What is Beauty… Really.

I spend a lot of time working with young ladies aspiring to capture their next title. We talk about a lot of things, like how to ace your interview, and how to stand out in evening wear. We talk about how to choose a dress that’s just right, and what to do with your hands. But I rarely have a meeting with these young women where the topic of beauty doesn’t arise. Why? Well, they aren’t called beauty pageants for nothing, and these girls are always wanting to know how they can be the “most beautiful” so that they can ensure they will be chosen the next winner.  I always have the same answer. Start on the inside.

That’s where beauty is built, that’s where it comes from. Work on loving every aspect of who you are and how you were made before doing anything else. And when you’ve accomplished that, start working on loving everyone around you, as big as you are able. Understand your value, and where it comes from before you go looking for things to paint and polish up your outside.

I know it’s cliché, but that doesn’t make it any less true. Real beauty comes from a source far greater than any cosmetic company, but anyone (including judges) will recognize it when they see it.

The truth is, you girls, and your unique beauty are under a massive attack. The entire world wants to convince you that you are not good enough exactly the way you are. Why? Because they can profit off of your insecurities.

I “Googled” the word beauty and in 0.06 seconds received over 607,000,000 “hits”.  As I sat there staring at the overwhelming response some of the articles began to come into focus, and I realized… no wonder girls are confused about where beauty comes from! The top results from my google search were all Cosmetics, skin care, fragrances, make up tips, celebrity hair styles, plastic surgery, health clubs, eating disorders, diet pills, and so on and so on… All screaming at you that you need these products, or maybe just quietly whispering that you aren’t good enough… aren’t pretty enough… aren’t thin enough. 

And it’s not just the internet; every form of media is bombarding you several times a day.  Through movies, magazines, Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, this negative image of beauty is there every time you turn around.  The beauty “industry” is a $160 Billion dollar a year industry and their primary target is…You!

The beauty industry is lying to you! Lying with plastic surgery and airbrushed images, telling them this product will make you look like them or make you what they say is beautiful.

The result of this targeting is low self-esteem, eating disorders, early exposure to sexuality, and perhaps attracting the wrong kind of attention that affirms who the world wants you to be.  As a matter of fact one study from the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute found that 40% of nine and ten year olds have tried to loose weight. Did you read that right? NINE YEAR OLDS!

It also found that 50% of all 13 year olds are unhappy with their bodies. Another study conducted by a well known cosmetic company shows that seven out of ten girls age 12 – 14 consider themselves fat and/or ugly. And sadly, by age 17, 78% of girls don’t like what they see in the mirror. That’s right, 78% of 17 year old avoid the mirror, because they don’t like what they see. Guys, I’m 36, and if I could get back some of that underappreciated magic of being 17… I would.

Girls, beauty is in the heart. It comes from loving yourself exactly as you were made, and loving others. It comes from giving back to your communities and lifting others up. It’s being a voice for those who can’t speak for themselves and helping those who can’t help themselves.

You can’t buy beauty in a jar, or spray bottle, or cream. And you certainly can’t put it on when you wear a crown. Know your value, and know where it comes from, because it’s not on a shelf at Ulta, and it can’t be delivered by Amazon.

I urge you, don’t listen to the lies that the world is hurling at you about what beauty is, and where it comes from. You are unique, and you were fearfully and wonderfully made to be exactly the way you are. Cultivate your beauty in your heart first, all the rest is just paint and poise, and let’s be honest… anyone can learn that.

Credit Photo by Greg Tsai

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