I want to convince you that you are beautiful.
Hell, there’s not a thing in the world more obvious to me. You are a human being — a composition of more than a trillion cells working together in intricate concert — which makes you a manifestation of the stunning and powerful life force that has run throughout the course of the universe’s history. You may not be a supernova on the scale of galaxies and solar systems, but you are a supernova in your own right, a tiny biological corner of the world. You are a manifestation of the universe, a creature of unimaginable complexity, consciousness, strength, love, and life.
You are a woman. You were born of your parents and raised in whatever lovely or heartbreaking environment that happened to be. Things happened to you as you grew older. You stopped being just a collection of cells and you became a human being. You collected triumphs and struggles and scars that now color your past. They have made you. For better or for worse, you are exactly who you are today. You have landed here after years of evolution, years of a real story, years of so much complexity and life and beauty it hurts me just to think about it.
You are a creature, worthy of life and love and beauty. You may stumble and you may be sad and you may not believe in yourself at all. But that is only a matter of your own mind, your own troubles. It doesn’t change the fact that you have an inherent radiance, a beauty, a power. You may deliberately manifest it or you may not. But it is there. It lives and breathes inside of you, it thrums in your veins. You think you’re not beautiful? Check again. There is so much to you, so much inside of you, so much in the fabric of your cells and the arches of your mind. Still think you’re not beautiful? Fine. Give it time. But start paying attention. It’s there, woman. You’ve just got to let it’s voice be heard. You’ve got to let the music of your vibrance find it’s key.
So who are you to be beautiful?
Here’s a better question: Who are you not to be?
This is not just your right. It is not just your nature. It is your responsibility.
We live in a world that is constantly telling us we are not good enough. Sometimes this is completely unintentional. Sometimes it is deliberately intentional. Clothing lines, fashion, beauty supplies… they all need us to feel less so that we will consume more. Even goods that may seem completely innocent at first — like coffee pots, China, furniture — they are a part of a consumer culture. Consumer culture revolves around us being told we need that one thing in order to be happy. Our culture, if it can make us feel like we are less, then it can make us turn to it and buy things and become addicted to things for a feeling of more.
This culture kills women. Literally, it kills us. Thousands of women die of starvation every year, completely of their own volition, yoked to the obsession with thinness, being attractive, and submitting themselves to contemporary ideas of beauty.
And it tears at the heartstrings of so many more. So many young girls who question their bodies. So many women who pinch their hips in the mirror every night and fall asleep fantasizing about slicing them off their bodies. That girl on the subway who looks away when you meet her eyes, afraid of being rejected, afraid of who she is, of what it means to be a woman who might be lovely, who might deserve to be lovely.
So this is what I say to you: it is not just for your sake that you are beautiful, but for the sake of every woman and man struggling to find peace in this world.
The more you can step up and stop being afraid of what’s going on around you, and the more and more you can own and love your own unique manifestation of beauty, the more others are liberated to do the same. It’s not a beauty contest. It’s not a matter of looks. It is a matter of inherent worth, of human loveliness, of appreciation for the delicate essence of each person within their own story lines. You are a creature inherently worthy. If you start owning that fact, you are advancing the grand scale liberation of humanity world wide. I am not joking. This is something human kind needs, and desperately.
We need to stop being so afraid of each other. What’s so terrifying about your appearance? What’s so terrifying about confidence? What’s so terrifying about meeting a stranger’s eyes, and maintaining eye contact? The reason so many of us cannot own our own beauty is because we are so afraid of being rejected. We swim in fear. It surrounds us. It governs our very lives. We are self-conscious. We hope other people will like us. We enter rooms and we are desperately afraid that someone might see our acne or notice that we’ve gained a few pounds. We want to be loved, and we want it so, very badly.
But needing love, and wanting affirmation… those things are not all that scary. People are willing to give it to us if we only give them a chance. If we spend so much time denying our beauty, then we don’t hear the voices telling us it’s okay. If we spend so much time worrying about how we look, we forget that owning our own beauty is an important part of that process. If we keep drowning ourselves in the pain and history of our own minds, we actively prevent ourselves from being able to break the surface of those waters. We need to be okay in order for people to feel okay with us. We need to step up and say YES to our beauty in order for others to stop being afraid, too.
