When I was younger, I hardly ever felt pretty. I was very cute at times and sometimes I did feel pretty, but mostly I didn’t. I wasn’t ever the prettiest girl. I was never the girl all the boys thought was gorgeous and wanted to date or be with. Of course, in elementary, middle and high school, this is very important to females. Adults also find looks important to different degrees. Society has contributed to the low self-esteem of females (and males for that matter) for as long as anyone can ever remember. I won’t even get into society and how messed up it is with all of its standards because honestly, we’d be here forever and that is like, 10 other different blog posts at least.
As a young human, you realize fairly quickly how society works. Schools are little people society and are, in a lot of ways, exactly how the real adult world works for the majority of us. You always know who the prettiest girl in your grade is. You always know which girl all the boys want to date and which girl all the boys want to be their best friend. You recognize your role in the friendship circle quickly.
“I’m the pretty one.”
“I’m the smart one.”
“I’m the funny one.”
“I’m the strong one.”
“I’m the wing man.”
You fall so easily into your role at such a young age, it can be extremely hard to ever get out. It is possible, but it takes a lot of strength, time and effort.
Thankfully, I was raised to know that looks aren’t everything. I’ve grown to realize looks do matter to a certain degree, but they are certainly not even the tip of the iceberg of who a person is and if they are a good person or not. Looks only matter because society says so, but that still means they matter. You can’t look disheveled and get a job. You will find it hard to get a job with no teeth or dirty clothes. You may get kicked out of stores or restaurants because of how you look or what you are wearing. Looks do matter because they do. If someone is uncomfortable looking at you, it is hard for them to get past that.
The whole reason I was inspired to write this post is because of a portrait I have on the shelf at my house. It is a portrait of me as a young girl. I saw it today and thought, “Man, I am so lucky she saw the beauty in me.”
“She” is Mary Beck. Mary was the secretary at the ballet school my siblings and I attended when we were younger. Since my siblings were older and my mom was super involved making all the costumes and whatnot, I was often left in the waiting room and I would almost always go talk to Mary at her window. Mary was older and I think just a really nice old lady who worked there for fun, but I don’t know for sure. I don’t even remember what we talked about ever, but I remember I really enjoyed talking to her. She was always so kind. She would listen to my stories and drama with my family, ballet or classmates and give genuine, from-the-heart advice. It never included revenge or being spiteful and it always included a lesson to be learned from what I was going through.
One day as Mary and I talked she was doodling. I didn’t even notice her doing it, but as my siblings and mother came out from the back of the studio, she handed me a picture. It was a portrait of my face as she had seen it that day as we talked. Let me tell you, Mary could Draw. It was GooD! It was not how I saw me, nor how I thought anyone else ever had, but I loved it. I loved it enough that I kept it, at some point in my life I framed it, and I still have it on display at my home 30 years later.
At the time, I didn’t realize the significance of the drawing and over the years maybe I even see it differently than before. When I look at it now, I see the innocence and beauty she must have seen in me. I see pure, genuine Love spilled onto a piece of paper by a human with a good heart. How wonderful is it that I was looking in the mirror every day thinking I wasn’t good enough for people and she truly didn’t care if I had blue skin, a tail, and one eye. Mary saw my beauty as a person. I believe that is how Mary saw everyone. I never met a person who didn’t like her and speak highly of her.
Imagine a world in which we all did this. Think how different life would be if we actually took the time to talk to each other before judging one another or before writing someone completely off. I know I’m guilty of instantly judging at times before I talk to a person and I make every effort I can to recognize and stop that so I can get to know a person. We all judge at first sight. I guess what I’m saying is we should all get over ourselves and our instant judgments and learn if people are truly beautiful within.
I’m still by far not the prettiest woman in the world. I may not even rank in the top half, but I no longer care. It’s so easy to get caught up in how you think you look or how you think others think you look. I do it All The Time, but it’s not really worth it. I surround myself with people who do not believe I have to be the most gorgeous on the outside to be worth something.
How I look does not determine the Love in my heart.
How I look does not determine how At Peace I am in my soul.
How I look does not determine the goals I can accomplish or the legacy I will leave when I’m gone.
It’s great to feel like you look good, but how do you actually FEEL???
Give yourself grace.
You are Beautiful.
Look at other’s true self and beauty, not just their outer appearance.
Be a Mary.
MAKE GOOD CHOICES.
~Love & Light, Sarah