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Beautiful

March 5, 2014

{A link-up sponsored by Avoiding Atrophy}

A few days ago, Christy, Daniel and I were driving over to church to set up an installation we had been working on. In the car, we began discussing the fact that many people find it hard to come up with compliments for themselves; unable to list why they are good and beautiful people. I will be the first to admit, I deflect compliments without a second thought and I knowingly struggle to list traits that I appreciate in myself.

Dwelling on this thought makes me wonder why. What was so instilled in our hearts from a young age that we are unable to detract? Even Lupita (who the world has fallen in love with) struggled with these questions.

As a young woman, living in what is revered as the spotlight city of the world, I am often reminded of the fact that “I’m not that {insert beauty adjective here}.” Pretty, beautiful, skinny, curvy, tall, light-skinned, dark-skinned – all of these words that are thrown around nonchalantly spreading lies among our women. These words that inherently “define beauty.” When you turn it on its head, and we dissect the men that are around us, it becomes more prevalent. They are confident in their looks, careers, personalities. They seem to have it together, to be working towards something. I’m not deeming this truth on all men, but most men in New York City seem to have an air of natural confidence. And perhaps men are just better at justifying their worth than women.

Women were all told that beauty resides on the inside; that true beauty shines through any exterior surface. But getting told that and then living that type of beauty out is challenging. It seems the more technology and social platforms grow, the more our confidence in ourselves diminishes. We are bystanders in the ever-growing industry of fashion, beauty tips, Photoshop and billboards. Each one whispering, “You are not… you are not…”

Blame it on sensitivity, but as women we are built to be sensitive to carry out motherhood. Blame it on insecurity, but this internal conflict can be resolved. Blame it on commercial consumerism, but that is not going anywhere. Blame it on middle school bullies who compare your chest to a flat wall, but children mature.

To all of that I say: embrace yourself. Appreciate your ambition, your soul and your mind. Love the color of your eyes, the dimple on your booty, the stretch marks on your sides, your small chest. Rejoice in your passion, your persistence and your wit. Because each of these small elements of you make up an amazing, beautiful person. One that can change a life of another, or change the world, if you dare. A world where we compliment others – as well as ourselves.

Below are ten compliments I would hand myself, 10 things that make me a good person; a beautiful person. Admittedly, I struggled with this list. But it was worth it — these traits are true and I hold them dear.

+I am kind.

+I have the ability to make others feel comfortable quickly.

+I constantly want to learn about the world, people and cultures around me.

+I am inherently thankful.

+I have a God-fearing, ever-growing faith.

+I am a natural leader.

+I try my best to maintain relationships.

+I am positive.

+I love my hair.

+The fact that I can drive a manual car is pretty awesome.

Now I ask of you to do the same. Link-up with Avoiding Atrophy and the many others to struggle or fly through this list. 10 traits you find beautiful in yourself. If you do not have a blog, we would love to hear your list in the comments below, on Facebook, on Instagram (@christyoshoney, @theshellhammer) or on Twitter (@avoidingatrohpy, @alexshellhammer)! Just use a fun hashtag like “#10things” or “#LikeYourself”.

Because you should. You should love yourself entirely, and listen to Lupita’s generous and kind words.

xo

theshellhammer

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4 Comments leave one →
  1. March 5, 2014 3:18 pm

    “Each one whispering, ‘You are not… you are not…'”

    I just SO value your insight, and I love seeing your beauty sparkle through your writing. What a gift that I get to be your friend.

  2. March 6, 2014 7:23 pm

    Such a great list! And really great insight into why we all think this list is such a difficult task.

  3. March 17, 2014 10:43 am

    Great list! Stopping over from the link-up, and I am love, loving reading everyone’s lists!

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