I happened to read a book on beauty and in it were lovely photos of women like Jada Pinkett Smith, Pam Grier, Cameron Diaz, and Salma Hayek to name a few. The thirty or so celebrated women in the book were interviewed. Each was asked to give her definition of beauty. Although the answers varied, there was a common thread. Every woman, considered beautiful in her own way, stated that beauty was a belief, a state of mind. Each said in her own unique voice that beauty, to her, was a kind of knowing that causes a woman to glow.
Many of the women also spoke of the double standard. We often hear that as men age, they look more distinguished. However, as women age, we are bombarded with the idea that we should change. We even receive subliminal messages. They whisper that fine lines and gray hair are unacceptable. It is suggested that we slide under a surgeon’s knife, to correct our ‘flaws.’ In the book though, renowned singer / songwriter Joni Mitchell offered something that caused me to smile. She said that sometimes a surgically altered look nullifies the character in a woman’s face. She said that afterward others can no longer see how the woman has lived, how much she has laughed or cried. I liked that statement the moment I read it!
Don’t get me wrong. I believe to change one’s look is fine—if that is something a woman has chosen to do. However, I do not believe we should be pressured into anything. If your skin is supple, or if it has the capability to be, then why not be grateful? If you like your hair, or lack thereof, then you are already fine. If you are a woman who adds extensions, or wears wigs, weaves, colorful scarves, or hats, for whatever your personal reason, then you could already be fine. Do your brown or other colored eyes serve you, and keep you from walking into walls—even if to do so you must wear contact lenses or glasses? Then you too are most likely fine.
Is your inner woman someone worth knowing? Is she compassionate, or maybe even passionate? Have you taken up a cause? If you believe in something, or if you’re on an eternal quest, is that not something to be proud of? Do you listen well; or maybe you’re the woman who tells fantastic jokes and captivating stories--like me. Maybe you write poetry, or songs, or take fab photos. You might be a momma, a lover -- jilted, or still in. You could be baker, a quilter, a painter, a teacher, a seamstress, a preacher, or even a dreamer… Perhaps you’re the one who figures things out. If you're basically happy with you and if you can achieve then I say you're just fine. If you've done something that you can be proud of, or if you have encouraged someone else to take a leap of faith then you are already fine.
If someone loves you, even if it is only your mother, or your cat or dog; if you can clean up nicely, or not; if you can, or cannot recall a time when you’ve looked hot; if you, my lovely, are any of these things and more, then you are quite possibly already fine. So as Billy Joel's song says, 'Don't go changing...'
Remember, it matters not what others suggest…the choice to enhance or update, to be or not to be is up to you, and you alone, because you are, in my opinion…already super-duper fine.
Until next time, shine brightly my darlings, shine brightly!