What Beauty Really Is
2010 February 26 § 2 Comments
I feel beautiful when I feel healthy and alive.
When I’m stretching out after a good workout at the gym, and I can reach forward and touch the soles of my feet, and bend my forehead down to my leg.
When I’m doing pilates or yoga, and just relaxing and releasing all my stress by slowing things down a bit.
When I’m playing tennis and the sun is hitting my eyes again, and I still manage to catch that ball and smack it back down the line and hear the metallic jangle as it hits the fence on the other side.
When I hear the whirring sound as the birdie flies past the badminton net and then drops softly to the gym floor. Alive is hearing music pounding from the speakers of the dance studio, and I’m hitting every move with the beat, to the rhythm.
When I’m swimming and look up into the blue sky, and find that I’m thinking of nothing, and all I can feel is the cool water lapping at my arms and legs, and I’m floating, and can pretend I’m in the ocean with nothing around me. Or even better, when I’m at the beach, digging my toes through the cool sand. Running along the side of the road in the morning, watching as the sky changes colors as the sun rises.
For me, beauty is being healthy. Beauty is sweating and breathing hard, exerting yourself and feeling tired but amazing afterwards. You’ll find that physically, even if you’re not at whatever ideal you’d like to be at, you will feel amazing and believe it if there is one physical activity you can put a little time into doing everyday. It can be jogging as twilight washes out the sunset, or lifting weights at the gym. It can be dancing to Lady GaGa in your bathroom, or racing your friends to the car for shotgun.
Outer beauty, self image, and feeling beautiful does involve aesthetics, but that temporary sparkle after your curls straighten out or when you take off that dress doesn’t last. Physical highs from working out and having adrenaline pumping in your veins will make you feel amazing even when you’re sweaty and gross and need a shower. Beauty is being healthy. Beauty is believing you are beautiful, because you know you are healthy… because you feel amazing.
I think women are beautiful as they are, sans makeup, hair styling, ‘pretty’ clothes, and all those extras. I get that feeling beautiful on the outside and inside works both ways, so I’m not saying that dressing up and fixing your hair and nails won’t help. But for me, a healthy body image didn’t begin until I began feeling physically healthy, and enjoyed working out and sweating and all that.
I know it’s not the same for everybody, but I struggled with body image when I was younger because I’ve always had an athlete’s builds, and it was really difficult to reconcile that with the ‘typical’ look for my ethnicity (always commented on by family friends and relatives when we visited) – small-boned and petite.
The guy I fall in love with one day is going to think I’m at my most beautiful sweating it out on the tennis court after I beat his ass, all gritty and hardcore and stuff. And that is one thing I will not compromise on.