What is Beauty? And Who Defined It For You?

by Ashley on June 28, 2013

Happy Friday! Wahoo! The weekend is here!

Today has already been an AMAZING day. I was lucky enough to work with an incredible photographer, person, friend (check out some of her amazing work) and the master behind Some Place Wild, LLC early this morning. Here is a sneak peak photo from on her Instagram account of just one of the locations that we shot.

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She has so much talent and her passion shines through in each one of her pictures. I will wait to share what these photos are for but I can go ahead a say some things will be changing over here again soon. Get ready!

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Also, in other news, I did a guest post for the Trainlete blog today, an awesome website linking sports trainers and athletes, on the importance of recovery nutrition for athletes. Even if your not an athlete per se but you do any form of exercise/activity you  should check it out. It has a delicious post-workout smoothie recipe if nothing else!

So on to today…

Yesterday, one of my friends shared this article titled “When Your Mother Says She’s Fat” by Kasey Edwards on Facebook and it seriously couldn’t have been more ironic. I have been thinking and talking about this topic A LOT lately and it’s as if the author and my friend that posted it knew my every thought – not in the way that the author wrote it to her mom but in the way I hope to never be toward my future daughter.

If you haven’t read the article, let me try my best to summarize it… (But seriously, my words won’t give this article justice. It is incredibly written and I highly recommend that if you don’t have time to read it now, bookmark it and read it when you do have time.)

Basically the article is written as a letter from the author to her mom. She starts off by telling her mom that as a child she only knew one thing: that her mother was beautiful. It wasn’t until one day when her mom looked at her as they were getting ready for a party and told the young-at-the-time author that she (the little girl) was “thin, beautiful, and lovely” and that she (the mom) was “fat, ugly, and horrible.”

She (the mom) was obviously having one of those self-doubting moments that we have all had when our favorite bathing suit doesn’t fit any more or when our white pants from last summer are just too tight this summer. We’ve all been there.

The author is telling her mom is that she (the mom), in this moment, taught her the meaning of beauty. This excerpt from the article says it best…

In the days that followed I had some painful revelations that have shaped my whole life. I learned that:

1. You must be fat because mothers don’t lie.
2. Fat is ugly and horrible.
3. When I grow up I’ll look like you and therefore I will be fat, ugly, and horrible too.

Wow. When we think of it like that, the words that we say mean a lot more than we might ever realize.

I’ll admit it: although I didn’t realize this until recently, I struggle with self-doubt and speaking negatively of myself.  A few weeks ago my sister-in-law brought it to my attention and I am so grateful that she did. She told me it had to stop and she was right. I am so thankful to have someone strong enough in my life to speak the truth.

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We are all beautifully perfect however we are: whatever shape, whatever size, whatever height, whatever race, whatever. What if I had never realized this and raised a daughter saying some the things I used to say about myself in front of her? Thankfully, I have a mom that never spoke like this in front of me and my three sisters. She never put value in her or our appearance – it was so much more than that. We were beautiful when we were kind, loving, caring and giving, not when we had on our cutest outfit or had our best hair day. What a shame it would have been had I not realized this and not given my daughter this same gift?

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I love these closing words…

The older we get, the more loved ones we lose to accidents and illness. Their passing is always tragic and far too soon. I sometimes think about what these friends—and the people who love them—wouldn’t give for more time in a body that was healthy. A body that would allow them to live just a little longer. The size of that body’s thighs or the lines on its face wouldn’t matter. It would be alive and therefore it would be perfect.

How true is that? Life is about living, loving, being, laughing, sharing, caring, and giving. Not about the way our pants hit our middle section, the way our arms look in our tank tops, the way our legs look on the beach, the way a wrinkle has formed on our face or any of that. While it’s important to be happy in the body we live in, it’s equally important to realize that beauty is far more than skin deep. Beauty actually is in the wrinkles on our face because it means we laugh and smile often.

Edwards ends the article perfectly…

Every moment we spend worrying about our physical ‘‘flaws’’ is a moment wasted, a precious slice of life that we will never get back.

Think about that and let it change your mind. We are all beautiful just the way we are. Let that soak in and have an incredibly beautiful weekend!

Good health!

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{ 10 comments… read them below or add one }

jeff June 28, 2013 at 11:58 am

Great POST!!!! Your MOM is truly a Angle!!!

JTH

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Ashley June 30, 2013 at 12:37 pm

Thanks dad! You are right about that!

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Shashi @ http://RunninSriLankan.com June 28, 2013 at 12:42 pm

What a beautiful post! Thank YOU! Hope you have a great weekend too!

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Ashley June 30, 2013 at 12:37 pm

Thank you Shashi!

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Leah Vickroy June 28, 2013 at 2:43 pm

love this article! thanks for sharing. I am one of Dustin’s cousins–we have never officially met but i read your blog regularly just have never commented! I love it and your writing style! I do a conference for women every year at the a UGA campus ministry and i think that i am going to incorporate this somehow–so good for college girls to hear! thanks!

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Ashley June 30, 2013 at 12:37 pm

Hi Leah! Thank you! I’m so happy to hear you follow along. I agree, college girls would definitely benefit from it! Thanks for the comment!

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tracey June 28, 2013 at 8:02 pm

this was awesome. thank you

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Ashley June 30, 2013 at 12:35 pm

Thank you and thanks for stopping by :))

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Erika Hughes July 2, 2013 at 10:37 am

Amazing post Ashley-great reminders for women everyday! Love reading your blog xo

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Ashley July 2, 2013 at 12:44 pm

Thank you Erika! Thank you for reading along 🙂

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