Courtesy of Operation Beautiful (www.operationbeautiful.com)
"We cut, wax, color, clip, pluck, straighten, shave, and curl. We lift, curl, run, squat, and sweat. We spend far too long staring back at that person in the mirror, scrutinizing, worrying, and wishing. Wishing that our stomach could be just a little bit flatter, that our arms could be a little more toned, that our legs could be longer. Wishing we could look just like that woman we see in the office, the grocery store, the mall. Fantasizing and pretending, telling ourselves "if only." It happens because we’re getting messages thrown at us everywhere we look – we watch shows that tell us we’re not good enough, we read magazines that tell us to work harder, and we take diet pills that only take off our self-esteem. Ad campaigns for stores and clothing lines feature women who you wish you could look like in your dreams.
We feel worthless, repulsive, flawed, and never good enough. We’re exhausted both physically and mentally both day in and day out from everything life gives us. We constantly compare ourselves to others and fall short of the images we see, our ideals, and expectations. We aim so high and are shocked when we can’t make the mark, when in reality, our own beauty isn’t dependent on who we would like to be.
So where does beauty come from? Where can it be found? I can assure you it isn’t hidden in the words of any beauty, diet, or fitness magazine article. It doesn’t come in a 12 can pack and promise a smaller waistline. It’s not something that comes out when it is covered up with makeup or ejected from a needle, and it doesn’t come included with jewelry or price tags. You won’t find it on a treadmill or in the weight room. No – beauty is what lies within you.
Real, natural, strong, and powerful beauty comes from within your heart. It blossoms like a rose in spring and encourages such an alluring, captivating, exquisite spirit that cannot be contained. A confident woman is a force to be reckoned with! Nothing can stop her, and nothing can get her down. I have both witnessed and experienced this. I have been where many of you have been, currently are, and, sadly, will be. I have hit rock bottom more than once. But I have come so far where I used to be with the realization I am about to share with you. From one woman to another, take these words fully: you are beautiful, just the way you are. You, right now, as you are reading this, are enough. In this moment. Today, tomorrow, and forever. Just as you are. Be confident with the person you have grown to be. There will never be another you, so why would you try to be like someone else? Beauty comes indifferent forms for every woman. Natural, wonderful, healthy, fabulous, unique. That’s what you are, and that’s what beauty is."