Tuesday, July 1, 2014

Beauty Defined

When I teach an essay style called definition, my students and I go over several abstract terms, so we learn about all different types of definitions like denotative, connotative, stipulation, negation, etc. We define terms like patriotism or courage. One of my favorite to explore is beauty, for each of us have our own stipulation of beauty.
Picasso’s Blue Nude is considered beautiful. Leonardo Da Vinci’s Mona Lisa has been admired for centuries, yet they are very different styles seen through totally different perceptions of beauty. All of us have an aspect of beauty, whether external or internal. So, when one speaks of being beautiful, one should think about their own view and what is right or wrong with that perception.
We cannot live our lives to be beautiful for others. We must, must seek the beauty that gives us peace. We must accept ourselves as we were created and as we evolve. I was in my twenties during the Twiggy years. I thought the thinner I was the more attractive I was. I nearly starved myself to death. I weighed 83 pounds at my lowest point. Pictures reflect how horribly emaciated I was, yet I considered myself beautiful because others saw skinny as beauty. Dove is doing something to alter that perception, yet it isn’t enough. When most runway models are pencil thin and magazine models are barely a size two, we continue to send the wrong message.
My suggestion is this – stay healthy by eating nutritious foods, staying away from processed foods, exercising at least twenty minutes a day five days a week, and weighing in at least three days a week. Why? Because, if you are overweight or underweight,  it’s the simplest way of keeping your ideal weight (for your height and bone structure) in check. Avoid at all cost denying yourself foods you love, just don’t eat as much. If you’re underweight, I still recommend eating healthy food and avoiding processed because these can cause other health problems.

Be good to yourself, and begin every morning with this mantra, “ I am beautiful because I am.”

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