I remember praying for God to make me beautiful. Even at a young age, I knew that beauty wielded a magic-like power that made it easier to walk in this world. I promised to God that if he made me beautiful, I would only use my powers for good. I would not take advantage of the nearly hypnotic effects that beauty could possess. I would not deceive others, I would not use anyone for gain, and I would not be cruel to people who were not as aesthetically gifted.
In our culture, beautiful people are often followed and revered – not for any amazing talent, depth of intellect, or hard earned skill. They are idolized merely for having the good fortune of being pleasant to look at! Beautiful people have this amazing platform to be able to reach so many people, to lead a good cause, and to make real change in this world. Research will show that attractive people are more likely to make more money, be more intelligent, and are more likable than their hideous counterparts. Why? One of the theories is because attractive people smile more as a result of being smiled AT! They smile more, therefore; they are viewed in a positive light and are more likely to receive raises, promotions, and job offers.
And I knew this, even as a small child. When I was little, people would often make fun of my nose, and children can be exceedingly cruel. Even now, in my 40’s, I physically cringe as a defense mechanism, as if my body is attempting to shield my feelings from verbal assault. In my 20’s I learned to develop a strong confidence by employing the strategy, “Fake It Til You Make It”. It worked. My close friends and colleagues admit that they never knew I had such a deep rooted lack of self-esteem. And yet, there it is. As plain as the nose on my face.
I hated it so much. Despite all the good things about myself, there was a dark part of me that wished to be someone else. I felt like my life choices might have been different, the way I allowed others to treat me, certainly my opportunities in life would have been (if we are following the research indicated above). I suppose I could have had a nose job. I contemplated it enough throughout my life, but I just could not justify the cost. And then I had kids. Daughters.
And here is where I really learned the most about myself. I loved these kids. I looked at them and I saw beauty the way God intended. The love in their eyes, that joy in their smiles. If any bully were to try to take away their self confidence or self worth in ANY WAY – I would smite them. I would. I raised them to love themselves by THEIR standards. Not anyone elses. I taught them to be REAL and AUTHENTIC and true to themselves. Because the honest to God truth is – if people around you are so callous and shallow – then your life is sweeter without them. I couldn’t set that example without practicing what I preached.
There will always be people who are more beautiful, more intelligent, or more successful – it does NOT decrease your value. Aspire to be your best, absolutely. But be the best YOU – not the best THEM. If you look in the mirror and see NOTHING that you like, then adjust the lenses by which you look through. Maybe ask close friends to describe how they see you. I mean, if you are a douchebag or a bully, then yes, expect that mirror to reflect that. But there is so much more to beauty – please do not let the standards of others dictate yours.
Remember that what a person looks like cannot erase an ugly personality or horrible character – and that a person wrapped up in looks who is followed by equally vain and vapid people, typically have a difficult time deciphering between true friends and mere followers. (My friends would love me even if I fell into a vat of acid – just saying!) I am not saying that ALL beautiful people are mean, evil, bullies. Nor am I saying that ALL less attractive people are the kindest. We all have our flaws. But we all have our strengths too. All these years later, if I ask myself if God ever answered my prayers, I look around at my beautiful life and I know that he did.
I still have this nose. My loving husband says it is a button nose – a big button – but a button, nonetheless.
Note: If cosmetic surgery is your cup of tea – no judgement! I’m all about empowerment – and the path is different for everyone!