Where does beauty begin? Does it start in the genes, or in the womb? Does it begin in the home, as a ritual passed from a mother to a daughter? Or does beauty begin before a mirror, shared in a best friend’s room? Does beauty begin at a tattoo parlor, or in a college dorm? Or does it simply begin . . . in the eyes of the beholder?
All of the above are likely places. However, beauty begins within. Beauty starts in the mind. Wikipedia tells us that although style and fashion change, people’s perception of beauty widely varies. That means each person’s idea of beauty is in the mind, in the psyche. Then beauty can be beheld, or seen, through the eyes. It can be seen by the one to whom it belongs, the one who looks in the mirror, or it can be seen by others.
However, in order for others to see one’s beauty when she believes it is hidden, she must first find it. She can do so by acknowledging it. The beautiful one must mentally embrace her wide nose, her dark skin, her rounded belly, her kinky hair, or her sturdy legs. She must realize that each of these things give character, they make her uniquely her. With that nose, and that skin, or even other things that she may feel are flaws, she is still an original, wonderfully made and fashioned by God. She is incomparable, a beauty. She has only to recognize, and believe this.
Once aware that beauty begins within, there are two things to always remember:
- Beauty starts with the way we think, with what one believes about herself.
- It continues with the way one chooses to feel about herself.
It doesn’t matter what others may have said. Sure, those things were perhaps mean or hurtful, but harmful words one does not have to accept! One can choose to see herself, or himself, any way she or he desires.
Question – have you ever seen someone that you just could not keep your eyes off? Sure, you may have been taught that it’s impolite to stare, but your eyes kept straying back to beautiful. Then you may have wondered, ‘What is it about this person? What makes them look so good? You may have even wondered, ‘What keeps drawing my eye?’
Then on closer inspection, you may have realized . . . the beautiful one was really no more special than you! With shocking clarity, you realized: the eyes, the hands, the lips, or even the hips weren’t all that. Yet all together, the appearance was stunning. Then you may have also realized the biggest thing: the beautiful one’s beauty was ethereal – it was shone from within. That person’s beauty was a light — the very same light that you have! The beautiful one’s light had simply been turned on, by knowledge, the knowledge that beauty begins . . . within.
When turned on, this knowledge, this beauty radiates – from the inside to the outside. When one feels good about themselves, when they shed hurtful words, and negative stereotypes, they can walk with a bounce in their step. They can sway, and sashay. They do so because the damaging words of others no longer mean what they once did. That person realizes that if no one but God cares for them that is more than enough. He sees them as beautiful, and once they start believing it, others will too.
It doesn’t matter whether one makes up their face or not, whether they whiten their teeth or not, whether their hair is natural, relaxed, or hidden beneath hair that they bought; it does not matter whether one has gained weight or lost it, beauty begins within. When one knows this, without a doubt — and when one accepts that beauty comes in all shapes and sizes, then it becomes apparent, in one’s shy smile, or their raucous laughter. One’s beauty then becomes apparent in the way they comb their hair, or shave their head. That beauty will radiate in the way they care for not only themselves, but an ailing parent, a young child, or it will even be seen in the way they flirt.
Real, honest-to-goodness beauty is no gimmick. It doesn’t have to be bought, or sold, because it begins within. It is an extension of self-love, of loving one’s self. Therefore, it doesn’t matter what you once thought or heard. It doesn’t matter what someone in the past said or what they did. Sure, they may have tried to tear you down, but that no longer matters, because you know the truth. Your beauty does not start, or end, with the words, thoughts, or actions of others. Your beauty radiates outward, because it is your light, to shine upon the world, and it begins where? Within.
This is an adaptation from an article that I wrote some years back, while I was the Ethnic Beauty Editor at an online magazine.
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I hope you enjoy it!