Beauty is more than skin deep

Saturday, August 5, 2017

Beauty is simply being the best possible version of yourself on the inside and out. Or at least this is what I believe. However, society has seemed to have strayed away from the concept of what beauty actually is. So many little girls are dealing and coping with the inability of seeing themselves as beautiful. Regardless of their complexion or whether they be fat, skinny, tall or short, a lot of our little girls are struggling to find themselves and what characteristics define who they are.

Society depicts beauty as having fair skin, long beautiful hair and enhanced physical attributes. Those features are what many little girls are using to compare themselves to. You would be amazed at how many girls do not feel pretty simple because of what they see on television or social media. Forget worrying about what color that they will paint their nails, or the newest hair accessories that they would like to have, we have little girls worrying about the physical appearance at a very early age. I cannot express how sad this makes me.

Coupling the peer pressure(s) of today’s age along with a new school year could present a recipe for disaster. We all know that bullying is real and sometimes children can be very cruel. Although the saying, “Sticks and stones may break my bones, but words will never hurt me” was very true decades ago, that same validity does not remain today because WORDS HURT.

As a child, I was bullied. I was not always this tall and the kids used to pick on me. They called me ugly, bald headed, string bean...the list went on and on. Even though that was their personal opinion of me and they were only being kids; those words still hurt. I remember many days coming home crying to my mother about the things that my classmates would say to me.

Regardless of the pain that those words caused, deep down I knew that I was not the things that those children were saying about me. I knew this because there was constant validation from my mother as a little girl. She always told me that I was beautiful and was made in God’s image, so that is what I believed. As I grew older, I began to realize that me being beautiful had nothing to do with my appearance but everything today with what is instilled within me. In essence, I dictated my own form of beauty.

Because times have changed so much, it is hard to say where “things went wrong” within our era in regards to social standards. Needless to say, it has made an everlasting impression on the mindset of our children simply because they feel that they are not “adding up” to the standard of beauty that today’s society has created.

Going into a new school year, our children are already faced with many adversities. The last thing that a child needs to be thinking about is whether or not they are pretty enough. Life should be much simpler than that. As parents, it is impossible to know about every single obstacle that our children may face in a single day, whether it be school related or simply playing outside. However, I do feel that our little girls need to know that being beautiful is only skin deep.

It is imperative that they understand that beauty comes from within. Beauty is patience, love, kindness and understanding. Beauty is having the mindset of knowing who YOU are in contrast to what others say you are. Beauty is from the HEART. To all of the little princesses within our community, I want you to know how beautiful you are. To the little girl that I encountered in Hays Grocery Store who inspired me to write this column, you are the prettiest little girl in the world and I am so very thankful for being allowed to have crossed your path that day. You guys will be amazed how much a simple compliment can mean to someone.

Parents. Fathers. Mothers. Lift your little girls up. Lift them up so high that the burdens of the world and peer pressure will not be able to bring them down. Teach them that SELF love is the BEST love and as long as they feel beautiful, that is all that matters. Help them to understand that other’s perception of you does not change your perception of you.

In the words of Christina Aguilera, “I am beautiful, no matter what they say...words can’t bring me down. I am beautiful in EVERY SINGLE WAY...yes words can’t bring me down. So, don't you bring me down today.”

I am going to add to it by saying do not let anyone bring you down today, tomorrow, the next day or any day after. Be your own kind of beautiful.