“You’re beautiful.” That’s what they say.
In a valiant effort to counteract the negative effects of today’s beauty standards, feminists, self-esteem gurus, and countless women’s blogs tell us how beautiful we are, no matter what.
Um – don’t take this the wrong way – but – I disagree.
We are not all beautiful, and by “beautiful,” I mean, we are not all aesthetically pleasing to the eye. In fact, technically beautiful people are a rare minority. The vast majority of us fall somewhere between fairly attractive and kind-of-average.
The blanket statement, “You’re beautiful,” places a disproportionate amount of value in aesthetics. Well-intentioned people want us to feel valuable, so they tell us that we’re beautiful. The problem is, if beauty makes someone valuable and important, then what does the lack of beauty mean? Is the average woman less valuable than a beautiful one?
As living beings we are hard-wired to appreciate beautiful things, but I would like to believe that as humans, we have evolved to appreciate more substantial, more permanent qualities in people. After all, beauty, like youth, fades inevitably.
Let’s face it – you and I probably do not have the same facial symmetry or calibrated physique as Angelina Jolie, but you are valuable. You are important. You are an undeniable force to be reckoned with and that will be true even when your “fairly attractive to kind-of-average” looks fade.
Maybe you’re kind of not physically beautiful. So what? You are much, much more.