Seeing Your Own Beauty

What if the reflection in the mirror is a stranger to you? That image smiling back is not how you see yourself. I’ve been struggling lately with this.

Sometimes we get so critical of ourselves that we can’t see our true beauty.

At our last team photo shoot, I was lucky enough to have my hair and makeup done professionally. I had picked up a new shirt and I was feeling pretty confident for the first time in a while. When I saw the finished headshot I was incredibly disappointed. NOT AT ALL with our photographer (he was amazing!!) but with myself. I instantly saw all my biggest insecurities captured in one image — the extra weight I’ve failed to lose since my son was born, particularly in my arms, chest and torso. I was crushed. How can I feel one way about myself and think I look a certain way, but then come face to face with the photo evidence that proves those feelings to be far from the truth?

Photo Credit: Christopher Hyler Photography

A friend left this comment on my picture, the picture I was so disappointed in…

I keep coming back to this one thinking, ‘I wonder if Alexa has any idea how stunning she is.’ So I needed to say it.

How do you even respond to something like that, especially when you have been looking at the exact same photo and have been feeling the exact opposite? I took some time to really study the picture. I looked past my imperfections and insecurities and I saw ME. Not just the physical representation of me but me as a whole package.

Beauty is more than a number on a scale or the size of your waist. It’s more than the brand of makeup you use or how you wear your hair. Beauty isn’t superficial. We get so caught up in the physical manifestation of beauty. There isn’t just one thing that makes you beautiful. While our society is very focused on physical beauty, to me, that only is a small portion of what being beautiful actually means.

What do you do to help others?

Are you lifting them up, even when you may be struggling yourself? That is beautiful.

Are you taking the time to get to know someone new, making them feel important and loved? That is beautiful.

Are you kind? That is beautiful.

Do you go out of your way to help others? That is beautiful.

Do you take pride in your community and do your best to make it a safe place for all. That is beautiful.

In a world where images are thrown at us from every angle, telling us we need to look a certain way to be beautiful, we need to pull together the strength to stand up against these idealistic expectations and fight back. As parents, we need to teach our children there are many different ways to be beautiful. So that one day, maybe, we won’t have people who feel bad about themselves because they can’t live up to these expectations. Children who won’t be bullied because they look different than the other kids. We can teach them that they are strong enough to pave the way to make everyone feel beautiful, no matter how they look on the outside.

The change needs to start somewhere; don’t we owe it to our children to be that change?

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