When you look in the mirror, what do you see?
Are you looking beyond the imperfections to recognize the woman you are on the inside? If not, perhaps it is time to celebrate being you – "flaws" and all.
Studies suggest that over 90% of women wish to change something about their physical appearance.
This dissatisfaction with our self-image often affects generations of women, even down to the youngest girls in society who may feel that they must constantly strive to meet unattainable goals of beauty. Our self criticism makes our children question their own appearance and continues the cycle on.
In the end, when we realize that we cannot achieve these far-fetched ideals of a flawless image, we are left disappointed, de-valued, and unhappy about who we really are.
The truth, my beautiful friends is that we all have imperfections and the very notion of ‘flawless beauty’ is a flawed concept. If we remain unhappy with what we see in the mirror, constantly trying to fix and conceal our own appearances, we will never truly be happy or free.
You see, real women face real challenges and true beauty often has nothing to do with physical appearance but everything to do with the condition of our hearts.
“Whole life is a search for beauty. But, when the beauty is found inside,
the search ends and a beautiful journey begins,”
― Harshit Walia.
Next time you look in the mirror, don’t fret about those laughter lines, grey hairs and wrinkles around your eyes. When you see a photo of yourself don't just pick yourself apart, your children apart, your spouse apart. These flaws that only you see through your own tainted lens do not make you ‘less than’ or not worthy of capturing those moments. Because each day we grow a bit older, a bit bigger or smaller, a bit wrinklier. That is life. That is the beauty of it.
What the world calls "imperfections" or what you think are "imperfections" are actually the signs of a life well lived and they tell our stories to the world. They are a part of us, a part of our story.
If we celebrate our "flaws" instead of concealing them, we will learn to embrace and honor the journey that has brought us to where we are today. If we learn to speak positivity towards ourselves daily, we will see a change in our head and in our hearts.
Let’s teach our young girls that they are beautiful, loved, accepted and celebrated in every shape and form. Let's teach ourselves the same thing.
Something I like to ask... If a friend talked to me the way that I talked to myself, would I truly consider her a friend? I want that answer to be a resounding YES YES YES for you and for me!
Outer beauty is fleeting... one day we will look back on the photographs of today and wish we would have appreciated ourselves or worse, look back in our life and wish we did not let our lack of love for our own self-image be the thing that kept us from documenting the important times in our lives, from enjoying the moments that pass us by.
In the end, it is our attitudes, our self-belief and our moral compasses that will set the tone for a happy and content life.
& as far as my girls are concerned... I think I am the most beautiful person in the world and so are they. I hope that this confidence radiates through them so that they never wish they look different than they are.
Ellasyn G. Gelhar, Beloved Daughter, Conover, Ohio
Photography: Elisabeth Ashliegh / Elisabeth Ashliegh Photography
Elisabeth Ashliegh Gelhar