Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Yes, Everyone Is Beautiful

Twice now I've heard a theory floating around the Internet. Once it was in a friend's Facebook status. Then again, in an article someone wrote.

The theory is that everyone in fact is not beautiful.

We are always telling everyone they are beautiful each in their own way, and now there are other people who seem to be disagreeing with this statement. In the same way not everyone is good at sports or not everyone is good at drawing, therefore, not everyone is beautiful either.

While I understand where people are coming from with this theory, I disagree.

I feel like the idea we're really searching for is beauty is subjective.

First of all, beauty isn't only about outer appearance. It's also about personality, passion, traits, etc. 

I even went to Merriam-Webster.com and it defines beauty as this: "1) the quality of being physically attractive 2) the qualities in a person or a thing that give pleasure to the senses or the mind 3) a beautiful woman." You can look at more of the definition here.

Yes, the first thing we think of when it comes to beauty is outer appearance. But notice how the definition is also about qualities and how it affects your senses and your mind. It's deeper than skin. 

Beauty can be found in the face, body, etc. absolutely. But it is also found in people's minds, thoughts, souls, hearts, talents, and the list can go on an on. According to this definition, if something gives pleasure to the mind, it's beautiful. It includes so much more than what we usually would think of!

We also have to remember that beauty also varies from culture to culture and time period to time period. Yes, the USA Hollywood culture has a certain view of what makes a person beautiful. For girls, stick thin, tan skin, big boobs, perfect hair, etc. For guys, basically if he looks like he lives at the gym Hollywood would probably love him. 

But even then... there are still varying degrees of this. For example: it's no secret I happen to think Darren Criss is amazing. Dare I say it- beautiful.


I mean... just look at him. SIGH. SWOON.

BUT... I have some friends who have told me they don't find him particularly attractive. (I KNOW. I was as shocked as you are!) Especially when he's just being "Darren" vs. "Blaine" in Glee. 

On the other hand, I know of some people who think Theo James (Four from Divergent) is the hottest man to walk the planet.


Then there's me. He's not bad. I don't find him unattractive... but I also don't think he's beautiful. There are other men in Hollywood I happen to find more attractive.

Does this mean Darren is beautiful and Theo isn't? Absolutely not. It just means different people have different tastes and views of what makes someone beautiful. It also doesn't mean people who are attractive don't have days when they don't look so great. 

I mean... let's be honest. We all have SnapChat selfies we aren't proud of. I'm sure even the most "beautiful" people in the world have these. Am I right or am I right?

Then there are different cultures. Yeah, our culture has one view of beauty. But back in Medieval times, if you were overweight and pasty white you were the hot chick because it meant you were wealthy and were able to have food without the hard labor. 

In some cultures, long necks, big feet (or tiny feet depending on where you are), or extended lower lips is beautiful and attractive.



Here in the USA? Not so much.

Does that mean these people aren't beautiful? Nope. It just means we see it differently than other people and they see it differently than we do. And that's okay.

It's because beauty is subjective. You know, that whole phrase we've all heard: "Beauty is in the eye of the beholder." We all have different definitions of beauty. 

Seeing things this way, couldn't you argue that everyone is beautiful to someone? In theory, if we were to get every single person in the same gigantic room and everyone got to see each other, do you really think there would be a person whom absolutely NO ONE in the world found beautiful? I'd bet not. 

Everyone is beautiful - even if they aren't all beautiful to the same person.

I think there also can be varying degrees of beauty. If you look at flowers for one thing, maybe there is one flower which is more beautiful than another simply because it had more sunlight or better nourishment or something. Both flowers are beautiful, but one simply might be slightly higher on the scale. So, yes, the painful truth is there are more people who tend to flock to a certain type of beauty. Like in high school how all of the guys seem to like the same sort of girls. (Or so it appears.) 

But even this is subjective. Some people think roses are the most beautiful flowers, while someone else prefers lilies. Neither is right or wrong - because it's subjective. So, just because you don't have the same amount of admirers of your beauty as other people, it doesn't mean you aren't beautiful at all.

On top of all of this - we are all made by the same creator. 


For you formed my inward part; you knitted me together in my mother's womb. I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made. Wonderful are your works; my soul knows it very well. 
Psalm 139:13-14

The argument could be made that "wonderfully" and "beautifully" made are two different things. However, in this instance I disagree. God made you beautiful in your own way even if not everyone views it the same way.

I know not everyone shares this view about faith and how we are made and created, and that's fine. But honestly, this is how I see it. God made you, and therefore, you are beautiful. 

