If you had to define beauty, how would you describe it? What would you start with first? Your face? Your body? Your personality?
Well, what if I told you that beauty, although constantly recognized through a person’s physique, is more than skin deep. You probably would nod your head in agreement. After all, it’s not an original concept.
But as Andre teaches us, perhaps we should learn to blush not when people compliment our looks, but when they compliment the things that will never pass away with time: our heart, soul, and what makes us who we are. That’s beauty.
If I call someone beautiful, I would have seen them more than once, which is different from infatuation. I’m also at the age where I realize that there’s more to beauty than just the physical. For example, to me, there’s nothing more beautiful than people who know their stories and have depth. People with a passport that are value independence, are spontaneous, and are always engaged in powerful conversations that push them to learn from other perspectives–even if they disagree.
My definition of beautiful people are those who are ambitious and successful in their field, which gives them some sort of zest. They are compassionate and have the kind of success that brings happiness and joy for them. And when I apply that definition to myself, I realize I am beautiful; I have a really great story and I’m just beginning to feel like I’ve finally gotten on the other side of what I would define as truly successful, which is being able to do what you love and being able to give back. That’s true happiness and beauty to me.
When it comes to the physical standards of beauty…meh! I feel like I can pass as beautiful, but that’s hard for me. For some reason, I don’t think I’m really beautiful. So, when people give me compliments on my physical features, it doesn’t resonate with me because sometimes people just say things to say them. It’s hard for me to distinguish if someone is being genuine.
Even though I’d lost the weight and was more fit, I still didn’t feel beautiful because the things I valued that made a person beautiful, such as being smart, weren’t acknowledged.
I used to live in Atlanta, pre-social media. Right when Facebook came about. And back then I was a fat kid. I never really knew how big I was until social media started kicking in and I saw a picture of me that was taken while out on an international trip. When I saw that, I felt like I was really big, and that’s when I decided to lose weight. I went from being 224 pounds to 170.
I was happy that I’d lost the weight and I liked how I look, but I had done it for the wrong reasons, though–I was trying to do it for others. So, even though I’d lost the weight and was more fit, I still didn’t feel beautiful because the things I valued that made a person beautiful, such as being smart, weren’t acknowledged.
If someone was to compliment my physique, it still probably won’t affect me greatly…But if someone complimented me on my resilience or my ability to persevere, that would make me blush and would brighten up my day.
After I’d lost a lot of the weight, I remember running into a guy who said that I was just as attractive bigger as I was smaller. For some, a comment like that would have really moved them. But it didn’t really resonate with me. Although his compliment was nice, it didn’t brighten up my day. And that’s when I realized that beauty, for me, isn’t rooted in the physical. There’s more to it.
When you’re bigger, it’s easy to think people may not treat you as if you’re beautiful because of it. You assume your size is the reason why you’re not getting the responses from others that you want. But when I finally lost the weight, I realized nothing changed–it still didn’t happen. Outer appearance was only part of it. Eventually, after battling with my weight on and off, I found a good enough reason to take care of myself and stay fit: me. It wasn’t enough to lose weight to be considered beautiful in the eyes of others. I had to do it for me. And because I wanted to do it. Now, I feel like my outside finally matches the inside.
If someone was to compliment my physique, it still probably won’t affect me greatly because I see myself as so much more than the physical. But if someone complimented me on my resilience or my ability to persevere, that would make me blush and would brighten up my day.