Pretty dresses, lots of jewelry, gorgeous high heels, and when all of these are found in mom’s closet it makes it even better. Little girls love fashion shows. I know I did. From an early age most little girls spend hours dressing up and parading around in sparkly gowns and shoes. What is not to love about the beauty that surrounds these events…honestly there is a lot not to love about it for someone who has struggled with an Eating Disorder and who has struggled with the true idea of beauty…
I was a little over two when I realized that beauty mattered, way too young for a little girl to discover whether she was beautiful or not. I loved watching and participating in fashion shows at an early age and I loved watching beauty pageants. I was a little girl who loved anything to do with pretty dresses, high heels, and sparkles. This girly love wasn’t all together a bad thing, until I let it define and take over me. However, once my quest for beauty began is when I lost it all…
I remember when I first admitted my relationship with Ed someone asked me if I wanted to be skinnier and if I saw myself different than I actually looked in the mirror. I said no that I didn’t and that no I didn’t want to lose weight. I lied and I continued to lie…for a long time. I could admit that I had an Eating Disorder, I could admit that it was about my need for control, I could admit that it was consuming me…but I couldn’t admit that it had anything to do with beauty…but it absolutely did.
For me, one of the hardest parts of moving on from my relationship with Ed was admitting that our relationship had a whole heck of a lot to do with me not seeing myself as beautiful. Of course, Ed enhanced this relationship, he fed off my feelings, he affirmed them and he constantly whispered in my ear how unbeautiful I was.
They were all lies and I know that now but it can still be difficult…and it didn’t just happen overnight and it certainly didn’t happen without a whole lot o work. As a woman, I think I can safely say that I believe all women struggle with the idea of beauty and feeling beautiful and for men I will include handsome too. We live in a society that is rampant with ideas of beauty, false, unattainable, unrealistic standards of beauty.
For years the mirror taunted me…looking in it was torture and every time I heard the words, “You’re beautiful.” it was all I could do not to laugh, because there was no way I could have believed it. It wasn’t until I finally realized and accepted that beauty wasn’t in a made up face, it wasn’t in high fashioned clothes, it wasn’t in a size zero, that it began to sink in. Beauty used to mean a specific size and specific numbers, but it doesn’t anymore.
And the reason it doesn’t matter anymore is because I realized some pretty incredible and important truths. Beauty is in the smiles that spread across faces when we experience joy, beauty is in the laughs that echo from our mouths as we enjoy our lives, beauty is in the eyes that sparkle as dreams come true, beauty is in the grace that we live our lives by.
My worth will never again be determined by my outside appearance, for I am worth far too much for that and so are you. Beauty is measured by the heart and the love and grace we show to others.
All of this sound like too much to swallow? It once did to me too, but now I know that it is completely true. I don’t ever want to live up to the world’s standards of beauty because it only causes, pain, heartache, and a life surrendered to these. I no longer have to have my life dictated by these unreachable standards and neither do you. Because whether you realize it or not, I know it’s true….YOU ARE BEAUTIFUL and my prayer is that you would see and realize this beauty and know that it is lasting….And that you will ALWAYS remember…
YOU are LOVED and YOU are WORTH IT!!