I can be honest here, right? Well, honestly, I haven’t felt very good at looking beautiful for a while now.
I have my moments, you know, when it’s a good hair day, my skin cooperates, and my makeup looks great. But day in and day out, I’m just your average 30-something wife & mom. (Nothing wrong with that, by the way!)
And we know what it feels like to not be beautiful, right, ladies? We know we’re not beautiful because nobody says, “Wow, you’re beautiful,” or “You really are gorgeous, you know.” Nobody. Ever.
I sometimes hear “Oh, you’re so cute,” or “You look so nice today.” However, I get the sense that nobody thinks of me and says to themselves, “That Raylene, she sure is pretty.”
Obviously, society’s idea of beauty has influenced my thinking. Why does it even matter? I don’t know. It shouldn’t, probably. But it does…
I really think that I’d want people to say, “Raylene is genuine and kind.” or “Raylene is really creative and generous – and she’s really good at what she does.” or “I always enjoy Raylene’s company because she’s so accepting. She gets me.” I would even be happy with, “Raylene is the best kind of weird I’ve ever known.”
But a tiny part of me (ok, maybe a big part of me) really wants to be ravishingly beautiful. The kind of beautiful that gets people’s attention. You know….
Since I’m not feeling very beautiful lately (carrying more weight than I’d like, my skin breaking out WORSE than it ever did when I was a teenager, many more wiry grey hairs waving at everybody from the top of my head, etc…), I kinda decided I would stop trying to be beautiful altogether. And I mean the “outward appearance” kind of beautiful.
My thoughts went something like this:
I have no idea how to be beautiful and stay beautiful because I just don’t fit that ‘norm’. I can’t keep up with beautiful. It’s so unattainable, and always changing.
I don’t want to teach my daughter that chasing beautiful is the most important thing in the lives of women (even though I admit that it has been a huge driving factor most of my life).
I want to be comfortable in my own skin, no matter how much of it there is. I want people to be comfortable with me, no matter how they look or how I look. I want to be loved and accepted just because I’m ME, not because I got ‘beautiful‘ figured out today. And I want the same for the people around me that I love and care for.
I don’t know how to be beautiful. But I do know how to be ME.
“ME” is a little goofy, can be very silly, and has a huge laugh you can hear across an auditorium.
“ME” has more weird moments than normal moments, and wouldn’t have it any other way.
“ME” loves people, all kinds of people, wherever they are at.
“ME” celebrates the most oddball things and appreciates the craziest notions.
“ME” loves bright colors and flowy skirts and funky shoes and things that nobody else would wear.
I don’t know how to be beautiful. I’ve tried. I can’t keep up. So why bother trying? I give up on trying to be beautiful.
Instead, I just want to be me. I want to be comfortable and happy being me.
Me, I can be.
And those who will see ME for who I really am, will find beauty in ME, or they won’t. It’s OK either way. It’s just me, and that’s all I can be.
Stop trying to be beautiful. Just be ME.
It came down to this: What do I really want people to think of me? What am I teaching my children about beauty and being themselves? And for me, showing them how to be happy in their own skin and how to enjoy life is better than showing them that I can be somebody’s idea of beautiful.
Deciding to stop trying to be beautiful and to do more of just letting myself be ME has been very freeing. I think maybe I do feel more beautiful as a result, funnily enough. Less self-conscious, spending less time and money on ‘beauty’ products and the processes that go with them, and just being more comfortable with myself. It all adds up to a happier (and hopefully healthier) me. And that’s beautiful in its own way!
Probably, my kids won’t look back at our family photos and reminisce about how beautiful Mom always was. They will look back and see a lot of genuine smiles, a lot of goofiness and fun, and I hope they will see the beauty of our lives together, over and above how anybody in particular looks in those photos.
Stop trying to be beautiful. Just be yourself. Your TRUE YOU is beautiful, because it’s who you were made to be, and the world needs that you. That’s when your true beauty shines. And it has nothing to do with flawless skin, perfectly matched hair colour and cosmetics, or how long your eyelashes aren’t. Be YOU. That’s Be-YOU-tiful!
Disclaimer: There is nothing wrong with cosmetics, hair colour, eyelash extensions, etc… This is my personal line of thinking and it’s not meant to point a finger anywhere. It’s simply my own process. Thank you for respecting that. Also, I designed this image in Canva. Isn’t it cool? 🙂