Open Topic

What Is The Definition Of Beauty?

We all come into this world with no bias. As children we don’t see others as being less than purely because they are different. Although a child may be curious and point out differences they notice, the child does not behave judgmentally.

But something changes as we age. As we grow older, we pick up on societal biases, and we fall into the pattern of the world. If the world says thick thighs are beautiful, we believe it. If the world says being thin is beautiful, we believe it. If the world says tattoos are beautiful, we believe it. If the world says no markings on your skin is beautiful, we believe it.

It doesn’t matter what is said. If the world says it, we, as a society, have the tendency to believe it.

Disagree? Years ago, Marilyn Monroe was deemed as the most beautiful woman. But compared to today’s supermodel standards, she would be too “thick.”

But why do we allow our society and our culture to determine what is beautiful? Why do we allow people to determine if one person is more beautiful than the other? Why do we believe that one group of people is more beautiful than the other?

Aren’t we all beautiful in our own way?

When one person believes that thin is beautiful and another believes that thick is beautiful, how could we believe that there is one standard definition of beautiful?

The standard definition of beauty literally reads: “A combination of qualities, such as shape, color, or form that pleases the aesthetic senses, especially the sight.” This definition does not say that thin is beautiful. It does not say that thick is beautiful. Long hair or short hair, brown eyes or blue eyes, black skin or white, tattoos or no tattoos — it does not mention any of these things!

The truth is that, although we fall into the pattern of what society defines beauty as, we do have our own definition of beauty.

Perhaps you find beauty in a man with tattoos. Maybe you find beauty in a woman with a purple pixie haircut. The point is: Everyone sees beauty differently.

So stop believing that you must be tall and thin to be beautiful. Stop believing that you cannot have a single blemish on your skin to be beautiful. Stop believing that you have to purchase name-brand clothing to be beautiful. Stop believing that you have to dye your hair a standard color to be beautiful.

Stop believing what society says about beauty.

Recognize what you deem as beautiful.

And most importantly, never forget: Everyone is beautiful in their own way. We all see beauty in different ways, but always remember that everyone is beautiful. Just as society cannot create one standard definition of beauty, neither can you. Everyone has their own sense of what beauty is. We must allow every person the opportunity to express beauty without judgment.

Embrace the beauty in everyone around you.

Embrace the beauty of the world that God has created.

Open Topic

You’re Allowed To…

Forgive yourself for what happened. For the mistakes you made. For not showing up the way up the way you needed to. For not being the person you wanted to be. You’re human. You did the best you could in the moment given what you knew and what you had, and that’s all you can ask of yourself. You’re still learning. You’re still finding your way. And that takes time. You’re allowed to give yourself that time. And you’re allowed to show up in the world imperfectly. You’re allowed to fail at things you tried hard for. You’re allowed to realize you made the wrong decision. You’re allowed to be someone who’s still figuring out their path and their purpose. And you’re allowed to forgive yourself. You can’t go back and change the decisions you’ve made, but you can choose what you do today. You can keep choosing, again and again. You can start over. And that’s where your power is. In today. So no more beating yourself up. No more going over and over it again in your head and torturing yourself with the past. What happened, happened, and all the shame and self-hatred in the world won’t undo that. Today, you’re starting over. Today, you’re moving forward with the new knowledge and experiences you have. Today, you can be the person you want to be and live the life you want to live. You’re not a bad person. You’re not a disappointment or a failure. You’re just human. You’re still learning and growing and finding your way. And it’s okay. You’ll be okay.

Open Topic

Strangers.

It’s interesting to think about how we make people who used to be everything into nothing again. How we learn to forget. How we force forgetting. What we put in place of them in the interim. The dynamics afterward always tell you more than what the relationship did – grief is a faster teacher than joy – but what does it mean when you cycle out to being strangers again? You never really stop knowing each other in that way. Maybe there’s no choice but to make them someone different in your mind, not the person who knew your daily anxieties and what you looked like naked and what made you cry and how much you loved them.

When our lives revolve around someone, they don’t just stop doing so even if all that’s left is some semblance of their memory. There are always those bits that linger. The memories that are impressed on the places you went and the things you said and the songs you listened to remain.

We all eventually find ourselves standing in the checkout line, hearing one of those songs come on and realizing that we’re revolving around them again. And maybe we never stopped.

Do you ever really forget your lovers’ birthdays, or all your first times, intimate and not? Do your anniversaries ever become normal days of the year again? Are the things you did and promises you made ever really neutralized? Do they become void now that you’re broken up or do you decidedly ignore them because there’s simply no other choice? The mind tells you to go on, and forces your heart to follow suit I guess.

I want to believe that you either love someone, in some way, forever, or you never really loved them at all. That once two reactive chemicals cross both are changed. That the wounds we leave in people are sometimes too raw to risk falling back into them. I don’t want to believe that we write each other off because we simply don’t matter anymore. I know love isn’t expendable. I wonder, and maybe hope, if we ever just force it to be out of necessity.

Maybe it’s just that we’re all at the centers of our own little universes, and sometimes they overlap with other people’s, and that small bit of intersection leaves some part of it changed. The collision can wreck us, change us, shift us. Sometimes we merge into one, and other times we rescind because the comfort of losing what we thought we knew wins out.

Either way, it’s inevitable that you expand. That you’re left knowing that much more about love and what it can do, and the pain that only a hole in your heart and space in your bed and emptiness in the next chair over can bring. Whether or not that hole will ever again include the person who made it that way… I don’t know. Whether or not anybody else can match the outline of someone who was so deeply impressed in you… I don’t know that either.

We all start as strangers. The choices we make in terms of love are usually ones that seem inevitable anyway. We find people irrationally compelling. We find souls made of the same stuff ours are. We find classmates and partners and neighbors and family friends and cousins and sisters and our lives intersect in a way that makes them feel like they couldn’t have ever been separate. And this is lovely. But the ease and access isn’t what we crave. It isn’t what I’m writing about right now. It isn’t what we revolve around after it’s gone. We are all just waiting for another universe to collide with ours, to change what we can’t ourselves. It’s interesting how we realize the storm returns to calm, but we see the stars differently now, and we don’t know, and we can’t choose, whose wreckage can do that for us.

We all start as strangers, but we forget that we rarely choose who ends up a stranger too.