What does “beauty” mean to Kelly…


Beauty to me is not necessarily the way I look but a feeling. I am 46 and don’t want to look 25 but I do want to look and feel comfortable with who I am. I have never been one to feel that I was pretty or beautiful. I’m not unhappy with the way I look but beautiful would not be a word I used to describe myself.

I was raised as a pastor’s daughter and was held to a standard of what other people thought. I couldn’t be messy or dirty. I couldn’t have wrinkles in my clothes or a hair out-of-place. The pastor’s family is on display and even though those days are long behind me I still don’t leave the house without make up or my hair not done. Beauty to me wasn’t something I felt but looking my best was an expectation. The first words when meeting someone were typically about the way I looked “oh aren’t you pretty!” rather than “it’s so nice to meet you.” Beauty was expected.

Not too long ago during a conversation with a friend, I was pointing out some of my flaws and my friend stopped me and said “Don’t you know you are gorgeous?” I was caught off guard because that wasn’t the way I viewed myself. My friend went on to list things off, that to me, were ordinary. My eyes, my smile, my hands, the muscles on my arms and calves. The way when I smiled my eyes sparkled and when I listened to others that my compassion was evident in my face and body language. It was my hair when I let it be messy and the curve of my waist. My friend captured and described things I had never thought of as beautiful, they were either expected or just regular. What has stayed with me about that experience was that I felt beautiful. Not because my make up was perfect or my clothes were exactly right but I could see those things described through my friend’s eyes, more importantly I felt them. Even better… I still do. Some times it is true, you have to see things through another’s eyes gain a new perspective. Beauty to me is a feeling, I can use all the tools I have in my arsenal from flat irons, to Botox to concealers (and I do!) but honestly those tools only enhance what you have, the feeling that you have inside of you about yourself is really what is beautiful. So when someone tells you that you are beautiful, believe them and not only believe them but allow yourself, give yourself permission to feel it. Beauty is not always in the eyes of the beholder, it is right there inside of you.

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