Friday, July 5, 2013

5 minutes: beautiful


When I was in elementary school, I wanted to be beautiful.  I didn't want red hair that the kids made fun of.  I wanted to be blond because all the blond girls had friends.  I didn't want to have to wear bifocal glasses and have to keep correcting the kids who called me four-eyes by telling them that technically, it was six.  I didn't want to have to wear clothes my mom sewed for me because they covered the braces on my legs.  I wanted to be able to wear pretty dresses.  I didn't want to have to wear ugly brown orthopedic shoes.  I wanted to wear heels and pretty sandals.  I wanted to be beautiful.

When I was in middle school, I wanted to be beautiful.  I had contact lenses, and got to wear jeans and dresses and pretty shoes and tennis shoes ... but I didn't want to have braces on my teeth.  I didn't want that family birthmark on my knee that the one and only day I wore a dress in three years ... someone made fun of it.  I wanted to be beautiful.

When I was in high school, I wanted to be beautiful.  I wanted to be skinny, I wanted big boobs and a flat stomach forever. I didn't want to have to hide when I dressed out for phys ed or feel self conscious about my body.  I didn't want to be freckled, I wanted to tan instead of always burning bright red and peeling like a snake later.  I wanted to be beautiful.

I wanted to be beautiful.  I thought that beauty was all people saw when they looked at each other and when you weren't beautiful, no one saw you.  I wanted to be visible, not invisible.  I wanted to be seen and heard, not ignored.  I wanted to be beautiful.

Then one day I realized that beauty isn't just what you see, it is what you are.  It is how you act, how you live, how you talk, how you listen, how you touch, how you feel.  Beauty is in the soul and has nothing to do with whether or not you have clear skin or freckles or straight legs or crooked ones.  It isn't in how straight your teeth are, or the color of your hair, or whether or not you have four eyes or six.  Beauty isn't in whether or not you fit into a size 0 or a size 20.  Beauty is something that can't be photographed, or measured, or bought in a store.

Beauty is who you are when you are alone, it is who you are in a crowded room, it is who you are when you are crying or laughing.  Beauty is every beat of your heart and every breath you take and every wrinkle around your eyes.  Beauty is every white hair on my head now, it is that birthmark on my knee and the funny toe that never touches the ground.

I am beautiful because I am.
Five Minute Friday


  1. You write wonderfully. I can relate to always wanting to be beautiful, but never really achieving outward beauty - at least not in the eyes of the world. It's such an encouragement to know that beauty comes from the inside. I wish we could teach everyone, all the girls and boys, men and women, that true beauty comes from the inside.

    1. I wish people could see each other as always beautiful. This week I watched a 7 year old girl who couldn't weigh more than 50lbs soaking wet become upset when she overheard some other girls singing some song lyrics that included the words "You're so phat" and she thought they were calling her fat. She was crying and devastated. How sad that a 7 year old girl's self-esteem is already tied up in her physical appearance...

  2. Lovely post. Sadly while I KNOW you are right - I still find it hard to believe. And would very much like to be beautiful. And artistic.

  3. I love this post. Wish I had this knowledge many years ago, when I was the skinny flat chested dark skinned italian girl with the big nose :-) .

  4. it's such a... freeing thing to realize that being created by God, a perfect God, being his child makes you beautiful in and out.
    I hope and pray that my girls will learn this truth early on.
    Thank you for visiting my blog I'm finally commenting surgery went well :)