You Are Beautiful

We live in an age where the image others hold of us is more important than the image we hold of ourselves. We have been conditioned to seek the approval of our peers — and to fear their judgment — when in truth we ought to first believe in our own self-worth. We are taught to love ourselves, and yet, for some baffling reason, we are trained to count our opinions last and care most about the color of other people’s thoughts.

There is nothing in this age more poisoned than the concept of beauty. Beauty has been lowered to a mere level of conformity, a means of being “in” with the crowd. We forgo individuality, and thereby abandon ourselves.

“Beauty, as defined by society at large, seemed to be only about who was best at looking like everyone else,” said Lucy Grealy, author of Autobiography of a Face.

I have found this to be true during my childhood. More than that, I found that it hurt. Such is the price we pay for believing two contradictory things at once — that we are worthy, and that others’ opinions determine our worth. But beauty transcends the irrelevant clacking of tongues — which is all that the opinions of others amount to, in the end.

“Beautiful things of any kind are beautiful in themselves and sufficient in themselves. Praise is extraneous. The object of praise remains what it was — no better and no worse.” ~ Markus Aurelius

What we must realize, then, is that beauty stands alone. It does not need the approval of others. That you and I, no matter what others say, are what we are, and that nothing they say can change that. For truly, in the end, our beauty does not rely on validation. Beauty is not weak. Beauty stands alone.

“Does anything genuinely beautiful need supplementing? No more than justice does — or truth, or kindness, or humility. Are any of those improved by being praised? Or damaged by contempt? Is an emerald suddenly flawed if no one admires it?” ~ Markus Aurelius

Are flowers, hidden in a distant valley, any less beautiful than the ones sprouting in our gardens? Absolutely not. So, too, with the beauty of the heart, the mind, the soul — and you. Beauty is yours, no matter what is said or not said, regardless of who’s noticing. Your beauty is sufficient in itself. It is strong, perfect, wondrous and unique, without any need to be proved.

You are beautiful.

Believe nothing less.