I also feel like when we talk about how everyone isn't beautiful and shouldn't strive to be, it almost makes me feel as though it's wrong for us to want to be beautiful. When it's not. 

What's so wrong with being good looking or wanting someone to think you are beautiful? What's wrong with wanting to look good? For a long time I felt as though wanting to dress nicely and wear makeup and do my hair were shallow things, so I didn't except for special occasions. But you know what? I also didn't think myself as beautiful. I didn't think I was ugly or anything like that - but I also didn't think I was particularly beautiful either.

Then as I got older, I started to see the good qualities in my looks. I liked my hair. My eyes. My skin (sometimes). My sister encouraged me to wear makeup on a more regular basis. I started to do my hair. I finally learned to how to pick out clothes for myself which looked good. I began to feel beautiful, so I treated myself this way.

And people noticed. I've noticed in recent years, people are more willing to give me compliments on how I look than they used to be. Once, a mom I worked with at the church told me I was always a very pretty girl, but something had changed in me and I looked really beautiful. I was speechless but also flattered. 

Yeah, I have a lot of great qualities with my personality, talents, etc. But it's okay to add beauty to that list. No, it shouldn't consume our lives and chase after it as though it's the most important thing in the world. It's not. I would rather spend my time with someone who is kind and funny and creative and intelligent who might not be particularly attractive (which, again, is subjective, so who knows what that means) than someone who looks like a supermodel and is a jerk.

I'm not saying I'm gorgeous or the most beautiful person ever. I'm not. But wanting to be beautiful isn't a bad thing. 

And yes, you, YES YOU, are beautiful too. 

12 comments:

  1. What a beautiful post and I agree. Looks are subjective but there is more than just physical appearance that makes someone beautiful.

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    1. There's so much more! And beauty is a wide range. It doesn't have to fit into one person's particular box.

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  2. I love this post - and it's so true! Being beautiful is composed of so much more than just if you're having a good hair day or not. You are beautiful! :)

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    1. Thanks so much! You're beautiful too!

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  3. Now, this writing is true to you. I love it on SO many levels! It's content is beautiful, it's style is easy and fun yet pointed, and it reflects the insight and awesomeness that is YOU! You are beautiful! Always have been but I am glad you are finally seeing it!!! Miss you, Sweet-N-Low!

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    1. Thank you so much Julie! I miss you too!

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  4. This was really well stated. Totally agree that when people say not everyone is beautiful, they are most likely looking at a very small definition of beauty. Once when having a conversation with my church group, I mentioned that I can't understand atheism because I don't know how people look at something like the ocean, or a mountain range, or a baby and not believe in *something.* One of the girls busted out laughing because she thought it was hilarious that I saw God in a baby. But I totally do- babies are beautiful & new & full of hope...in MY eyes anyway.

    I feel like once we find beauty in ourselves- whether our physical appearance, our sense of humor, our passion for XYZ, the confidence & happiness that creates internally radiates toward others and then they are more apt to think of us as beautiful. For a long time I shared similar thoughts about my appearance- like it was wrong or pointless since a) I would never look like a model, & b) shouldn't I care about more than that? But when it becomes more about self-respect & self-expression than fitting a certain mold, it's fun & a positive experience!

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  5. Excellent post!!! I couldn't agree with you more on this topic. I really like the way you presented the idea of beauty and all the ways you explored it. This post was worth waiting for!! Awesome!!

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  6. Yes!! I completely agree with you! Again, I feel like it goes back to the old adage, "Beauty is in the eye of the beholder." I feel like saying, how dare whoever wrote that on the internet say not everyone is beautiful!!! I am a teacher, and I would never want them to think I do not think they are beautiful--for their passions, strength, kindness, etc. My students are from all over the world, and I also agree that everyone has different views of beauty, but I also love to get my students to see that they are beautiful in so many ways that have nothing to do with the way they look. I agree with your explanation of the definition and I totally disagree with whatever is going around the internet! Love this post! Love your writing! You go, Lady! <3 Holly

    http://findingmyeverydayhappy.blogspot.com

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    1. Thank you so much! I used to work as a youth minister, and I totally hear ya. Every single one of the teenagers I worked with were beautiful each in their own way because of not just their looks, but their hearts and gifts and talents.

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  7. I can say that I agree 100% with the fact that everyone, or rather almost everyone, is beautiful. (I can't say everyone when I realize there are some truly evil people in the world. I just can't.) Beauty IS so much more than appearance! <3 Lovely post, Emmy.

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