Women, Society Doesn’t Want You To Uncover Your True Beauty

As a woman, you’re probably aware of the pressure to conform to the idealized feminine expectations that you must be “Nice, thin, modest, and use all available resource for appearance.”[1]

You also know how to use these standards against your fellow women, just as they are used against you by your girlfriends, to keep you locked in that prison of idealized perfection, forever oscillating between the neurotic poles of “too pretty” and “not pretty enough.”

You know that it’s in businesses’ best interests to keep you focused on the beauty that is only one-sixteenth of an inch deep, skipping neurotically from cream to powder to product, driven by the need for retail salvation, because if you gain inner peace, they’ll lose money.

You know all this. But do you know how to discover your true beauty, your deepest gift? Do you know how to surrender?

Cultural norms tell us we need to fight, not surrender. In fact, surrender sounds like the opposite of what you should be doing. There’s a patriarchy to pull down, injustice to be fought! Fight the cheating husband, fight the deadbeat dad! Fight the evil corporations, fight the corrupt governments! We must never give up, we must finish the fight!

Except if we keep striving to finish all the fights, I’m afraid the fight itself will finish us.

The battle itself is making us ugly. The hatred in our veins is making us old. Our defensiveness is wearing us out. We are winning battles and losing the war. The war metaphors are slaying us slowly.

The battle of the sexes is a mostly American invention, and our warring is scarring the world. We are exporting our gender battles alongside our blue jeans and our sad diets, and this is not making our world more peaceful or happy.

True security lies in our ability to become undefended. If I am defended, I am attacked. That’s the “battlefield” reality of our age. That’s where our peace lies, and the beauty that comes from it.

Violence is the nature of the sick human being. It’s not male or female. The human being who wants to be well rejects violence. Ghandi and Martin Luther King and Jesus showed us that much. Can we learn by their example?

If you want to live a life full of peace and beauty, surrender. Stop fighting. Stop fighting men, stop fighting your mother, stop fighting yourself. Forgive and be at peace.

Surrender is not submission. I’m not asking you to give up your identity, your hopes or your dreams. I’m telling you that the forceful anger that has been such a potent and heady fuel for so long is just about exhausted.

It’s not good for you, and it’s not good for us. It’s time for us to do better, and that better we are capable of comes from our surrender to the peace we can generate within.

This has nothing to do with the marriage or sexual orientation or the nuclear family. This has everything to do with our co-creative power when we find the courage to knit ourselves together in peace.

This is the beauty that goes deeper than the skin. This is the peace that no product can produce. This is the freedom that society doesn’t want you to have.

The beauty from a surrendered woman persists. It doesn’t require some alien, otherworldly Supermodel standard of beauty. It is universally pleasing, omni-radiant, and always-on.

It follows her through the ages and becomes grander with each passing decade. It contains the wisdom of a lifetime, and a maturity that shines stronger than the most potent anti-aging cream.

This is the beauty of the Matriarch, the wise woman elder of the village, the transcendent Mother who is revered above all. This is the beauty that is passed down by example. It is remembered.

Society wants you keep scrabbling to use all available resources for your appearance, so you will be weak, and not trust yourself.

Society doesn’t want you to trust yourself, and it especially doesn’t want you to trust other women, and it really doesn’t want you to trust men.

Society doesn’t want you to discover your true beauty. But that’s the reason that it’s high time you did.

[1] Development of Conformity to Feminine Norms Inventory, Mahalik, Morray, et all (2005)

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Originally published at FG.