Everyone is beautiful

Some people are born beautiful, and some people buy it. For me, my relationship ‘beauty’ has been long, difficult road. People say that it’s easy to be beautiful when you’re young, but when I was young, it was impossible. Not because of anything but my own self esteem, I couldn’t find comfort in my own skin until I reached my 30′s.

When I first read The Ugly Duckling, I thought it just meant that awkward children would bloom into beautiful adults. As an awkward child myself, I found that very inspiring, but when the other girls started blooming, I stayed awkward. I didn’t  have boys following me around, I didn’t get asked to the prom, and I figured that beauty wouldn’t apply to me, so I relied on my personality and quirky taste in clothes.

My first boyfriend out of high school was totally hot, but told me on our second date about a beautiful blonde girl who also liked him, and he could choose between the ‘pretty one’ and the ‘fun one’, and he decided to go with the ‘fun one’. The fun one, was me…which is great, but those words stuck in my mind to this day. When I should have shrugged it off as the words of a world-class douche bag, I took it to heart and spent a majority of my 20′s trying to be the ‘fun one’ to overcompensate for my lack of beauty. Feeling like I had nothing to offer, I didn’t think I was very smart, or very pretty so I had to have something right? What ended up happening, as what happens when everyone tried to be something they’re not, they keep up appearances for a while, only to burn out, and swing the other way. Not to say it wasn’t fun, but I was struggling to be a cartoon version of fun, not accepting that I might be enough, just as I was.

Changing perceptions

What is it about beauty that women hold so important? While men may seem immune, they have their own host of crippling insecurities and issues. The women I know and love want to be beautiful, it may sound superficial and maybe it is, but I have never thought that there was anything wrong with having beauty in life, and in my experience, it’s achievable, but first I had to change my view of what ‘beautiful’ is.

There is the beauty we see in the media, and then there is the beauty we see in real life. On TV people are beautiful and they always have the right thing to say, what we don’t see are the hair and makeup people, the personal trainers, estheticians, stylists, plastic surgeons, not to mention the teams of writers and then the director helping them give that ‘perfect look.’ (which often times isn’t perfect at all). So I stopped looking to them and real life versions of them to define my idea of beauty.  When I looked around the people I saw in real life, how beautiful they are… and asked myself what was beautiful about them?

What makes someone beautiful?

Time and time again, the beautiful people in my life did not possess the perfect nose, or pouty lips, or giant eyes and luscious locks. They didn’t always have beautiful skin, and they were of all ages and body shapes. And time and time again, a person’s spirit would trump a person’s physical appearance…ever know a beautiful person with a horrible personality? How much longer did you think they were beautiful?

When they say ‘beauty comes from within.’ for many years I thought that was a euphemism to make us feel better. But it’s the truth….

Personality shines through every time.


Much of my own self-esteem issues, which are directly related to my beauty issues boils down to acceptance. In my mind I thought ‘if only I could be like someone else,’ but in that desire, I failed to see the gifts I had to offer. Sure there are lots of tricks I can use to look ‘beautiful’, like wearing nice clothes, styling my hair, wearing makeup, and exercising, but those are all just extras.  I’ve tried them all to feel beautiful, and they help,  but it’s a slippery slope, because no matter how many shoes you have, not one of them is going to fix what’s going on in your mind. Believe me, I have tried, and tried.  It wasn’t until I started the path of accepting myself that real beauty came into my life.

Does it help to consider yourself beautiful? It’s important to value who you are. In my experience beauty is a wholistic aspiration where it’s important to take care of the mind, body and spirit. Everyone has the potential, their own unique beauty. It’s just a matter of finding and cherishing it.

Sheesh, I wish I had an easy post for that.

Image by illuminated_photography / CC BY 2.0

jennineEveryone is beautiful

Comments 70

  1. Post

    ❤ maria…yes, i agree, blogging is great because now we see a nicer spectrum of style and beauty!
    ❤ diane…Oh my god! Who says stuff like that? Oh yeah, world-class douche bags. I swear, if I had a nickle for every time a guy said something stupid like that. I used to think their opinion mattered, like they knew something I didn’t, but it turns out that they are just clueless assholes. It looks like you’re happy and have a wonderful husband! So great!
    ❤ market publique, you can’t say enough about being a nice person!
    ❤ eclectica…omg sometimes family can be so harsh!
    ❤ mary anna…oh the age old question…sometimes i think dumb people are way better off.
    ❤ midtown, it’s such an evolving process isn’t it?
    ❤ jenny, wow, what an amazing story…thank you so much for sharing it!
    ❤ dora..oh yes, and then there are the friend comments, i have a few that have stuck with me for ages! but i like your grandma’s thinkign! of course you know i do *ahem, rocky*

  2. T.

    Hi! I think you are one of the best bloggers out there and this was a beautiful, inspiring post. Also you give me hope that, when I turn 30 in two years I might grow more confident -instead of scarily old. ;)
    .-= T.´s last blog ..SS 10 part 2 =-.

