I don’t qualify as beautiful. I’m over twenty pounds overweight (though, who on EARTH created those “your weight should be” charts? They obviously don’t like pie or donuts or… food.).
I have acne. On the bad days, it looks like a beard, down both cheeks.
Despite being a cosmetology student, I cannot apply makeup well. I spent hours the other day doing and redoing my model’s smoky eye—honestly, is it supposed to be that hard?). That means I can’t cover up said acne.
I wear glasses. I have braces (for more than four years now—don’t ask), but not only that, I also have a bad overbite. Which means, instead of having this:
I have this:
Why yes, that makes both eating and speaking difficult. Thank you for asking.
At this point, you’re either blanching at all these obvious pictures of teeth (courtesy of Pinterest), or you’re thinking, “Come on, girl, suck it up. It ain’t that bad.”
Yeah. I could talk for hours here about how painful it is to spend more than twenty minutes to get two stinking pieces of rubber smaller than you pinky fingernail to stretch between two pieces of nearly-invisible metal, only so they can chain your mouth shut and give you pain.
I can talk about how annoying and embarrassing it is to have to pull these things out in a public restaurant. I can talk about no sooner brushing your teeth and putting those things in before being informed that your favorite dessert is done.
I can also go back to my earlier comments and talk about how embarrassing it is to have a bra twice the size of any of your younger siblings, or not to be able to share clothing with your sisters because yours are all “too fat”.
I can talk about how annoying it is to work with glasses and one of those health-face mask things, because you can either breathe or see, and not both.
By the world’s standards, me being beautiful is, well, laughable. Teenage girls these days are taught that beauty is this right here (also courtesy of Pinterest):
Yes, yes, I know, there’s some push for plus-size models and actresses right now, but I believe the main standard most girls see these days are like these actresses above.
I googled “beauty quotes” just now, and guess what I came up with?
A girl should be two things, CLASSY and FABULOUS. – Coco Chanel
Just have fun. Smile. And keep putting on lipstick.
Inner beauty is great but a little mascara never hurts.
Beauty is power; a smile is its sword.
So, if I’m not “classy” or “fabulous” by the world’s standards, then I’m not beautiful? If I don’t wear lipstick, I’m not beautiful?
Admittedly, there were some quotes in there that I can agree with.
No beauty shines brighter than that of a good heart.
Beauty is being the best version of yourself on the inside and out.
Be yourself because an original is worth more than a copy.
A beautiful thing is never perfect.
Here are some particular quotes about beauty that have kept me in good stead many times. When I have been worried about not measuring up to the world’s standard of beauty, when I have fought the urge to dress in more revealing clothing or draw attention to my body:
Favour is deceitful, and beauty is vain: but a woman that feareth the LORD, she shall be praised. –Proverbs 31:30
I will praise thee; for I am fearfully and wonderfully made: marvelous are thy works; and that my soul knoweth right well. –Psalm 139:4
He hath made everything beautiful in his time: also he hath set the world in their heat, so that no man can find out the work that God maketh from the beginning to the end. –Ecclesiastes 3:11
But the LORD said unto Samuel, Look not on his countenance, or on the height of his stature; because I have refused him: for the LORD seeth not as man seeth; for man looketh on the outward appearance, but the LORD looketh on the heart. –1 Samuel 16:7
Now, isn’t that nice? The braces, the terrible makeup, the bra size… they don’t matter in God’s eyes.
I know, I know. God’s not here, at least not here-here. He’s not the one standing on the side of the street, rating the girls that walk by. He’s not the one wanting to borrow your pants or going bra shopping with you.
But, in the end, who’s going to be around longer? The people that judge you, or God?
You may not believe in God the way I do, but let me tell you this:
Your neighbor’s not going to be there forever.
Your family’s not going to be there forever.
For Pete’s sake, your boyfriend may not be there forever.
Style changes. Fashions come and go.
What’s not going to change? Your inner beauty. Your confidence. Don’t be afraid to step out and just be you. You don’t have to be a skinny, dewy-faced seventeen year old that fits into leggings and halter tops and looks good in the color green.
Writers: You don’t have to write paranormal romance with a sex scene every other chapter. You don’t have to include a pairing in every other story you write.
Someday, this “necessity” for a sex scene in every novel will die out. Someday this “strong female characters must wear boob armor” trope will die out.
And when it does, I’ll still be here writing.
Stop basing your worth on other people’s opinions, and start thinking long-term. Your body’s going to sag and get wrinkles, but your soul’s still gonna be there.
Now, what are you going to do about it?