The less afraid you are, the less afraid everyone around you will be in turn. For this reason, it is your responsibility to be beautiful. It’s for you, but don’t you want to rise up with everyone around you in your life, and stop apologizing for who you all are? What a beautiful, exultant world it would be, if we would all stop fearing and judging and hating and questioning each other, and instead rose together in triumphant revolution of personal stories, personal worth, personal dignity, and personal radiance? Of the community together, as one, all loving and affirming and saying YES to human possibility. Fuck beauty norms! Throw your judgments out the window. Who are they helping? No one! We have to stop saying no to brilliance.
We don’t have time for no.
We don’t have time for hate and ugliness. Life is the blink of a cosmic eye, and nothing more. Don’t waste it saying no to yourself and to your loved ones. Screw it! Don’t waste this enormous, complex, living, breathing, dancing, singing, crying, flying, laughing, delightful gift of a body and an experience. Say yes to yourself. Own who you are, and step into these beautiful, radiant, exultant shoes of yours. Do it one step at a time. Give yourself grace. Permit yourself the space to feel however you need to. Work slowly through your issues of fear and hesitance. Give your soul a hug. But challenge it. Push it forwards. No one ever said life was easy. I certainly didn’t say it. But I did say: try, damn you. Try, try, try. Get hurt by life? Get up again and step forward. Raise your chin. Look up. Do it in light. Do it in love. Do it for yourself, and for everyone else, too.
I wrote at the very beginning of this article that I wanted to convince you that you are beautiful.
First, obviously I cannot do that. I can give you a push. I can shout at you. I can conjole you. But that is in your hands, and rightfully so. You are worthy of it. You only have to remove your blinders to your own light.
And secondly, who cares about beauty, anyway?
Now wait a minute. I’ve been harping on the inherent beauty of you and everyone in your life for more than a thousand words now. What gives?
The thing is, yes, you are so beautiful. You are so beautiful I’m typing this article at 5am in my kitchen and all I can do is cry soft and happy tears of joy and pride. But this beauty is about so much more than apperance, so much more than your weight, your skin, your hair, your eyes, your fashion sense. This beauty is about who you are, about the fabric of your soul, about the vibrancy that beats in every little thump of your tiny little heart.
We live in a visual world that tells us looks are the end, the ultimate, the most important thing. This is part of why our culture is just so nasty and just so bad for us. It’s not just that it makes us feel bad about our looks, but that it makes us focus so hard on them at all. Our stories are about so much more than that. We are all in our own lives, and all in our own contexts, and isn’t it that powerful and quirky brain of yours that makes you sexy, that calls all the shots, that makes you who you are? Isn’t it that soft, radiating, kind, and strong soul of yours that gives you true power, that makes you a human being capable of loving and embracing and healing the world around you? Isn’t it the purpose and story of your life that sets you on a path of harmony with the universe, that makes your very being a crucial part of the fabric of our world?
You are beautiful because you are you. You are your skin, you are your cells, you are your brain and your soul and your life and everything that has ever happened to you, too. You are a fire-breathing manifestation of the universe, a tiny corner of it made physical and made alive. You are freaking stardust — literally, stardust — gone through billions of years of evolution here on earth, having been parts of uncountable animals and organisms and rocks and rivers and processes. And now you are a human being. And who the hell is any one of us to not live the most warm, the most loving, the most fearless and open and radiant and powerful life that we can? Who are we not to have purpose, not to be true to ourselves, not to live in harmony with the rest of this glorious world? Who are we not to love, not to liberate, not to breathe and to relax and to laugh and to dance? To fly and to sing? To give ourselves to ourselves, to love the fabric of our own selves much as we do the rest of the world?
Who are we to deny life?
It’s a party.
I hope you’ve got your dancing shoes.