  3. fashion therapist

    Thank you! There are no other words, but thank you. I can TOTALLY related…I was the “fat” one and over compensated with my personality. I finally reached a point where I’m confident enough, but still not satisfied. This was an amazing post.
    .-= fashion therapist´s last blog ..You Didn’t Get The Memo? =-.

  4. smilla

    Great! Nice picture and god writing. I´d love to post the picture on my blog with a link to your article. May I? I would love it. Smilla

  5. Alice

    That is so true.

    I struggled through most of my twenties, full of insecurities and no self image and only now, approaching 30 I feel that I fully accepted myself. It comes not so much from knowing who I am and what I like as from knowing who I am not and what I won’t put up with.

    Beauty comes from feeling comfortable and sucure. Oh, and from not paying too much attention to what others think about you.
    .-= Alice´s last blog ..Chunky Winter Fashion =-.

  6. Giselle

    I really appreciate you for this. Not only is my self-esteem low, but lately the current state my life is in contributes to the way I view myself. This post is important. I know you don’t believe in these things overnight but the seed was planted. Hopefully soon I will be this beautiful in my eyes.
    .-= Giselle´s last blog ..I Try Not To Be Too Personal On Here But =-.

  7. Rebekah Coleman-Brahler

    Wow. Jennine. I’ve battled with all these same issues for years, and at 32 am just starting to work through them. Thanks for this post. It’s inspiring to know other women-women I see as super stylish, successful and beautiful-struggle with the same insecurities.
    .-= Rebekah Coleman-Brahler´s last blog ..Nana =-.

  8. Anna

    I love this article. I actually just posted a similar one on body image the other day… also featuring a world-class douchebag! It’s astounding how thoughtless or heartless some guys can be! It’s even more astounding how hard it is to let their words go, even after writing the jerk off as a total ass!

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  12. alexandra

    What a timely article for me! I identify personally with much of what you say - I was always “the fun one” too, and had a boy at 19 tell me “you’d be a knockout if you just put a some effort into it”. Thanks, sir, I spent the next 10 years or so trying to figure out the “knockout” look, through ups and downs in weight, and life, only to realize finally that the person I see in the mirror is me - right here, right now. That whatever I do that might improve my looks goes along with what *my* idea of beauty is. I might not look the same as the years go by, but every time i look in the mirror, I can say that *whatever* my appearance is at the moment (the future is now, and now, and now…) I possess an inner beauty that shows through, conveying a sense of pride that I know who I am - I’m a woman on a journey, always changing evolving Holding on or letting go as needed. Continually ready to take in and savor all of life’s luscious details, and the real beauty I possess is not really a measurable, aesthetic quality, but a part of me that transcends such things, something I know I’ll still see in myself when I look in the mirror when I’m 80, or even if I never look in a mirror again.

  13. LF

    Reading this was absolutely amazing. I have insecurities like any 16 year old girl does nowadays ,but after reading this I realize that being self-concious all the time might be what’s holding me back.
    Thanks for such an inspiring piece of writing
    .-= LF´s last blog ..Living for the weekend =-.

  14. Shelley

    I enjoy your blog very much, and found this post very inspiring. Almost every woman I know has struggled with issues of not feeling beautiful, or measuring up to the idea of beauty that we see in the media every day. I was a quiet, awkward, unpopular child, but now that I’m in my late 40′s, the quiet, geeky child has become a mostly-confident, outgoing, and interesting woman who has learned to accept that she will never be “pretty”, but she’s learned to work with what she has, which is an eye for style and a love of self-expression through what I wear. I don’t concern myself with what others think about me or my life choices, which is another benefit of maturity. Part of the message I try to convey through my street-style blog is that true style (and beauty) is confidence, being comfortable in your own skin and not being afraid to show yourself to the world, naysayers be damned!
    .-= Shelley´s last blog ..Toronto - Ruffles and Bows on Yonge =-.

  15. Audi

    What an amazing post! Thank you for reminding us that even the most gorgeous women — like you! — still struggle with their own perceived flaws.
    .-= Audi´s last blog ..Repurposed Skates =-.

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