What does “beauty” mean to Kelly…

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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.

What Does Beauty Mean To You…

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You don’t have to try so hard…

I myself, have a perfection problem that I deal with on a daily basis. It is not so much that I want to be beautiful, young again or even the most liked. I just want to feel comfortable in my own skin and be happy with that.

We live in a cynical world made up of outward appearance, the clothes you wear or even plastic surgery pressures. I just turned 47 this past June and I really noticed all of the fine lines on my face. At first, it was a rush to the store to find the creams that would take it all away, make my skin that of a 22-year-old girl. I have even tried Botox, twice. Which, I admit, I like and trust me it works. A little embarrassing to admit this to all of you, but the truth is the truth.

But, will I go to far I ponder?

Am I setting a bad example for my two girls that are so beautiful just being themselves?

We all struggle, even men have bad hair days we all feel fat in everything we put on at times. Is this because we feel the need to impress our friends, friends of friends or worse than that a boy or girl, man or women?

Last night, I could not sleep and a video of Colbie Collait’s “try” came on.  As I watched this sincere, reality of what women go through on a daily basis including me, the flood of emotion was overwhelming. I thought to myself, why do I try so hard? Why do all women and men try so hard? Physical beauty will fade but the beauty of your soul will always be the legacy that you leave, not how you looked or how skinny you are or even the clothes you wear.

So, for the month of September we will be featuring women, men and children’s opinions of “what beauty means to them”. I think it will be fun and also interesting to see the different perspectives of different generations, gender and variations of beauty.

PLEASE join us. We want your opinions. 

What we need.

Please send us a photo of you.

2-3 paragraphs of what beauty means to you.

That’s it. Simple.