“Although beauty may be in the eye of the beholder, the feeling of being beautiful exists solely in the mind of the beheld. “
– Martha Beck
Let me begin by telling you that you are beautiful. However you wish to define that word, inside or out, physically or spiritually, you are beautiful. We all are. The question at hand, however, is how do you define beauty? What exactly does ‘in the eye of the beholder’ mean? The ‘beholder’ is the person making a judgement about whether something is aesthetically pleasing to them – whether or not it is beautiful. That person, the ‘beholder’, is an individual. Just like each and every one of us, that person is completely unique. Genetically, biologically, due to our environment, and the sum of all our experiences, we are all completely singular.
This means that our ideas of what is aesthetically pleasing, what is beautiful, are going to differ vastly.
Have you ever mentioned to a friend that Brad Pitt is a total babe but she just doesn’t see the appeal? Have you noticed how your idea of what makes a comfortable, lovely home is different to your mother in law’s? Do you find yourself changing the station when a certain song comes on but your partner protests because they love it? We are all different in our tastes and preferences because we are all unique individuals. This extends to our idea of what is beautiful in a person. The idea that a certain body type, hair colour, or personality trait is more desirable in some way, is completely flawed. What is more desirable is going to depend on who desires it. What is considered beautiful is going to depend on the individual – the beholder.
The second part of the poignant quote above speaks to our own sense of self-worth. We all have a different idea of what ‘beautiful’ means but only you have the power to feel it within your self. This can, at times, be a struggle for many of us. I know I have stood in front of the mirror countless times thinking ‘I hate my nose’, ‘OMG is that cellulite?’, ‘This skirt looks awful on me’, ‘I can’t get my hair to sit right’, ‘I’m not beautiful’. We are our own worst critics and it can be so hard to fight against such thoughts. But you are beautiful and only you can truly feel what that is for yourself. Tell yourself you are beautiful every day and you will believe it. Say it out loud in the morning, before bed, in the mirror, in the dark, write it down, sing it. Whatever works for you. Because beauty may mean something different to every individual, but only you can truly feel what it is to know that you are beautiful.