What is True Beauty? – Forget What the Media Says

I’ve been having a great training week so far; I really think those mini-goals are keeping me focused! Last night I was able to stop by the cemetery and visit my brother which totally made my week.  I’ll have more about that on Monday’s recap.  But today I want to talk about something that’s really been bothering me.  Recently, the media has quite frankly been pissing me off.  With all of the awesomeness that the 2012 Olympics brought there are still news agencies (TV, newspaper, magazines, whatever) that have to point out flaws.  I mean these are kick butt, gold medal wearing Olympians and yet they’re still not good enough.  WTH?!? A few examples:

Gabby Douglas was reamed by the media about her hair.

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Melissa Franklin’s size 13 feet have been the butt of several media jokes.

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Australia’s triple Olympic breaststroke gold medalist Leisel Jones has been criticized for her weight.

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Let me mention again that these are gold medalists! The best of the best in the world and yet they’re not good enough? I get so tired of the media trying to force an ideal image on us.  How boring would life be if we were all cut from the same cloth? *YAWN*  And what really ruffles my feathers (oh yes, I did just say that) is that the media believes they actually understand beauty.  While in reality, what they are doing is perpetuating a stereotype of beauty; causing unnecessary feelings of inadequacy in the ‘average Joe’ (or Josette, in this case).  I can’t imagine how they would rip a person like me to shreds.

So what is beautiful?  For me, beauty is not something that can be judged from outside appearances alone.  True beauty comes from within and can’t be enhanced with lipstick or mascara.  It’s found in the genuineness of smile, an encouraging hug from a friend, the willingness to help a stranger in need.  It can be seen in the laugh lines that frame a face or the stretch marks and wide hips that once carried a child.  That is true beauty. Below is a picture of  a woman who exemplifies true beauty.  My grandmother.  Will she ever be on the cover of Vogue? No.  But she is one of the most beautiful people I know.  Her tired and stretched body brought 6 amazing children into this world.  Her calloused hands taught me the meaning of being a hard worker.  Her toothless smile (because, let’s face it…she only wears her dentures occasionally) lights up her face anytime I see her.  She is true beauty in motion.
So when you look in the mirror who do you see? Do you see the beautiful face staring back at you? If not, I encourage you to take a closer look. Do you see eyes accentuated with compassion? A beautifully shaped mouth that has a kind word to offer? Hair that is the perfect texture for a child to run their hands through? Ears that will listen to someone in their time of need? Starting to get the picture?
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When I start to get down on my appearance, which happens more often then I care to admit, I just look at myself through the eyes of my family and friends – especially my husband who thinks I hung the moon (well, most of the time).  They see past the media’s ideal of beauty and love me for what value I bring into their lives.  I truly believe that we all need to throw away the media’s idea of beauty; then and only then will we be able to stop worrying about what others think and embrace our full potential.  If you get nothing else out of this post, at least believe that no matter whatever your shape or size, you are beautiful!
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In honor of beautiful women, I’m having my first giveaway! The awesome girls behind Fit Approach also think every woman is beautiful and to celebrate that they sent me a pair of hot pink shoe laces so your shoes can be just as cute as you!

The rules are extremely simple:  Tell me in the comment section what your most beautiful feature is and why.  It can be physical feature or a characteristic.  For an extra entry you can tweet about it;  “I want to win #sweatpink laces from @asphaltnosher because I am beautiful!”.  Just let me know you did by leaving a separate comment.

The contest ends August 24th at midnight (EST) and the winner will be chosen at random and announced Monday August 27th.  Good luck!

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16 thoughts on “What is True Beauty? – Forget What the Media Says

  1. Such an amazing post!! You’re so right here!! It’s amazing how critical and nasty the world can be. Everyone definitely needs to hear this and dwell on it! Thanks for sharing! SPALove!

  2. I’m not applying for the comp, but I wanted to let you know how gorgeous this post is. We get down on ourselves so often. And so does … everyone. Let’s enjoy a bit more! Love this post, you’re gorgeous xx

  3. Not that I want pink shoe laces, they don’t match anything in my wardrobe. I just wanted to thank you for being the greatest daughter a Dad could be blessed to have. You never cease to amaze me. Love ya, Dad

  4. I think my arms are my mots beautiful feature for the same reason the runners are confident with their legs. I have been working hard with my weight lifting and I am extremely proud of my progress! 🙂

  5. I lost my finger nails after I spent 3 weeks in the burn unit at age 16. I have always been self conscious of not having pretty finger nails. I now think of my hands as my most beautiful part of me because it reminds me of how my life was saved 24 years ago!

    • Wow, thank you so much for sharing this Katie! I can’t imagine how hard your journey to peace and regaining confidence was but I’m so very glad that you are able to see the positive in a terrible situation. A very large reason for me writing this post is because I can get very self conscious about the superficial things that don’t matter; it’s what God sees in us that matters!

  6. Gina, I’m just reading this post now, and I just want to say amen, sister! It’s so frustrating when the media slam these athletes, who are the best in the world; if these ladies aren’t perfect or beautiful or of gold-medal caliber (in the eyes of the media), then what does it mean for us mere mortals? How can girls today grow up with self-confidence and have a positive self image? Great post.

    • I adored your post yesterday! Obviously, I get pretty sore about this subject, too. It just ticks me off that little girls (and boys) are growing up with a preconceived notion of what or whom they should be. One of the greatest gifts I received from running is realizing that athletes come in all shapes and sizes and there isn’t a one size fits all. Screw the media; embrace individuality!

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