Esselle (esselle) wrote,

A rare... Public Entry... On Beauty:

While on vacation this past weekend, I took in all the various magazines in the airport, searching for one that might lend some brief entertainment in the interim between arriving and boarding. I took in the images staring at me, smiling at me, until they began to blur, and I realized just how alike all the pictures were. I thought about my own image in the mirror, how the face I saw smiling back at me, crying out to me, laughing right at me, was nothing like the ones I looked at on the page.

America is very obsessed with homogenization, with everyone being the same, assimilated into a melting pot of goo, losing our individuality and special features until we match the images on the screen, on the page, in the news. So many times I have looked in the mirror, wishing I looked more like the pictures on the page, that my nose weren't so defined, that my neckline were moreso, that my eyes were a more interesting color than plain brown. It's a neverending quest to be beautiful, and we become so obsessed with looking like someone else that we lose sight of our own, unique beauty.

I thought about those magazines, long after I had finished my prosciutto, parmesan and fig sandwich quasi-fresh from the vendor, wondering what it would look like if I were to take pictures of me and my closest friends, and lined them up on magazines along with all the others. There would be a completely new type of beauty displayed on those stands.

I do not wish to discount the beauty of those on magazines, only to say that our own obsession with them drives us to forget our own beauty, to ignore it, to attempt to blend in and lose what is unique about us. I am a woman with curves. I have a defined, Jewish nose. My neckline is lacking, but my fiance looks at me and thinks I'm beautiful. He sees me, and says there is no other woman in the world for him. And, sometimes, I look in the mirror and see that woman he sees, the woman who is beautiful, who shines despite the fact that she doesn't match the magazines.

In this country, and in so many others, beauty is no longer about individual beauty, but is centered around the chosen few who fit a particular mold. Most women don't fit into that body type, that facial structure, those features. Each woman holds her own, unique beauty that needs to be acknowledged as such. We, as women, should not let our beauty be measured as a comparison against the women the general media refers to as "beautiful." That's not what life is about, that's not what beauty is about. God gave me a unique frame, a unique face, and unique talents all my own. That is beautiful.

We do not all have to be the same to find acceptance and beauty. That's the beautiful thing, but it's also a difficult thing to grasp. When we're young, Disney shows us the ideal of beauty. As we age, soap operas and evening dramas show us the perfect girls, the women men are supposed to desire and adore because they are beautiful. We starve ourselves, cut into our skin, pull out what we don't like to mold a new frame... and for what? To look like everyone else? To lose the beauty we were born with? To lose those unique quirks that make up our faces, our physical attributes?

We are beautiful. We are. We are so absolutely beautiful right as we are. We don't have to match the world's view of "beauty" to be beautiful. Remember that the next time you find yourself staring in the mirror, contemplating your reflection, mentally replacing your features with someone else's. You are beautiful.
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