Today I am back to the beauty grind. Back to focusing on my task of accepting myself the way I am right this minute and also pressing forward to the change I deserve. Now, how does that work?!

Digging up the roots of these beauty beliefs and myths has been a labor of love. For myself, but also in the time spent with women in this discussion.

So far I’ve learned that at our core, not many of us can see ourselves as beautiful. No matter what our physical appearance yields, this fractured part of our hearts we all seem to share. The longing to be beautiful and lovely…and not often ever really feeling it. I’ve also discovered that our experiences growing up shape how we beautify ourselves. What we learn, the how-to’s and fashion do’s and dont’s. All the way to the other end of the spectrum of rejecting beauty stuff completely. The answers seems to lie in what was allowed and welcomed in our girlhood.

When asked if you were encouraged or allowed to indulge your girliness as a kid the answers were all over the map, but each one specifically was linked to how the woman saw herself now in present day. The confident and comfortable mostly had experiences of freedom as children. Left alone to play and dress up as they wished. Others who had been forced to be an extreme of either super, hyper girly or tough and rejecting the whole thing, seemed to be caught in this trap of never truly being at rest. Never at ease in their own skin. Struggling to find comfort and confidence.

This is an important finding to me as the mother of a four year old daughter. I can confess that the temptation to try and mold her to be all that I can’t be is constantly hovering. I don’t want her to experience the things I have. I also don’t want to rob her freedom to be who she will be. Isn’t that the goal? Just to be comfortable to be who we were created to be? Right now? Today?

Today I am gonna find beauty in my heart beating and my body functioning strongly despite how I’ve abused it. I’m going to appreciate my wild hair and my hazel eyes. I’m going to get dressed and take on the day with gratitude. I’m going to find love and God in the details of my life. I’m going to enjoy the freedom I’ve been given by the Lord to be the me He created me to be.

“God crowds upon us from Sheol to the sea; he jostles our thoughts along the pathways in our brains. He hides in the bushes, jumping out in flames to startle us into seeing. He sequesters himself in stables and swaddling so as to take us unawares. He veils himself in flesh, the same flesh that drips into fingers at the end of my arms and sprouts into hair on my head.”
– Virginia Stem Owens