Though there are many indomitable forces of woman nature, one of my absolute favorites is beauty.
And ugh, before I write more, I need to stop and give beauty a great, big hug. Poor girl. She catches so much crap.
In our culture, beauty is a wildly confusing concept. Mainstream media’s definition of women make us too skinny, hyper-sexual, with implants and tons of make-up. This caricature is adopted by many young women as the ideal/norm which leads to a pressure filled existence that is vulnerable to self-loathing.
Then, there are the “smart” women who judge the media’s caricature as being superficial, dumb and sexualized. Many “smart” women reject the notion of beauty altogether and devote their lives to being “practical.” I see this all over Seattle. Mega smart women, head to toe in REI.
No matter how hard many women try, we are thousands of years out (though most likely never) from ever being free of this beauty thing. Prior to the last 50 years, our survival for thousands of years was dependent on being attractive.
As we can clearly see in the many outwardly beautiful women who are miserable, physical beauty only takes us so far. Being attractive is a much deeper phenomenon that is deeply rooted in confidence.
Whether or not you actually “are” beautiful is a subjective hellhole, thus, a complete waste of your time. However, feeling beautiful? Feeling beautiful is a potent goldmine of feminine power that is free from mirrors, media and materialism. It is a radiant, glowing, high vibratory hum of sparkling energy that attracts others.
I believe feeling beautiful depends on three simple things:
1) Affirming sisterhood. Back in the day we relied on the reflection in water and the eyes of other women to know how we looked. Even today, we can stare in the mirror all we want, but when your best girlfriend gives you the once over and says, “You look great!” – your cells smile. As important as it is to “validate” yourself, we are communal beings that are dependent on the eyes of others.
2) Sensual pleasure. I am not just talking orgasm (though it definitely counts). Did you ever go swimming in the ocean, skin connected to sun and sand as your body undulates with the force of the current? When you come out of the water you are flushed, relaxed, radiating from your connection to the elements. You could have mascara running down your face, but you will feel beautiful. This is true for anything that pleasures a woman. Giggles with girlfriends, your favorite food, a beautiful outfit, rollerblading on the boardwalk, dancing, art … you name it. When we are turned on by our true passions, our beauty shines. Happiness is the core of true beauty.
3) Beauty is sacred. Beauty is a spiritual force that inspires our connection to the divine. Women are the ambassadors of this truth and this is reflected in the body of every woman. Despite all the forces that encourage us to think differently, the bottom line truth is that you are beautiful (I know, this is difficult news for many). Take a moment to stop comparing and judging yourself and you will see it … it’s always right there. The softness. The curves. The smile. It’s in the DNA of all women.
If you choose to see and celebrate the sacred truth of your beauty, you will naturally adore/adorn yourself as a gesture to the divine. Every morning, I bathe and carefully choose beautiful earrings, maybe a flower for my hair and a little lip gloss. These offerings to the “temple of Dara” ensure that I feel beautiful.
When I feel beautiful, everyone around me enjoys my buzz … and my beauty.
I look forward to a world that not only teaches women the power of their minds but the sacred power of feeling beautiful. Owning both is the future of feminism.
Dara McKinley is a Naropa grad who traded in her thriving Buddhist psychotherapy practice to become a Pleasure Revolutionary. With adoration and truth as her swords, she is a warrior for the healing power of our feminine essence and the rise of emotionally brilliant folks. Find more of her provocative and soul-stirring writing here.