I am ugly. I am not beautiful. I wish I looked like her, then I would be loved. These thoughts run through so many of our minds. Reading those words I think the feeling that runs through many of us is pain, longing, an anguish of remembering times when someone might have confirmed that we are ugly. They say confidence is the most appealing thing in a woman…if that is so, then many of us are sadly lacking.
Recently I read a blog by Matt Walsh, here is the link: http://themattwalshblog.com/2013/11/02/dear-daughter-youre-beautiful-regardless-of-what-the-media-tells-you/ It was something that was like cold water splashed across my face, because his words ring with truth and what we wish was true.
As women we look in magazines, on TV, in the movies and we see perfect bodies, no blemishes, alluring kiss me lips, stunning eyes, and curves in all the right places, and we think: I wish I looked like that…then I would be loved. That’s what it’s all about ultimately, isn’t it? We want to be beautiful because we have an end goal in sight, don’t we? What is that goal? I’ll tell you. LOVE. Women are starving for affection. They don’t want a hundred men to think she’s beautiful. They just want ONE who reminds her of her beauty, ONE who speaks words that build her very soul up, ONE man who stands up for her and declares to the world: THIS IS THE ONE I CHOOSE. Yes, women want that fairy tale, that fulfillment of being pursued, chosen, and cherished. At times we get discouraged when we see the men around us constantly choosing the OBVIOUSLY fake and so with each heart break we become a little fake too. We add a layer of makeup. We change our wardrobe. We learn to fake confidence. Why? So we can be chosen.
But what we don’t realize is that we are feeding the fake machine.
Again, they (whoever ‘they’ are) say that confidence is the most appealing thing. I can’t disagree. When I look at a man, I notice many things, among the main things is his confidence. Confidence gives a sense of security. Safety. A woman who is confident is comfortable in her own skin. What others think of her might be taken into consideration but ultimately she decides who she is. She is strong. You can tell by her walk that what the world says is heard but taken through her own filter. But how does a woman come to posses this kind of confidence?
Personally, as I recently told a friend, it’s a work in progress.
I think most truly confident people have first gone through the ringer and came out on the wining end.
For me that’s what it is.
Before I got married I was full of life and confidence. It showed on the inside and the outside. I did my hair in intricate hairstyles, cleverly put on my make up, dressed nicely. When I got married things changed. Now understand, marriage shouldn’t EVER change this part of you for the worse (this goes both ways). There is one thing that remains burned in my mind that I have had to force myself to cast aside. I remember before I had children, I was walking through a mall in Arizona with my husband. Out of the blue he said: “Why aren’t any of the guys checking you out?” This left me speechless. Firstly I didn’t care for any other guy to ‘check me out’, I loved my husband and didn’t want anyone else’s attention but his. There were other instances that tore at the very core of who I was. When he cheated. When he left me defenseless. When he became the abuser. Many of you can relate to this. But really it comes down to that one question he asked. It’s a question that I found myself asking over and over.
After my divorce, I had dated a few times. But I was not confident. My insecurities were very strong. I was still very very broken and this of course didn’t lead to any lasting relationships. Why? Because honestly you can’t build upon a broken foundation. The old foundation has to be torn away and built anew. Needless to say, it has been a long journey. With each new heart break I would ask myself: Why aren’t guys checking me out? Why am I not enough? Why am I not beautiful? So many feelings would overwhelm and threaten to spiral me into a dark abyss of depression. For a long time I felt stupid. Not capable of doing anything (another thing that was ingrained in me by my ex). I was scarred to make conversation because each time I tried I would remember another thing my ex said: “You don’t even know who to talk like a mature person, you’re such a child.”
I am not alone in this. Each woman out there that lacks confidence has been in my boat, shoes or whatever at one point or another. Perhaps the words of discouragement were different, but still they led to the same feeling of inadequacy…ugliness…stupidity.
Now stop. Listen. Though we have gone through this, now that we have those feelings written and exposed, it’s time to realize a few things. One, beauty truly is in the eye of the beholder. I have seen this in action. A person I might think is not handsome is super HOT (for a lack of a better word) to another woman. The same goes for guys. You might be SUPER HOT to one guy and to another you might not be his ‘type’. Two, the world is surrounded with fakeness. In the above mentioned blog there is a video link that shows a model being photoshopped…please understand that when your looking at facebook pictures, magazine pictures, understand that much is FAKE. If you saw that same person IN person you may not even recognize them (I mean who hasn’t used Instagram or whatever to edit a flaw). Also for those who look perfect in person…well I suppose they could be ‘gifted’, but also the many pounds of makeup probably contribute also…when that comes off, what is left? Is beauty only skin deep? Now understand, I’m not saying not to wear make up (I love the stuff), I’m just saying, be modest. Three, ask yourself: What kind of person am I trying to attract anyway? My opinion is that fake attracts fake.
See, at this point in my life I have reached that stage where I walk a bit differently than I did for the past five years. I know who I am. I know what I want. I have been given some great advice that I fully intend to follow. Yes. I am a woman. I want to be loved. But one thing I know at this moment in time is that I will not settle for fake. I will not settle for just the exterior. Here is what I want (and I think perhaps women may want to contemplate these and maybe make your own list of what is non-negotiable, this is a list of what I expect of myself and of my ultimate ‘prince Charming’):
1.) I don’t expect perfect, I expect REAL.
2.) I expect a relationship with God.
3.) I expect words of affirmation, kindness, gestures that scream I LOVE YOU and YOU ARE BEAUTIFUL TO ME (this is not something that has to be shown through THINGS, things pass away and thus at times become worthless)
4.) If I meet someone, date him, but somehow doesn’t lead to a relationship then I will follow some wise advise: NEXT. Personally I’m of the opinion that yes, I will give a person a change…maybe two, but honestly there comes a point where I won’t waste my time chasing when I should be the one chased.
5.) I REFUSE to pretend to be someone I am NOT. (our flaws will come out in the end anyway) I am who I am. If a person doesn’t like that: NEXT.
6.) I will not compromise, nor give myself except to the one who HE chooses for me.
Now please understand that when I say next I am strictly referring to dating. I am not referring to sleeping around (to me that is not a relationship, that is a cheap imitation of a wanna-be relationship, and as God’s Daughters I think we deserve a whole lot better than that).
So. I am ugly. Lie. Lie. Lie. Don’t you believe it. I don’t know if a man is reading this or a woman is reading this, but what I’ve written perhaps can go both ways. We are God’s creation. Wonderfully made. Fearfully made. We are as unique as each snowflake that falls is unique. Not a single one is the same…so why try to copy what this dying world calls ‘beautiful’. YOU DEFINE YOUR OWN BEAUTY. Hold your head up. Look up. Because you know…that’s where your beauty…handsomeness, and STRENGTH come from.