Thursday, April 19, 2012

Recapturing Beauty

I, (like many of you, probably?) am obsessed with myself. I try not to say it like that very often, it doesn't taste very great coming out. I tend to try and temper it with a "I'm just trying to take good care of myself"; but, it's the truth, I take it to obsession. I spend way too much time thinking about the 20 pounds I have to get back to my pre-pregnancy weight, if my boobs are going to be super saggy after I finish birthing and feeding subsequent children. Whether my teeth are white enough, my eyelashes long enough, my clothes stylish enough. Did you know, (you didn't) that I prefer to sit in front of a mirror while I talk on the phone so that I can just stare at myself. I know where every wrinkle on my face is, the veins on my legs, and I've almost got ever erstwhile hair named. I'm self absorbed in the worst way. I crave acceptance from the way that I look. There, I said it; and there's a fine line of that accepted by society. It's alright to wear makeup, but how much, with what attitude? No one likes the "tramp", but what if that's really how she felt like looking? It's cool to look vintage geek chic, but the homeless man on the corner doesn't look very cool in his second hand clothes. I can have plastic surgery if its reconstructive, but keep it hush hush if it just makes me feel better about myself? And why should it make me feel better, who made it that way? I know that many of my issues stem from a childhood of looking a little different than most of the girls in my class, and though I was ridiculed, I had a supportive loving family. It didn't matter, I feel that I have/am/was bombarded by magazines, TV, radio, everything commercial, and I am definitely a product of a society that over sexualizes, and over simplifies the issue of beauty, both outer and inner.

Oh yes, inner beauty, the king of kings. You see, though I am self obsessed, I have successfully stripped some of that away, and I don't only think of myself. I also try to think about, help, and encourage others to be the best that they can be, by nurturing, teaching, and gently prodding others(if you know me, you know I'm a prodder, its a god given gift). Those things build my inner beauty day by day. But what is it about hearing "you're so hot sexy!" that's so much more flattering than "you're a nice lady"? I don't know!?!?! I value inner beauty, but I want to be beautiful on the outside too. I know that one of those can grow exponentially upward, while the other will begin to wither, hopefully somewhat gracefully. It's up to  me and you, and every person on this planet to take real beauty back! To feel glorious in the skin we're in, while we continue to build and grow both mind, body, and spirit.

This post obviously over simplifies all of the issues discussed, but it is something that I've thought a lot about for the last five years. And I think more and more women are ready to talk about it. Here is a link to a beautiful series some beautiful women I know from church have been doing :

Woman behind the picture (this is part nine, read them all!)

And on Tuesday, my friend Jacqui, asked me to teach a yoga class for the young women of our church, in my old ward. It was to fulfill the first requirement  for this: Recapturing Beauty , a ten day challenge put out by BYU to help you strengthen your belief in yourself. I think its beautiful, and strong. I'm going to do a post once a week for the next ten weeks to do each one. I'd love to hear some of your experiences if you decide to take the challenge too!


1 comment:

  1. Diddo and I didn't realize how I truly felt about myself till I read this. Thanks for being raw! And you rock Olivia!