Monday, January 13, 2014

Beauty Defined

Everyone has their own interpretation and definition of beauty.  To some, it's an outward appearance, often set to impossible or narrowed standards, but to others they see beauty in everything, even within the ugliness of humanity.  For me, I hope to be somewhere in the medium, but find and feel I'm in an uncharted definition, being odd and seeing the world from a different perspective.

I believe we all have our own pair of rose-colored glasses, where our perceptions are skewed and enhanced by our experiences, or lack thereof, combined with an individual spin.  I suspect that even if we all had the exact same experiences, we'd still have different perspectives. Who we are, what we value, how we process, and what drives us twists the kaleidoscope of our perception.  That's why we shouldn't judge each other, yet it's our human nature to apply our combination and understanding on those around us.

So, while I can give you the Webster's dictionary for beauty, I cannot proclaim an absolute interpretation that would fit all of society.  I can only elaborate what beauty is to me.

I consider myself lucky because I see beauty all around me - in nature, in society, in people and in hope.  I mostly see beauty in a smile.  I've never felt inferior to anyone, but there have been times in my life I've felt ugly because I didn't physically live up to the general population's standards.  When I was very heavy I became invisible as a person - it's like people are programmed to ignore what they consider ugly.  Doors stopped being opened to me, smiles and friendly greetings passed me by, I wasn't chosen first in a group, often received sympathetic or apathetic looks and comments, and judgments came more readily.  I didn't start out 'fat and ugly' - in fact, I grew up popular and pretty, very active, very social and very attractive.  I was often the life of a party, a natural leader, and people gravitated toward me, never knowing the ugly horror I had to contend with at home.  It was a hard transition being treated differently because I didn't fit the popular mold of what was considered beautiful.  I also learned when you don't feel beautiful, it is reflected in everything you do.

It took me a long time, I had a lot of internal healing to do, before I learned to love myself and define what beauty is - for me.  I don't care what society deems beautiful - society has no power to dictate to me what I feel or think anymore.  The more I learned to love and care for myself, the less power it had over me, the happier I've become.

Beauty to me is happiness.  Happy moments are beautiful moments whether it's in a moment of intimate touch between lovers or a relaxing walk through the woods.  It's in a kiss, in a laugh, in a smile, in an achievement, in a hug, in a word of encouragement, in a moment of accomplishment, in a joke, in a memory that brings a smile, in a dance, in meeting a goal, in a show of support, or in a gift.  People who share those moments in their lives with me I find absolutely beautiful and their physical appearance makes no difference to me.  People who are happy, who look forward to living life, who see the good (even in a bad situation), who inspired one another, encourage one another, push one another, not afraid to confront the ugliness in their lives, are absolutely beautiful to me.  I'm blessed to know some beautiful people.

Today, I'm beautiful... because I'm happy.  I have a spring in my step, a song on my heart, and a sense of being loved, valued and honored.  It's really easy to make me feel happy - just let me know you love me, care about me, or that I matter - and watch how magically my worries fall off me. My needs are still there, but my fear evaporates in the face of them.  I'm learning to encourage myself more and more everyday and place my rose-colored glasses on my own face.  I still need a little help every now and again, but I'm getting stronger all the time, and I'm noticing doors are once again being opened for me, I am met with pleasant smiles, I'm invited to join in, and I am complimented often on how pretty or beautiful I am.  No, I don't look like a supermodel, and would probably not be considered beautiful by the general population's standards - but it's doesn't matter, because I believe I'm beautiful and that's the only opinion that really matters. 

Watch this video below - because I find the woman in it the ultimate picture of beauty.  Her smile is infectious, her moves are sexy, her joy is desirable and the song's not bad either.  That Old Pair of Jeans by Fat Boy Slim

How do you define beauty?

Till next time,
~T.L. Gray

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