"In all of living have much fun and laughter. Life is to be enjoyed, not just endured!"
~ Gordon B. Hinckley

Sunday, September 22, 2013

In the Eye of the Beholder

Two weeks ago we went yardsaleing (one of my favorite things!) and we totally hit the jackpot! We didn't get out and about until around 12:30, and by then it was crazy hot and the bugs were insane, and the lady running the yard sale just wanted her stuff to be gone! She had me fill up a huge bin with stuff and sold me the lot for $10 flat. Our spoils include treasures like a Wilton princess-shaped cake pan (!!!!), some cake decorating books, 2 diaper bags, nice embroidered burp clothes, several pairs of darling baby socks, some changing pads, a few other things, and a TON of super cute baby clothes - basically all like-new!

After hitting that sale we were feeling pretty good about our success (plus the heat and bugs really were unbearable), so we were going to call it a day. Of course I had to happen to see another yard sale with baby stuff on the side of the road...so we made one more quick stop.

The lady running this sale told us to come in out of the sun to look at her items, but then looked at my exceptionally pale skin and joked that I should actually stay out in the sun instead to get some more color. She was Korean, and told me that in Korea women think white white white skin like mine is extraordinarily beautiful. Meanwhile I was jealously admiring the beautifully healthy tan hue of her skin that mine is incapable of achieving.

It's kind of silly. Girls with white skin are voluntarily giving themselves skin cancer and aging their skin to make it look darker, while other girls with nice dark skin are spending a fortune to damage their skin with bleaching products and other stuff to make their skin lighter. So which is really the most beautiful? It just depends who you're asking.

That thought made me think about all the various contradictory things I've been told by others about myself, or overheard them saying about me.

My eyes are beautiful and round. My eyes are freakishly huge and I shouldn't open them all the way when I get excited because they look weird.

My hair is so beautifully thick and luscious and healthy! My hair is unfashionably healthy and I should have it damaged so it will look more normal.
My long hair is something to be jealous of. My hair is too long.
My natural hair color is really pretty. "Don't you want your hair to be a different color than that?".
My hair is so nice and perfectly straight, and I'm lucky to have it. My hair is really dead and flat and unstyled.

My teeth are really nice and white and straight. My teeth are too huge and round like a little kid who still hasn't grown into her permanent teeth yet.

I have a great smile. My smile is too big, and my teeth come over my lip too much.

My freckles are really cute. My freckles are a shame and make my complexion look even worse.

Short girls are the best. I'm too short; tall girls with legs for days are where it's at.

I look great. I'm too fat. I'm too skinny.
I should stop eating desserts. I need to eat more because people are worried about me.

My legs are beautifully sculpted. My legs are the biggest of anyone in my dance class. My legs are super skinny.
My legs hyper-extend too much. My legs don't straighten enough.

I could go on, but I won't. I think I've made my point.

These are all things that other people (friends, associates, strangers) have looked at me and said about my appearance without provocation; they are not my own thoughts about myself (though I will admit, several of these thoughts have also existed in my mind).

So who is right? Which features are actually beautiful, and which are ugly?

Honestly, I think it just goes to show that beauty is in the eye of the beholder. Everyone is different, so of course they'll see the same thing differently and appreciate different things. There's no sense in comparing apples to oranges.

The things that make you different make you beautiful, and the things that make you similar and relateable make you beautiful.

And because it's Sunday and I just had a mini lesson/discussion about God's creations, I just have to include Ecclesiastes 3:11

"He hath made everything beautiful in His time"

If I had to choose one person whose opinion was the most correct of anyone, I'd choose my Heavenly Father.

So there! Now go feel beautiful, and be beautiful, because you are :)

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