Hello everyone! Welcome back to The Ellie Way. Today we're going to be talking about beauty. I want to share some of my views on beauty, my insecurities, and why I wanted to do this post.
Hopefully, I'll be able to get a few great women on the podcast and do a more in-depth talk on the standards of beauty, but this'll do for now.
In the past couple of weeks, I've heard a few things from several people; "You have beauty to be jealous of!" "You're beautiful so I don't understand what the problem is..." "I bet you can manipulate just about anyone to do your will."
You know what my problem was with all of those comments? Especially that last one? My gosh, do people actually think the more beautiful someone is, the more power they have?
Recently, I was at a photoshoot with a group of people that don't necessarily have the kindest attitude towards me. The photographer, who I've known from previous activities said, "You have beauty to be jealous of." It was a lovely compliment, but then I realized something: vanity is a big weed in this group. And as soon as I realized that, I understood why they had distaste for me. A person who is beautiful from the inside out is threatening to someone who gives the illusion that they are beautiful, but are empty on the inside.
Someone else addressed me being cold towards them, and said "I think you're a beautiful and talented woman so I'm really not sure where that's coming from." Not going to lie, I was pretty upset with this statement. Growing up, I knew that my presence anywhere made a lot of girls feel insecure, but I never knew why. I know that I'm the type of person that definitely come off cold when I'm feeling a bit cranky, and I'm not likely to approach you even if I am in a good mood unless I know you well and I feel safe in your presence. And those people are few and far between in my life.
The comment made me feel as if it didn't matter how I feel around people just because I'm pretty and talented. I was very frustrated, but instead of shutting down and shutting her out, I chose to be vulnerable with her and tell her the truth about me. And guess what? I surprised her. There is power in vulnerability, and vulnerability is beautiful. So I suppose some beauty can be used for power.
Someone else recently told me, "If only I was as beautiful as you, I could have all the boys and men falling at my feet. I bet you can manipulate just about anyone to do your will."
Nothing has ever angered me more than that comment. Let's just say that this particular friend and I could be on better terms. It made me doubt myself, made me think about if I ever used my looks to my advantage. Yeah, maybe at Starbucks a couple of times, but not on purpose (that's a funny story), and I've definitely never used my beauty to manipulate people or to make men and boys fall at my feet.
That would've been on their own choosing.
The fact of the matter is the standards of beauty are only about the outward appearance. I always said that I'd rather marry a sub-par looking nice guy than a handsome jerk. I've been into the sub-par nice guys, and I've been into the handsome jerks. I've also discovered, to my relief, that there are handsome nice guys out there too. Personality, morals, values, and quality matters too.
If I had a choice between one or the other, I'd rather have a life full of quality people than beautiful ones, because quality people are the most attractive. It's almost like the quality of someone highlights the external beauty they have, whether it is subtle or prominent. When I write in a post about them being "a beautiful person," it's usually not focused on their outward beauty, but rather their soul.
Beauty comes from 9 principles, or what I call Fruits of the Spirit: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, & self-control. Whether it is a Christian principle or not, these are all values the world preaches but fail to execute. And in the world I live in, the world of Arts & Entertainment, it is rare to find people with one or more of these qualities.
Recently I've friended many people who are in the movie industry, whether they are actors/actresses, directors, assistant directors, producers, etc. and truly, they are beautiful people, from the inside out. They've changed my perspective on so much, one being that women hated me. I lived with that being "my truth" for so long because I grew up with very few women who made me feel loved, accepted, and truly cherished. I was surrounded by jealous, petty, catty girls and found it hard to connect with women. I found my safe place among my many guy friends. But after meeting this group, I found that my perspective was so wrong.
These people are the true epitome of beauty, and these women have standards of beauty so much higher than that of this world.
Can I be raw and real for a hot sec? I'm so sick and tired of being called beautiful. It may sound totally stuck-up and prideful, but I know I'm beautiful. I know I'm good looking, and I know a lot of guys do a double take on me. I know my body is beautiful and strong and appealing, I know my facial features are stunning. Heck, look at my parents; one very handsome man and one very beautiful woman created one beautiful being: me.
I'm secure with myself, and over the past few months I have learned to love my body for everything it is: stretch marks from rapid muscle growth, scars from bruises, cuts, and burns that won't go away, acne spots all over my face, lips cracking and swollen from not enough water, hair loss from too much stress, callouses on my feet from dancing, rug burns, and blisters. My feet look freaky from the muscles after years of strength. I thought I needed to be skinnier, so I starved myself for a bit and developed an eating disorder subconsciously. It took months for me to be able to think and look at food without wanting to throw up.
I used to think I wouldn't be that girl who would be insecure about her looks even though she knew she was beautiful. I used to think I wouldn't end up having an eating disorder, but it was so easy to allow someone else's opinion of my body aesthetic affect my mindset about how I viewed myself. I remember looking at myself in a leotard and tights and wanting to cry because I felt "fat." I say "fat" because it's a relative term in this situation.
Finally, I'm happy with my body. I'm happy with everything I am because I know I'm not just offering my appearance to people. I'm offering them a safe place, one full of love and peace and patience. I try and make people's day a little better with a tiny act of kindness, even if it is waving at the person to go before you at a stop sig or to let someone over in traffic.
I don't want to be defined by how beautiful I am. I want to be defined by the person I am and will become, and yes, beauty will always be apart of that. But I don't like how the world's standard of beauty has caused outrageous jealous among women... aren't women supposed to be supporting other women? Isn't that what the world preaches? Then why aren't we lifting each other up? Why do we get so insecure when there's a prettier person or a better dressed person that enters the room?
Can we start taking a look at the standards of beauty and start to change them? Instead of feeling totally threatened by one another, maybe you should look at yourself and stop putting unrealistic beauty standards on yourself. Maybe you should work on loving yourself for everything you are, from the inside out. Instead of being nasty to the person next to you because they have learned how to celebrate themselves and be happy and in love with themselves, learn how to celebrate yourself, and in turn learn how to celebrate other people.
People get so easily aggravated by happy people. It's just because they're miserable.
People get so easily envious of beautiful people. It's just because they don't know they're beautiful.
People get so easily angered by people who know how to celebrate. It's just because they've never been celebrated themselves.
These are things I had to teach myself so I could maintain self-control when people came after me for being beautiful, when people have tried to use my looks to hurt me.
People in this world lack validation from other people. People have told me that saying that I'm sick and tired of being called beautiful because of my looks comes off selfish, because there are so many people who wish for that same validation. The reality is though, I don't have my identity in my beauty. As I said in an earlier blogpost, my identity is in God. If I don't have Him then I have nothing, and beauty has nothing to do with that.
You are you because of who you are, not because of what you look like. You could be the prettiest person, but if you don't have a brain, what good are you? Not to be harsh, but go after things that are more important than being beautiful. Get comfortable in your own skin, and discover what being beautiful means to you. Take care of your skin. Take care of your eyes. Take care of your mental health. Take care of your heart. Take care of your physical health.
Know you are loved, and you are always beautiful.
Let's change the standards of beauty to something that matters, to something that will actually make an impact on this world in a beautiful way.
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