July 4, 2014

Redefining Beauty. ~ Kayleigh Miller

love, body image, beauty

There was a great blog post circulating the internet a few days ago questioning sayings like, “Everyone is Beautiful,” or “You’re Beautiful Whether You Know It or Not.”  

The author went on to explain that socially, we have obscured the meaning of the word beautiful—from depicting physical beauty to saying that everyone has meaning, value, purpose, etc.

This can become really perplexing when society is constantly telling you that you have to be more beautiful and that it can be achieved with makeup, weight loss, slimming underwear, hair dye, etc.  

We’re running a hypocrisy, defining “beautiful” as all-inclusive, regardless of appearances, and then turning around and saying, “Everyone’s beautiful, but some people are more beautiful than others.”

So I’m here to tell you, I’m not beautiful, and I’m okay.

I’m not saying that to get your pity vote, or to have you reassure me that I’m beautiful and I don’t see it.

I’m really just a normal looking woman, in an average shaped body, with average facial features.

I have lumpy bits and visible pores, imperfectly shaped eyebrows, and small lips, and no matter what products I use or how much I diet, those things don’t really change.

I don’t fit society’s rapidly narrowing definition of photoshopped beauty, nor will I anytime soon, unless it’s on a screen.

When it comes down to it, there are simply women gifted with more physical beauty than I have, but for our current society, nothing is ever enough. Everyone is constantly striving for a fictional perfection—perfectly thin, perfect skin, perfectly shaped noses and chins…

We’ve created a surgical definition of physical beauty that’s unnatural for most of us.

Celebrities are constantly under scrutiny for weight-loss, for not wearing makeup in public, etc., so how can we (both men and women) believe this whole “everyone is beautiful” campaign?

When celebrities and models, who are often used as defining models of beauty (“wear so and so’s look and be your most beautiful self”) are attacked in the media, how can any of us meet this exclusive criteria?

And the worst part is that society still expects us to be pretty at the end of the day.

If you’re smart and average looking, you’re often ignored because it still comes down to the cursory looks and first impressions.

So let’s just stop using the word “beautiful” as a catch-all phrase for someone’s worth, and let’s agree that our definition of physical beauty is sometimes limiting, creating a standard that no one can achieve.  

Let’s redefine a person’s value with a word that has nothing to do with appearances, and use words that go beyond physical attractiveness.  

We can’t reclaim the word “beauty” any more than we can reclaim our limited definition of beautiful, so let’s just drop it all.

Let’s stop the double standard and use some new words to describe each other.

Rather than spend all of my time trying to reach an impossible double standard, I’d rather be perfectly imperfect, in my own wobbly skin, muscles,and bones, and know that I’m doing just fine.



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Editor Apprentice: Emma Ruffin / Editor: Travis May

Photo: Provided by author


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Kayleigh Miller