What is beauty? I find that to be a fascinating question. A couple of weeks ago I attended a gathering of women who were discussing the definition of beauty and how each of us was living our authentic lives. The women’s ages ranged from their early 20s to late 40s, a diverse group from all over the world.
It quickly became clear that living an authentic life and letting one’s natural beauty shine from the heart was common ground for all. I find the older I get, the more attracted I am to living an authentic life and having a sincere appreciation for those who chose to walk the road of their journey.
I genuinely believe that is why there is such an attraction to La Catrina. It is interesting that the original etching was a caricature of a woman who was ashamed of her indigenous origins and who adopted the European style, with the big hat and lots of makeup, trying to hide behind the fashion. She went to great lengths to capture the beauty of someone other than herself, sadly at a high cost for who she was born to be.
It is unfortunate today that we are still following the same pattern to simulate the beauty of others that are not true to ourselves. We tend to jump ship from one beauty trend to the other. Losing our footing for who we are and what indeed makes us happy. We are buying into whatever is being peddled to us as the latest, greatest thing.
I can remember when I wanted to get a tattoo of barbed wire around my bicep just like Pamela Anderson. I envisioned her running down the beach in that red bathing suit with her blonde hair flowing in the wind and her barbed wired arm looking oh, so cool. Uh, ya not thinking those same thoughts now. I am happy to report I never jumped on that train. My point is it was not me; it never was my heartfelt style, I was just copying what I thought was the beauty of another.
I am not saying it is wrong to explore options for different ways of doing and thinking. It is wrong when you find yourself going under the knife to do something that you think will make others want or like you more. If you are doing it for yourself, then all the power to you.
It has taken me a long time to come to that ‘ah!’ moment. I think when you know better, you do better as the late, great Maya Angelo said best.
When you find yourself doing something that seems drastic that could involve pain to your body or something that just does not feel right in your gut, take a step back and sit with it for awhile, get quiet, listen to yourself then make your move from there. Do what is a fit for you, bottom line.
HOMEWORK: Start journaling about things that make you happy then get doing them! Remember you are perfectly imperfect.