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Thursday, November 18, 2010

Beauty Through A Mirror

The face in my mirror has changed a lot over the years, and I'll be honest, a lot of days I get rather pissy about it.  I'm hardly 17 anymore, and my face shows that.  I've got some wrinkles, got a LOT of grey, and some extra weight hanging around too, but there is one thing that I've got now that I didn't have then.  

I'm content with who I am and for the most part with what I look like.

I got to wondering when that happened.  I remember being this skinny, awkward, shy teenager and I don't really remember the in-between.  Was it when I got married?  When I had a child?  When I discovered that I didn't have to work at a job where I was harassed?  Maybe when I realized that from time to time, cute young guys still look my way when I'm out and about?  

Self image has been talked about so much that I think we forget what it is.  The media talks about "self-image" but they SHOW us the same old pictures we've always seen.  The perfect, beautiful, tall, skinny people.  I know they're out there, but really?  How many of those people do you see walking around the mall or the grocery store.  How many individuals do you see on a day to day basis that make you stop and go "WOW".

Is it possible that even the words self and image have begun to characterize a certain look?  I was watching "Burn Notice" last night and I actually said aloud that I wish I could be as thin as Fiona.  My husband looked at me like I was crazy.  But why not?  I'd never have to worry about what to wear, whether my little muffin tops were peeking out of my jeans or if my boobs were trying to escape confinement.  I guess I realized then though that I don't desire to be that skinny because other people would like me, or find me attractive, but because......well my jeans would be easier to move around in.

If I ever were that skinny though?  I know I'd hate it.  Suddenly I'd go from worrying about a muffin top to worrying about keeping my pants up at all.  Try putting a pair of Levi's on a pencil and see if they stay up why don't you?

Anyway, my 18 year old daughter pipes in and says skinny isn't in anymore.  Guys like chubby.  Maybe I should wonder if she thinks I'd want to be skinny for the wrong reasons.  Hmph.  Hadn't thought of that, I'll have to talk to her about that.  I think though?  Guys have always preferred a little fluff on a woman.  Sure they have different preferences, but generally speaking, I'll go out on a limb with that.

Why is it then that a woman's body is a continual issue for her?  Is it a rule of the universe that we can't hope to be comfortable in our own skin until we're old enough to realize that there are other more important aspects of who we are?  Does the man of our dreams care if we're carrying an extra ten or twenty pounds if we can have an intelligent discussion with him about things other than makeup and shoes?

I'm lucky in that my husband tells me regularly how beautiful I am.  Of course, I add on the "to him" at the end, because well, beauty is in the eye of the beholder.  I'm not Yoda by any means, but I've given up on aging gracefully.  I've got a sledgehammer to fight it every step of the way.

The point to this little tirade though is this.  We find beauty in trees and flowers, in sunsets and animals all the time.  Is it so hard to find that same beauty in our mirror?  To look past what we conceive to be perfect to what is perfectly us?  Some of the most beautiful women in the world are far from perfect, but they've got that "something" that calls to us.  That "something" that makes them appealing.  Same for men.  There's a certain charisma that makes you beautiful and part of that charisma is confidence.  Some people might call it vanity, but I think vanity is something different.  I don't want to "hear" how beautiful you are, I want you to show me. Show me in the way you see the world, the way you see yourself in your own mirror.  Like love, charisma is that thing that is shown much better than told.  

Look in your own mirror and really pay attention.  Forget the wrinkles or zits, the stray eyebrow hair, the nose you got from your father, look into your own eyes and find the beauty that's been there all along, and then?  Share it with the world in the way you walk out the door and go about your day.


DocKev said...

Oooh. Maybe I'm starting to actually get through ;) But then again.... I read that "to him" part. Not nice. Very well written, and an open and honest post. Good work!

DawnZhang said...

Love it! As beautiful as always!

Kate said...

I LOVE this post Donna. It's so real and genuine. That's exactly why I have a sticky note on my mirror that says 'You are Beautiful".. what I didn't take a picture of is I came home the next day and Charlie added on..."you really are!". That made me so happy and I felt like the most beautiful person in the world for that moment. Donna, you are beautiful you have what sounds to be like a fabulous and caring husband! You are REAL and being REAL is such a beautiful, no GORGEOUS characteristic that others have not found yet. I'm so happy you chose this post. I just learned SO much more about you my bestie blog buddy!!


djpr said...

Thank you hon! This is one of my passions, I used to talk about inner beauty and self confidence to the girls in our youth group all the time, it's awful that so many of them have no idea how beautiful they are because they're comparing themselves to photoshopped images and surreal examples of celebrity beauty.

So glad you enjoyed, it took me a while, but as soon as I saw this post, I knew this was the one I wanted to use! Thanks for the interesting take on the hop, I'm so looking forward to it!

Mommy said...

I am beginning to get grey hairs trying to peek out, my skin is not as young, flawless and vibrant looking anymore, my boobs have been sucked dry of milk and now are def not where they use to be, I have "battle scars" left by my daughter, the list could go on. But surprisingly I have to say that I have never felt so self confidant as I do now. I am finally comfortable in my own skin and I think having a child has helped me feel this way. I am proud of myself for losing all my extra baby weight but not only that. I just don't think it matters as much to me anymore. Once again great post! :)

Tania from

Suertemom said...

Yes, I do think that media has to start accepting and appreciating the real mommy beauty and stop showing us those "perfect" bodies and defining beauty differently which makes us really "guilty" about ourselves. I truly enjoyed reading this. Thanks! I'm your newest follower.

Steph said...

I love this post! Following you from Hug & Love Thursday Hop!

Eelynn @ Babies said...

"I wish I could be as thin as Fiona..."

1. Cut down meat consumption. Eat more vege and fruits (avoid those with high sugar content though)
2. Exercise 30 min 3 times a week.

After 3 months, you will lose some weight, have better skin and look gorgeous. Most importantly, you will stay healthy.

Eelynn @

djpr said...

@Mommy - Good for you! I'm the same way, I'm not sure when it happened, but I usually don't mind not being "perfect". I am who I am, and it's made me realize that if I'm content with that, others will be too, and if they aren't they're not the kind of people who matter to me!

@Suertmom - I agree wholeheartedly! It's a shame that with as much as women have on their plates, they have to overcome what some stuff ad campaign tells them is perfect too!

@Steph - Thanks and welcome! Hope you'll enjoy the blog and I'll for sure come visit you too!

@Eelynn - All in all? I'm happy with myself, I love love love meat, enough that I don't mind a few extra pounds from it! I still eat a ton of veggies though so it's all good. Thanks for the tips though, have a great day!

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