To Choosing Beautiful: A Pledge

Dove’s “Campaign for Real Beauty” popularly addresses topics of beauty standards and photo alteration to its target audience, female media consumers. Earlier this week, Dove released its Choose Beautiful campaign through a video that features two doors labeled “average” and “beautiful” placed side by side in various metropolitan locations around the world. Women are indirectly instructed to walk through one of the doors representing how they view themselves.

Dove conducted a study for the campaign and found that 96% of the women in the study did not choose the word “beautiful” to describe how they look, but 80% agreed that they saw something beautiful in themselves.

Beauty is open to interpretation. It is no secret that women are culprits to overarching beauty ideals. Blonde hair blue eyes big butt bigger boobs long legs lean arms and the list goes on and on. Beauty to me is skin deep and has nothing to do with looks other than an infectious smile that brings happiness to others. Beauty to me is ambition, intelligence, strength, passion, creativity, understanding, and the ability to see the good in people.

I watched the video and was immediately aggravated every time I watched a woman walk through the “average” door. When I walk through town and school in my everyday life I subconsciously see beauty in everyone, and it was no different with the women I saw in the video. It almost breaks my heart to hear strong women put down their looks or compare their own beauty to that of someone else.

And then I started thinking: what door would I walk through? I can preach beauty and empowerment until the end of time, but there are still some days that I would choose average because a) I don’t feel beautiful all the time and b) the fear of misjudgment from others: who is to say that I am beautiful? who is the judge? why would I go through the “beautiful” door if a woman who is just as beautiful walked through the “average” door?

I wasted a lot of time in my life thinking that I wasn’t beautiful enough until one day I realized it was enough; putting myself down isn’t going to get me anywhere and it’s definitely not going to make anyone else believe that I am beautiful. Today I very rarely compliment others on appearance because I see beauty in a different lens: through character, intelligence, and warmth.

The subjectivity of beauty is a gift. Beauty is in the eye of the beholder. We’ve all heard the cliches, but they are cliche for a reason. You decide if you are beautiful and when you decide it the rest of the world will see your beauty shine through. It’s about making the choice to walk through that “beautiful” door and telling yourself that you’re beautiful even when you’re not feeling it.

It’s important to remember that we’re all real: I’m real and you’re real. We all compare ourselves and our beauty to others because we’re human. One of the quotes I live by is, “comparison is the thief of joy.” The only person you should compete with is the you from yesterday. We are all made up of different features and different body types. Think about it this way: would you still be friends with someone who talked about your looks the way you do your own? If the answer is NO! then it’s time to start on the journey of self love and appreciation.

In starting this blog, I wanted to create a safe space for questions, support, and motivation. So this is my reminder to let you know that wherever you are in your fitness journey, you’re just as beautiful as you were when you started and where you will be in 5, 10, and 20 years. Today I want you to pledge to always choose beautiful and inspire others to recognize their own beauty through your own.

x Kayla J.

Tell me about your definition of beauty in the comments!

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