Eye of the Beholder

eye - morguefileBody shaming. A new catchphrase designed to bring attention to all sorts of issues – from obesity, extreme thinness caused by eating disorders, and everything in between. In part, it means that people shouldn’t judge others based on their appearance. Mostly though, I believe it encourages people not happy with the way they look to stop being so hard on themselves.

Why write about this subject? Because of something that happened today. Before I tell you about it, I want to clarify a few things. First, I don’t believe the person realized what they said, or that they meant it as an insult. Second, it did not hurt my feelings. And third, even if it had been meant as a slam, I don’t really care.

Someone was talking about how cute Aria is (and she is adorable, if I do say so myself!). Then they asked, “You’re the grandmother?” I said yes. They responded with, “She doesn’t look like you.”

There was a time in my life when I would have been convinced that they had, in a roundabout way, just said I was ugly. I would have been crushed and cried off and on for days over it. Today though? Honestly? I found it amusing.

I’m okay with who I am. It took a while but I came to terms a with the fact that I wasn’t born to be one of the beautiful people, not by the world’s definition of beauty anyway. In fact, the only time I can recall that it bothered me was when it was time to get my author photo taken in 2012 – only because I hate having cameras aimed at me. It stressed me out so much I was almost sick and I actually paid to have my hair and makeup done,  before going to a professional photographer – who smoothed out some blemishes and hid the shadows under my eyes.  Hey, I’ve been struggling with insomnia since 2008 – I have shadows :D.

That was just a professional thing though. In my personal life, I couldn’t care less what anyone thinks of my looks. And do you know why?

If I’d been one of the popular crowd instead of a shy, insecure wallflower, I wouldn’t have fallen in love with reading. And if I hadn’t fallen in love with reading, I’d have probably never started writing. And let me tell you, I wouldn’t trade that for all the beauty in the universe.

Would I have as a teenager? You betcha. In a heartbeat. What makes me sad about that is knowing the same is true of girls today. It always has been and always will be. Instead of lamenting the fact that they’re average (normal), they should be focusing on what’s really important – their hearts and brains. And,  yes, their personalities.

Some of the most beautiful people I’ve ever known weren’t physically so … but they were the kindest, sweetest, most decent human beings you could ever hope to meet – and that made them absolutely, positively gorgeous. At least in my eyes.

*Photo Credit: Morguefile.com


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