Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Soul Shine

Today's post will put my right back up on my soapbox.
The first thing I saw this morning was this video my sister posted about becoming especially emotional about.
And by darn it, I found myself tearing up, too. (Ok, no surprise there.)
I wrote long ago about being enough. It's been a sensitive topic for a long time for me—false expectations, realistic goals, perceptions of oneself and how it's all comparable. Then, when I watched that little video above on Dove's new campaign, I was reminded yet again that we girls have it tough.
We are, in fact, oftentimes our own worst enemies.

Women are, as a whole, exceptionally hard on ourselves—and incredibly so when it comes to our appearance. While I'm not saying that guys don't deal with similar issues, I'm willing to bet it has a lot more to do with masculinity, of which I can't relate to. The problem here is that we girls are just so feminine. And we have it especially tough because femininity in society is almost directly related to the way we look— which means that when our appearance doesn't add up to what we deem "ideal," we assign ourselves a lesser value.
Which is so dumbWe do we constantly scrutinize our appearance?

I wish my cheekbones were higher, my thighs were thinner, my hair was thicker, my legs were longer, my boobs were bigger, my lips were fuller. —quoted, Ainsley.

What? I am a guilty guilty guilty party in scrutinizing myself, fixing myself, covering up my flaws and hoping no one notices. Seeing a girl with beautiful, full lips and noting how thin mine are. Noticing someone's legs for days and hiding my short ones underneath the table. But I know for a fact I'm not alone. Because, just like in the video, our self-perception today is so skewed by what we deem ideal that we aren't seeing the true beauty assigned to each of us.

Self-improvement is a good thing, when expectations are realistic—I love nothing more than a new self-improvement goal. But I'm realizing now that my efforts of "improving myself" are often because I feel as if I'm not standing tall against the societal definition of beauty, and not because I want to improve on the attributes I was uniquely given. We're each made this way intentionally, and that's how we should think of ourselves. Those "wrinkles" at the corner of my eyes are from laughing, and I am thankful for reasons to laugh. Stop desiring to be thinner and start desiring to be stronger. There is a difference in taking care of yourself (what we should be doing, as a gift to ourself) and wishing to change yourself—the ultimate goal being to improve on and take care of what we have... not wish for something different or change it. And I think changing our mindsets to thinking this way not only makes us more at peace, but more beautiful as well. Because above all else, being good to your soul lights up your face and that's where the true beauty is.
Happy Wednesday, lovely girls.
Daily gratitude: A body that works and soul-sharing.


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