Honestly Beautiful

When you imagine someone who's “beautiful,” what’s the first thing that comes to mind? Big eyes? Freckles? Long eyelashes? For me, it’s a lot of things, including what I mentioned above— pretty much everything I don’t have. It’s not that I don’t have certain things about myself that I consider attractive, but I don’t think I’ve ever seen a girl in a book, TV show, movie, or magazine that looked just like me.

So what does it mean to be beautiful? Is it sizes 0-4 and long, flowing hair? I think that— the aforementioned long, flowing hair— has become one of the main beauty standards for women in today’s society. It’s always been a goal of mine to grow out my hair with the hopes that it will catch a guy’s attention. Like, I would flip my hair and he would be so blown away by the motion that he would fall in love with me right then and there. Most of the women that are considered beauty icons have hair (whether real or not) that can basically touch the ground. It’s not hard to understand why I would grow up thinking that it’s a must-have for a female to be considered desirable.

That is until I was able to experience a new kind of beauty. This summer, I met people who I’ll most likely remember as some of the most beautiful people I’ve ever come across: a girl with a half-shaved hairstyle who wanted to cut it shorter, and a girl who wore a larger size and would go out in public wearing only a bralette and a shawl (she looked fabulous, I might add). I never thought of anyone as less than what they were: beautiful.

That caused me to re-think… well, everything I thought I knew about beauty. What does it actually mean to be beautiful? I came to realize that everyone has something beautiful, something that can completely take your breath away and leave you in awe. Whether it’s a person’s confidence as they walk down a hallway, the way their face lights up as they become happy or excited, or eyes tearing up because of a good laugh, there is honest beauty in every person.

And what is beautiful about me? It’s inexplicably difficult for someone to come to terms with their own beauty. I’m still not able to answer the question and be satisfied with the answer completely, but I know that I have become more comfortable with myself. How do I know? I’ve decided to get a curly undercut.

By Alana James

1 comment

  1. aw the development here is so clever (that last line !!) i would have loved for this to be longer!