Barred beauty

As a female, I have felt, lifelong, that my worth is primarily based on my physicality. The externality of what is seen. Rather than measure the internality of a good heart, a developed thought, or a quick wit, I am faced with a societal mirror to only judge what I can correct on the outside. Perhaps others may see the worth of my non-physical strengths, but I believe I have been brainwashed to subconsciously value beauty and looks over smarts or intention. I do hold immense and deep value of character in others and strive for it in myself each day, but I have never been able to shake the habit of taking a second-glance at my reflection for purpose of correction.

I have struggled with my appearance all my life — be it with acne, weight, hair, etc. I have rarely tried to change my looks just for fun; there has always been an intention of bettering myself around what I alter externally. However, through university and a strong relationship I have found more rootedness in who I see myself becoming as I grow older. This future-woman is not self-conscious. She is not concerned with a hair being out of place or jeans that don’t fit perfectly. She is instead concerned with the love she gives, developing intelligence, the intentionality she places in each day’s experiences. She is concerned with faith and compassion. The woman I want to be is beautiful because of what she has allowed herself to be on the inside and what she has inspired those around her to be. This will inevitably be radiated through her to impact others in the light-fed way she has grown herself.

We should not concern ourselves with what we are not, but with what we are and can become.

“You can’t rely on how you look to sustain you. What is fundamentally beautiful is compassion for yourself and for those around you. That kind of beauty enflames the heart and enchants the soul.” – Lupita Nyong’o

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