Somewhere along the line these little Dandelions were classified as weeds. Perhaps they didn’t live up to the beauty standards of flowers. They are often pulled, poisoned and much effort is put forth trying to rid lawns and gardens of them. But I pass these particular Dandelions every morning on my run. I’m always touched by their beauty and personally I love yellow flowers. There’s just something about yellow. Many people also eat Dandelion greens and marvel in their taste. My horses always loved eating Dandelions and I love how they looked out in the pasture.
All this got me wondering who decides that something is not beautiful and therefore banished from the flower world. And who decides if we fit in the beautiful category? In my opinion, there shouldn’t be a standard we have to live up to. Beauty should, as they say, be in the eyes of the beholder. But we all know this is not the case. We all know there are standards for us, just as there are for the Dandelion. We have to be a certain weight, or we are considered fat. We have to have a certain look to us, or we are considered plain, or ugly. It’s so sad that someone else gets to decide for us what represents beauty. Me, I’ve decided to take back that power and make my own decisions about my beauty. Only I get to decide how I look and feel and I do not have to please anyone but myself.
My whole life I have always blown out my hair whenever I washed it. I have very fine, straight hair and I believed the only way to get any body to it was to blow it out. When I was a teen, I remember my mom telling me I was going to be bald because I would wash and dry my hair three times a day. My daughter has similar hair to me and she never blow dries her hair. We had a conversation about this during our week at the beach. I never blow out my hair when we are down at the beach. Funny thing is it either looks the same, or better. Imagine that. Why in the world am I spending an extra half hour a day on this hair when it looks the same without that effort. Probably because I was trying to live up to some beauty standard I set that said I needed to have lots of body in my hair. It’s been a life long struggle trying to make my hair something it’s not. Countless perms and body waves and tons of hair spray used in the process. Well, since we’ve returned from the beach, I’ve only blown out my hair twice. Once to go out to dinner and once to go to a meeting. I’ve decided that I really do not need to put the effort in because my hair looks just the same even if I don’t.
Another area to think about is makeup. My mom was a very vain woman who believed you never went anywhere without putting on your “face”. When she had eye surgery, I remember her putting on her one eye “face”. Now she’s in a nursing home and never has on her “face” and guess what. Her face looks just as beautiful as it did with the make up. Perhaps it looks better at times because it’s her beautiful, natural face. I was never a big make up person. I’m truly not a girly, girl but I did put on mascara every day. I have such light eyelashes that without it it looks like I have none. But I’ve begun to even cut back on that. The only person who notices that I have mascara on is me. I’ve been going out without it and nobody notices any difference. Again, I had set this beauty standard based on society’s expectations and was a slave to ensuring I had long, visible lashes.
How wonderful it is to have this new routine. I’m no longer sweating, drying my hair and feeling my skin all sticky from makeup. The only comments I’ve received are, you look like a teenager and you have great skin. The reality is when we look in the mirror we see what we think is looking back at us. That is not the reflection the rest of the world sees. If you asked three people to describe one person, you’d see what I mean. Everyone brings their perspective of us to the description. Their perspective of us, the entire being, forms their perspective of how beautiful we are. You know this is true. Think about it. Haven’t you ever in your life thought of someone as attractive, then gotten to know them and realized they weren’t as attractive as you thought. Especially, if they are lacking in personality or kindness.
The point I’m trying to make is we have to be comfortable with who we are. God made us just the way he wanted us to be. We are created in his image and likeness – beautiful. I believe there is nothing more beautiful than someone who is comfortable in their own skin. They seem to radiate beauty and confidence. It’s time to get out of our heads. Do not let society’s standards be your standards. Set your own standard for how you want to look and feel and then be confident and comfortable in that skin. Stop living your life for someone else’s expectations. Dare to be beautiful in your own right, just like the beautiful Dandelions you see everywhere. Embrace your beauty and you will surely be beautiful.