Tonite my husband took my face in his hands, and asked, "are you beautiful?", and without a moment's hesitation, I answered, "yes". Only took me 50 years~!
This is something women all over the world struggle with every single day, in various ways. From nitpicking our perceived physical flaws, all the way to serious, life threatening eating disorders. No matter what we look like, no matter how big, how small, how proportionate or disproportionate, how "perfect" or "imperfect" by whatever societal standards, there is almost no woman who is satisfied with her looks or her body.
There are many culprits involved. The media, the fashion industry, changing social standards, the diet industry, the medical industry, the nanny state government, men, and other women.
Women are NOT always kind with each other, we can be very competitive, snarky, bitchy, and mean. We project our own insecurities on other women. We judge. We ridicule and belittle.
It won't stop, but it needs to. We are killing our daughters, our friends, our sisters, our mothers. Murdering them inside and out. Making them feel that they need to resort to surgery and unhealthy eating habits, spending untold money on products to make them feel human, worthy, loved.
Words like "fat", "skinny", "old", "ugly", and other judgemental, hurtful words that add up to socially acceptable bigotry need to be banished from our vocabulary. We need to start being mindful of reversing the trend and stop showing the awful side of our personalities. We need to stand up and say NO to hurtful words and ideas that lead to self hatred based on what we look like.
Sadly, I don't hold out hope that this will become the norm. Not as long as the fashion industry uses anorexic models on a regular basis, not as long as the medical industry pushes plastic surgery, diet pills, and the flawed idea that dieting can conquer the "obesity epidempic". Not as long as people have this sick idea that Barbie has a perfect body. Not as long as human beings are unhappy enough with their own lives that they relieve that unhappiness by unloading cruelty on others. Not as long as women think they need to compete with each other. Not as long as we all stand by and accept this behavior.
So for what it's worth, I AM BEAUTIFUL, because I am a good mother, because I am a good wife, because I love my friends and family beyond measure, because I love animals, because I AM willing to stand up and fight for all those things that are important to me, because of a million little things that are good inside and outside. I know a LOT of beautful women and men whose hearts and souls make them beautfiful. And that should be the ONLY measurement that matters.