround yourself with people who say (and believe) that you can. Give those people air time. Your time is valuable. Don’t give people time who fill your space with negativity. Even if they’re not telling you that you can’t, if all they do is talk negatively, I want you to take two simple steps. Step one: Slam the door. Step two: Yell “BYE FELICIA!” Done and done.
5. Take a break (DANCE PARTY!)
Lastly, give yourself a break. Figuratively AND literally. Close the laptop. Put away the checkbook. Get off the elliptical. Take a break. Preferably a DANCE PARTY break. Dust off your best dance moves and go to town. Whether you realize it or not, you are actually doing it. You’re pursuing that dream. You’re kicking those goals in the face, baby step by baby step. That deserves to be celebrated.
Might I suggest this song? Miss Iggy and the God of the entire universe agree on this point…
IMPOSSIBLE IS NOTHING!
What a year. Phew! 2014 was quite a year here on the blog AND in real life. According to WordPress, this little old blog had about 23,000 views in 2014. Say whaaaaat?!?! I guess it’s safe to say that more than just my mom is reading this site now. Actually, if the good folks at WordPress aren’t playing a joke on me we’ve had readers from approximately 110 countries. How cool is that??!? If you were one (or 1,000) of those views.
THANK YOU. GRACIAS. MERCI. DANKE. ANKTHAY OUYAY.
I thought I’d take a moment to remember a few of my favorite memories from the last year.
This year included whirlwind travel with one of my besties to one of my favorite cities, London. Truly impactful trips to both the Hague and Bosnia – Herzegovina. I got my first (and most likely only…let’s be honest, it’s a lot of commitment) tattoo. I was in my first (and hopefully only) car accident and subsequently had my first ride in an ambulance. I discovered the music of Sam Smith and have had him on repeat ever since.
I finished my goal of blogging 5x a week for a year in June and detailed that wild ride with this post. I continued some favorite blog series, including StyleLove, #YouSparkle and Girl Talk and even started a few new ones including Doing the Work and Junk in the Trunk. A few of my favorite posts from over the last year are the following…
A big moment this year was the re-launching of the Piccadilly brand and website and the building of the coolest team around. On top of that we hosted our first Happy Hour and met some of the coolest people ever! We’ve spent a lot of time planning and are thrilled for what’s in store in 2015.
Thank you for coming along on this crazy ride with me. Thanks for caring enough to stick around. My hope has always been that this site would be a place where you can daily come for encouragement and a good dose of sparkle.
Here’s to an AWESOME 2015!
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