In my book Valentine’s Day is all about celebrating those around you whom you adore. It may be someone who you are romantically involved with, your grandma, parents, neighbor, or friends. I would even go as far to say that, loving others is incredibly fulfilling, but what about loving yourself? Loving, respecting, and caring for yourself makes giving to others that much easier and more empowering.
Recently I watched a very interesting documentary called Selfie by Dove. I found it to be incredibly inspiring and thought-provoking. As a woman, I continue to struggle with what being a beautiful woman truly is. In my teens and twenties I had body image issues like too many young ladies do. I could even confess that those issues like to resurface their ugly faces in my life to date. Many of those issues stemmed from looking at the actresses and models in the public eye and summarizing that I did not measure up. A gap in my front teeth and short stalky legs were a few of the things I liked to hide. In my opinion, there is nothing wrong with a woman or a man slightly concerned with outward appearances. When we get a new hairstyle, lose some extra weight, or sport a new outfit, we can transform into a confident and radiant individual who can possibly project a great energy. However, trying to live up to perfect standards, and deciding who sets those standards is a dangerous road to travel down. Always striving, restricting, adding, and comparing can be exhaustive and consuming. This is not in balance, and to redefine beauty for ourselves and each other, we must take into consideration many more elements than how a person looks on the outside.
What if, for ourselves, we attempt to redefine beauty? When I sat here and tried to think of who out there I think is beautiful, I struggled for a bit. I think there are so many gorgeous models and actresses. But do we, do I, really want my standard to be held to airbrushed photos, private chefs, and people with millions of dollars? This is not real life for most of us, so I needed to ask: What attributes in others are infectious to me?
I am in awe of the athleticism of athletes. To me, their bodies are beautiful. The training, discipline, and commitments that they endure make them beautiful. The passion they have for their sport, their health, and their goals is inspiring and motivating.
When I see my little sister acting as mother, I see beauty. When she is playing silly games and making up songs, cleaning her house during nap time, and sending me selfies all day with her and the kids, she shines. She has it together; not perfect, but together. She looks beautiful standing next to her family.I am often attracted to a woman of strength, a man taking care of his kids, a child speaking truth, or a grandparent owning his or her wrinkles. I love the different shapes, sizes, and colors we all come in. I am drawn to people’s uniqueness. If that is true of me, then why would I be so hard on myself? My gappy teeth? My short legs?
I came to a place in my life where I recognized that I would never look like a Victoria’s Secret Model. (Those long skinny legs are just not in the cards for me!) But I know and recognize that God made me the way He wanted me. Woman. Creative. Energetic. Compassionate. Isn’t that beauty?
I would be lying if I said that I wasn’t concerned with my outward appearance. But when I transition the healthy attitude of being the best me I can be, into being consumed with calories, the right clothes, perfection, and faulty standards (set by whom again?), I easily lose sight of the beauty within. A beauty that is eager to come out.
Just like the short Dove documentary, I encourage you to take a selfie and then think or share something you like about yourself. Something that makes you truly unique and beautiful! Tag me in your post on social media with @habitudefitness #habitudeselfie.