I am beautiful. I am strong. I am amazing!
I smiled as I wrote these simple yet profound words on a piece of bright blue paper with brilliant gold ink. I needed to be reminded of these words daily so I had taken the initiative to write them down and place them on my vanity mirror. Right where I would see them, day and night.
One day my mom walks into my room, stops, and begins to read the words on my vanity. I felt a small knot of embarrassment form in my stomach. Those words were only meant for me to see. I watch as a sly smile forms in the corner of her mouth. My mother turns to me and simply says, “Yes you are,” before turning and exiting the room. I was deeply impacted.
As young women, our perception of beauty comes from social media, television and even the models we have been presented growing up. We have been taught to dress a certain way to get a certain kind of attention.
If you know me, you know I absolutely love makeup. I’m not the type to shell out big dollars for high end makeup, but every once in a while I am known to splurge. Putting on makeup is the favorite part of my morning routine. I love it! However, I began to notice a dangerous pattern forming in my own life. I began to feel insecure about leaving the house with no makeup on. I had become “that” girl.
This did not sit well with me so I began wearing less makeup on an everyday basis. I wanted to look more like myself, because you know what, I am beautiful just the way I am.
As young women it becomes so incredibly easy to pick ourselves apart and begin desiring to look like someone we are not. We want to look like the made-up girls on Instagram and Snapchat. We want what this world is telling us is beautiful and glamorous. When did simple and clean stop being beautiful?
Story time: On my missions trips to Mexico I was unable to wear makeup. The dry, hot air made it impossible to keep any kind of makeup from melting off my face. At first, I felt a bit insecure. My hair was a frizzy mess, I was breaking out and on top of it all, I wasn’t able to shower every morning. It was not a cute look. However, about 3 days into the trip I made a silent oath to myself. Instead of worrying about the way I looked, I decided to just embrace my adventurous side and enjoy the journey. I began to connect more deeply with the people around me and as a side-effect, I began to feel more beautiful.
Maybe it seems counter-intuitive. The less I worry about the way I look, the more beautiful I feel. It may not make sense, but it works. Here’s why.
When we choose to look outside of ouselves, the beauty of our hearts naturally begins to eradiate.
There is nothing more beautiful than a woman who is kind, loving and, drumroll please….selfless.
The kind of beauty that the Bible references as a “quiet and gentle spirit” is timeless. There is nothing more precious and charming than a woman with a good head on her shoulders. Wisdom never goes out of style!
Next time you look into a mirror and wonder, “What’s so great about me, anyways?,” stop and consider what God has placed inside of you. God creates masterpieces, not mistakes. We young women need other women to show us what true beauty is. To share wisdom and insight.
Teach us to be better daughters, mothers, wives, sisters and friends. Teach us selflessness, love, patience and modesty. Teach us that true beauty is not only skin deep but is a reflection of our God-given character and identity.
Paola Lopez- Co-founder of Empowered Beauty