It’s a tale as old as time. Beauty is in the eye of the beholder. Beauty is only skin-deep. Don’t judge a book by its cover.
On some level, we all know that the most beautiful people are not necessarily the ones we love the most. Nor are they necessarily the most intelligent, the kindest or the most socially aware. Beautiful people are good to look at. As human beings intellectually programmed to appreciate art, we can’t help but admire beauty in a purely aesthetic sense.
Merriam-Webster had by far the most inclusive definition of beauty beyond the physical. “..the quality or aggregate of qualities in a person or thing that gives pleasure to the senses or pleasurably exalts the mind or spirit.” Bravo!
Cambridge English Dictionary says, “the quality of being pleasing, especially to look at, or someone or something that gives great pleasure, especially when you look at it.” Pretty visual, that one.
Of course, there’s all that stuff about being beautiful inside and out, and that’s really what it’s about. Being beautiful on the inside is where it’s at. If you are fortunate enough to blossom with true physical beauty as well, you’ve got it all.
When is the bloom of youth not beautiful? And therein lies the issue with age acceptance. It’s easy to be supportive of the movement because it’s right thinking. A mature woman is the product of experience and understanding. Her beauty is different than it was. Some say ravaged, some say ripened. It’s all in the perspective. Mature women are beautiful, but it’s more about what they can do than about how they look. This is a message we need to pass on to all ages and future generations. Priorities.
Most of us have grown up with reinforcement that our beauty is terribly important and it colours our world.
There are physical manifestations of aging that can’t be avoided, although some blessed women have seemingly ageless genes. Most of us? Not so much. We lose collagen and elascticity. Facial muscles droop. Permanent wrinkles develop. Let’s be honest. Compared to the way we’ve always regarded ourselves in the mirror, this is not feelin’ pretty time. I think every woman addresses this uncomfortable process at some point. The least possible amount of time worrying about it is the objective.
Make no mistake, there will be days that you shine. Like a diamond. A great mantra is, “but not today”. It works because it implies, either positively or negatively, that wherever you’re at right now will not be where you’re at another day. It keeps you grounded in the moment and prevents those "my entire life is a ruin" moments when those inevitable feeling-like-crap days arrive.
What might be the key to weathering this life season? Like so many other qualities, it comes from the self. You know you're more than what you see in the mirror anyway. You’ve never been better equipped to kick some ass. And you can still look damn hot when you feel like it. You’ve earned it. Go and own it.