I read an interesting series of articles in the Huffington Post called "What I know About Beauty". A select group of 5 women wrote their perspective of beauty, each at a different stage in their life. Someone in her 20's. 30's. 40's. 50's. 60's. (I'm hoping they continue, with writers in their 70's, 80's, and 90's+)
It struck a chord with me...reading each one, I felt that I related to all of them on different levels. Most poignant to me were the posts from those over 30 years old. I have to be honest...I think women don't understand the concept of true beauty until they're past a certain age. And as I get older, I feel more and more beautiful every day.
I don't think of my beauty as a physical one...it's one that I hope is much deeper than that. It is an amazing feeling to be very comfortable in my own skin. Yes, I have a bit more skin. Yes, I have a little more body to love. But what I think is truly beautiful is the fact that my body has a purpose. That I take care of it, that it functions well, and it PROVIDES beauty...to those around me. My hands lessen the work of others. My smile helps comfort those who need it. My ears ensure that others feel like they're being heard. My eyes show how much I care and love those around me.
A former acquaintance of my husband has decided (out of the blue...we only hear from him when he has something to sell) to pander anti-wrinkle cream to me. At first, I thought he was reaching out to us out of friendship...as it was my husband's birthday. But I quickly realized two minutes into the conversation that he thought we'd be ideal candidates for his anti-aging product because we were reaching a "certain age". That we must want an "anti-wrinkle cream to stay beautiful" (his words, not mine).
I'm not sure exactly why I was so offended by this. Maybe it's the relentless stalking from someone so shallow and vain. (I still receive gawd-awful articles about wrinkles from him...it's been almost a year now! STOP!). Maybe because I feel so vibrant, optimistic and "young" in spirit, that I think...no, I KNOW my appearance reflects how I feel. That even implying that someone has wrinkles and should "fix" it implies that all those wonderful experiences should be erased and replaced with the superficial notion of what beauty is.
Maybe it's because I used to work in an industry that worshipped beauty that is so contrived, and deep down, I resented that because in reality, what is so much more beautiful than expensive cosmetic-created glowing skin is the knowledge behind it. That what I find so extremely beautiful and sexy is confidence and knowledge. That the extra lines around the mouth represent years of smiling. The extra lines around the eyes represents the world...because it has seen it. Life experiences.
Now don't get me wrong...I love to dress up, put on makeup and do my hair...but it is a form of expressing how I FEEL. Not trying to pretend I'm someone that I am not. Well, no matter what the reason is...I embrace how I look. And no nagging, offensive reminder that I need to be "fixed" will change that.
What is your definition of beauty?