NotBlueAtAll

I'm just a fat gal with a blog and an opinion. Well, lots of opinions.

Look? Feel? Think? Beautiful?

October7

First, please go read this: http://www.fatshionista.com/cms/index.php?option=com_mojo&Itemid=69&p=272#more-272

It is such an intelligently written look at what feeling  or being beautiful really means. The following is an exerpt that truly touched me:

“You do not have to be beautiful. It’s not your responsibility to be beautiful, for yourself or for anyone else, not for your family or your partner or your friends or some stranger on the street who finds your face unpleasant (and let’s be real here–the most beautiful woman you can imagine will occasionally have folks thinking she looks busted). “Beautiful” is a loaded concept, encumbered with implications far beyond the dictionary definition. It’s a vehicle on which we can put our deeper worries, our fears that we’re not good enough, our insecurities, our sadness. It’s easier to say “I feel beautiful!” than it is to say “I feel confident!” “Beautiful” is a feeling that’s okay for a woman to express; often, “confidence” is not. But that’s a conflation of two discrete concepts. When we use it in this way, “beautiful” becomes a code word we use when we can’t get at our deeper feelings, or at least when we can’t express them in a culturally-acceptable way. Feeling beautiful is often about nothing so much as feeling accepted, loved, appreciated, respected, and feeling those things about oneself from the inside, as well as feeling them as they are expressed by other people.

When my husband asks if I feel beautiful, I have to say no; because I never feel beautiful; because I am not a beautiful girl. I am rather a woman who knows where she stands, who feels comfortable and confident in her own skin, and yet who struggles daily with living in a world that tells her repeatedly that she shouldn’t feel this way, that she has no right to feel this way.

Our beauty, or our feelings of beauty, are often feelings we guard as ferociously as we would a priceless treasure. Probably because for many of us this feeling comes all too rarely. But if I might interrogate our assumptions for a moment: what do we really mean when we talk about feeling beautiful? We mean that we feel good about ourselves, don’t we. We mean that we feel happy and confident and alive, and the fact that this combination of feelings is so rare and so magical and so intoxicating that we have to call it “beauty” just breaks my heart.

That feeling is beautiful. But you don’t have to be beautiful, to feel it.”

I cannot agree more. I remember seeing the classic Woody Allen film “Annie Hall” a few years ago for the first time and thinking it was such a pleasure to see a woman dress outside of the norm yet still seem comfortable and confident in her own skin. I have often struggled with the concept of beauty. I am constantly in a tug of war with what women are supposed to look like and what I look like. Or how I dress or wear makeup. And then I realized a couple of years ago that you just can’t pigeon hole yourself that way! It’s awful. You are a human being! You’re a multi-facetted individual! While my many likes and dislikes often influence my appearance, they do not define me/you as a person. I choose to wear earrings and orange sneakers, but those don’t necessarily make me any more of less beautiful. It’s an abstract!

Gender roles be damned, I like to wear makeup sometimes, but then I go through huge dry spells where I just cannot be bothered with it!  I like to bake, but I also love to talk cars! And you know what? All of this is a part of me, but isn’t me in my entirety! I think if more people (not just women) embraced this way of thinking, that we are all different because of what we do and how we proceed through, then we would all have less stress in our lives!

What do you think?

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