Beauty is in the eye of the beholder, as the old adage goes. So with that sentiment in mind, I suppose it would be safe to say that the beholder is often blind.
we live in such a self-scrutinizing world in which we tear ourselves apart and see only a blend of imperfections when we look in the mirror. And to make matters worse we are constantly bombarded with detrimental messages in media content which criticize celebrities for their weight, their lifestyle, their clothing, and pretty much anything and everything else. The result? We are left with the overarching feeling that nothing we do will ever be good enough for ourselves, our family, our friends, or society. We will never be good enough. We will never measure up.
In reality though, this is not true. To demonstrate, I want you to think about someone you are really close to–it could be your best friend, your sister, your brother, or perhaps your mother or father. Now, think about the things which they are insecure about. Maybe they believe that they are not thin enough, smart enough, or strong enough. Maybe they don’t think they are worthy of love or maybe they feel self-conscious about their ability to provide financially for their family.
Now, I want you to think about how their criticisms of themselves line up with your perceptions of them. Personally, when I think about my best friend I think about how incredibly supportive she his, how smart and talented and driven to succeed she is, and how happy I feel when I am with her. I think about how she can make me laugh when I’m having a bad day and how she has the most beautiful smile. I think about how emotionally strong she is for overcoming so much adversity in her own life and I think about how compassionate she is for using her experiences to help other people. She is wonderful.
Comparatively, as her best friend I know that she has so many doubts about her ability to succeed and her ability to overcome challenges. I know that she sees herself as incapable of overcoming many challenges in life and it baffles me to try to see her as she sees herself because the version of herself that she sees is so distorted and unrealistic.
The point that I’m trying to drive home with this is that even if you see yourself and being entirely flawed and imperfect, the people who care about you see so much more. They see your beauty and your strengths and your weaknesses all combined into the wonderful perfectly imperfect being that you are. You might only be able to see your flaws, but please know that your self-image is often very distorted. Think of self-image as one of those fun-house mirrors at fairs which are intended to make you look silly. Except in this case, you aren’t aware that the image reflecting back at you is distorted; you simply accept it as fact. It takes a lot of self-reflection to take a step back and see yourself as others see you. It’s not impossible, but it definitely takes a lot of work.
Remember, everything (and everyone!) has beauty, but not everyone can see. You may be blind to your own incredible awesomeness, but the rest of the world is not.