February 14, 2022

Seeing Beauty

Beauty is all around us.  It can be found in a colorful sunset, a bouquet of flowers, or in your child’s or significant other’s smile.  But what is beauty? Despite being subjective, beauty is defined in the Oxford Dictionary as “a combination of qualities, such as shape, color, or form, that pleases the aesthetic senses, especially the sight.”  

For decades, advertising companies, toy manufacturers, mainstream media, and other influential companies have been brainwashing society into believing a strict set of beauty stands. The “perfect woman” beauty standard has been portrayed as young, flawless skin, and a disproportionate chest to waist to hips ratio. Ultimately, you can’t have lumps, bumps, rolls, or any location(s) that jiggle.  This restrictive set of beauty standards causes women of all ages significant mental anguish if they feel they don’t measure up.  It has led to a wide range of problems including harassment from peers, inferiority complexes, low self-esteem, low self-confidence, eating disorders, and an overall negative inner dialogue. 

Thankfully, there seems to be a recent trend to represent a more realistic norm which will hopefully help to expand the current beauty standards. Even though it’s refreshing to see some changes being made, it would be foolish to think that we’ll see rapid change. 

Even if it takes years or decades to make the beauty standards more inclusive for society as a whole, that doesn’t mean we can’t work on our own perceptions now.  Everything starts from within, correct? So, first and foremost we need to start by eliminating our own internal monologue of body shaming. 

You know… 

That inner dialogue that sounds something like... 

“Ugh, I look fat today.” and  “Gross, look at all the cellulite on my thighs.” 

Seriously, half the time we don’t even realize we are saying these horrible things to ourselves, but if you can catch them and replace them with something more accepting and loving.  Then you’ll be on the road to finding self-acceptance and self-love.  

Go ahead, see if you can catch those negative statements and change them to something positive.   

Don’t get me wrong, you will probably have to correct yourself a bazillion times, but eventually, you’ll ingrain these positive thoughts into your vocabulary.  

Believe me…I know firsthand how hard it can be to change old habits, especially this one, but acknowledging the negative statement and correcting it, is where we need to start. Eventually, you will start to notice that the negative comments will evaporate into the distant past and you’ll be left with nothing but a healthy inner dialogue, self-acceptance, and self-love! 

About the Author Amy Paris Jackson

Amy is a professional portrait photographer in NW Indiana. She specializes in glamour and boudoir photography because she takes great joy in empowering women of all ages and sizes to look and feel beautiful. She also loves watching her clients’ self-confidence, self-accept, and self-love re-emerge during their photoshoots as they see how truly beautiful they are.

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