“i want to apologize to all the women i have called beautiful
before i’ve called them intelligent or brave
i am sorry i made it sound as though
something as simple as what you’re born with
is all you have to be proud of
when you have broken mountains with your wit
from now on i will say things like
you are resilient, or you are extraordinary
not because i don’t think you’re beautiful
but because i need you to know
you are more than that”
~ Rupi Kaur
Beautify Me. It’s Woman’s Day.
It’s Women’s Day!
And as women, don’t we all want to be, and look, beautiful?
Oh yes…being called and acknowledged as beautiful is one of the sweetest compliments a woman can get; we go through whatever lengths we need to make ourselves look beautiful and prevent aging signs.
We can get fake tans, hair, lips, boobs, booty, even nails if we want to.
We want to enhance our beauty. We install beauty apps to edit our pictures and we learn to pose in a way that makes us look…beautiful. We want to show the world how just how beautiful we are.
It’s quite an interesting paradox, as we don’t trust our own natural beauty but we want our men to find us beautiful just the way we are. To love us at our best and our worst, with no make-up, wake-up breath, hair down, and even looking pale and white as bleach.
So in a way, are we teaching our men to value us for our beauty? What exactly are we teaching them? Are we the first ones to see ourselves as beautiful objects? Are we the ones evaluating ourselves by how good we look?
Because that’s the first priority, and it’s how we want to be perceived. It’s how we want to present ourselves, as a validation of who we are, as a sense of self-pride.
We are submitting ourselves to other people’s judgement of our beauty. Where’s our judgement of our own beauty? And why this incessant need to judge ourselves through our beauty? Why this endless need of judgement at all, rather than acceptance?
The paradox goes on.
For a woman, beautiful is such a complex and subtle word. It reflects on the outside how we feel on the inside. So why do we need to “create” that beauty? Why don’t we expose the reality of who we are? Why is it so easy to strip our bodies but not our souls?
Do we actually believe in the true meaning of beauty? What is the true meaning of beauty?
Ultimately, it’s whatever it means to you.
For a man (and this is only my vision), beautiful is just another word. Mostly, it’s about how we look. And however, whenever they call us beautiful, we melt like ice under warm water.
So, whose responsibility is it to fall in love with someone simply because they find you beautiful?
Where’s the rest of us? Where’s the beauty of us—as a whole? Where’s the beauty of who we are?
And who we are in the summary of our whole lives—our values, the challenges we’ve been through, the courage it took to resolve them within ourselves, and the courage it took to build ourselves into the women we are! And it still takes that courage to be ourselves, as we are, every day.
Where in this equation is our brain and the way we think? The way we see the world, the way we intervene in the world—in our world?
Are we teaching our men to see us under that light? The light of the strong, determined, intelligent, creative woman we are? And also the light of the fragile, delicate, sensitive, sweet human we are? It’s all part of such a multilayered human, in the shape of a woman!
As men are also much more than handsome. When we call them beautiful, we usually mean they’re beautiful from the inside out (I think I speak for most women, hopefully). They, too, are complex souls who should be acknowledged and valued by us.
But as women, for us, it’s quite an innate and normal process to want to know everything about our man, including his deepest secrets and feelings, and the way he sees the world. We want to understand his world. We want the deep end of his mind, even if we can’t swim.
I wouldn’t necessarily say the opposite is true, as it seems many men can go from one superficial relationship to another—as longs as we’re beautiful and provide the basics, all is well.
I guess for some women, that’s true too—it all depends on how we see ourselves first.
So, beautiful is a lovely word that keeps us going. But not enough to portray how much more there is to explore and see. How much more to understand, or try at least, as often there will be inhabited corners of a human’s mind. So much more to be part of. And to be proud of.
And that’s the quest that makes it worth it. That’s the journey a woman is worthy of.
That’s the journey you need to find yourself worthy of.
So, please understand, beautiful is indeed a beautiful word. But far, far, from enough.