Why Is It Hard to Talk About Our Own Beauty?
“beauty” is a strange concept. when i goggled it, the first definition said “a combination of qualities, such as shape, color, or form, that pleases the aesthetic sense, especially the sight.” beauty is, of course, in the eye of the beholder but why do we behold ourselves so differently than others?
why is it hard to talk about our own beauty in the same way we talk about the beautiful people around us and in our lives?
last week, i participated in a video blog all around beauty, both external and internal.
one of the questions was “what makes you feel beautiful” and another “what is your favorite physical thing about yourself?”
as i was preparing to answer these questions, i felt myself get more self-conscious in regards to my looks. now these aren’t questions that we probably answer every day but i think it’s important to think about them. i actually used to have incredibly low self-esteem and even lower self-confidence. these things contributed to my unhappy life and also made me feel like i had to stay in an unhealthy relationship for three years too long.
thankfully through therapy, finding my truer self (still in process and probably always will be) and a remarkable partner to share my life with, these have gotten better for me. i do still feel self-conscious at times but nothing like i used to feel to the point of literally hiding away.
as i watched the other videos, i was surprised to see that almost all of the other women got super uncomfortable when they answered these same questions in particular. most everyone was able to easily identify traits and characteristics of others that they found beautiful quickly but not for themselves.
why is it that we are so much more comfortable and confident lifting others up but not ourselves? don’t get me wrong, i think it’s absolutely necessary and we could use more encouragement of other women but don’t we count too? shouldn’t we be extending that same grace and kindness and encouragement to ourselves from ourselves?
why do we get uncomfortable talking about our own beauty? don’t you find it inspiring and attractive when you see others completely owning who they are? are we afraid that if we say we’ve got amazing legs, a pretty face or killer boobs that people won’t like us? they will see us as conceited or full of ourselves? i don’t think acknowledging parts of ourselves that we find beautiful to be narcissistic, in fact, i think most of us need to do more of it.
when i get hyper critical of the stretch marks or cellulite on my thighs (because it’s been there since 8th grade and isn’t going anywhere soon), i give myself a reality check. those legs of mine can walk up stairs without pain, they can sit criss-cross applesauce and they can run, even when it’s uncomfortable. not every body can do those things so it’s less about the aesthetics and more about functioning. these legs of mine are freaking gorgeous because they allow me freedom and movement. stretch marks have nothing to do with that.
as i said in my video, i used to burn the crap out of my curly hair to force it straight. that’s how the ‘pretty girls’ had their hair at school. that’s what shown in magazines and on TV. straight, glossy hair seemed like that’s what i needed in order to feel beautiful. it’s only been in the last few years that i’ve started getting more comfortable with embracing these curls of mine. let me tell you, it’s so much more enjoyable than seeing my hair break off or freak out when it went back to waves by the end of the day.
of course i’m not saying you should stop doing your hair however you feel best, rather that we all stop and consider why it is we feel or act a certain way about our bodies.
want to try something radical? stand completely naked* in front of a mirror for a solid 3 minutes and just look at yourself. maybe you already do this and maybe you never have but i can bet it will stir up some feelings of both discomfort and amazement. when you have the house or bathroom to yourself, check yourself out. for every negative thought you feel about a part on your body, add two positives about it.
you are alive and you are beautiful. it’s true so believe it.
what are you thoughts on why it is hard to talk about our own beauty but less so for others?