Quick – do three things before you read this post:
- Define beauty.
- Describe your face.
- Describe yourself (how you look).
Beauty, faces and self-image are powerfully informative concepts. How we define beauty informs how we read faces and the world. This definition of beauty is often applied when we look at a face – others and our own. We read faces to tell us emotions, age and so much more. Self-image involves a lot of things – how we define beauty along with viewed abilities and short comings.
About a year ago I shared some thoughts for Compliment Your Mirror Day (July 3rd) – songs that might be helpful in discussing self-image and our feelings about our reflections.
The people at Dove have dramatically brought focus to this concept of self-image and beauty with Real Beauty Sketches.
Hearing the self descriptions and seeing the images they create juxtaposed to the random stranger description and resulting sketch is powerful. If you haven’t done so take some time to explore the sketches in the Dove post.
There is so much that impacts our definitions of ourselves. The words other use to describe and define us. Our emotions around the success, failures and challenges of life. Many people struggle with self-image and their body image as they age or when their body changes due to surgery, injury, or goes through a dramatic change.
Many of us have heard “Love your neighbor as yourself.” Many a minister has admonished people to treat others better. Rarely (if ever) do we hear about the first step – loving ourselves.
We enter this world relying on others to respond to our cries, to care for us, to make facial connection with us. How that is delivered, starts the process of defining our self-image and expectations from the world.
Many of us – young, old, teen, middle-aged, all abilities, all skin tones – struggle at some time, at many times with self-love.
I challenge you, sing or listen to Joe Cocker sing “You are So Beautiful” while you look in the mirror. Make peace with that “imperfect” being you see – moles, bent nose, scars, crooked teeth, (insert your own imperfection here) knowing your capacity to “bring such joy and happiness” is what makes you beautiful.
How does this impact your definitions of beauty, how you describe your face, your self-image?