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Today I felt I needed to talk about beauty and how for so long I never felt beautiful.  I grew up with such ugly words from my mom, things like, “No man will ever want to marry you, “or “You need to lose some weight,” and other hurtful things.  I don’t know if my mom knew the wounds her words caused but they ran deep.  In fact, for much of my life when I looked in the mirror I hated the woman looking back at me.  I bought into all the little lies, women should look like a model off the cover of some fashion magazine.  We should:

Be skinny

Color our hair

Have a boob job (my mom did)

Wear “brand” name clothes

Inject ourselves with “bovine collagen”

Apply anti-aging creams (like we’re going to stop aging!?)

Put cosmetics on that contain lead and other unregulated chemicals on our face/skin

And one of my favorites

Fake and bake the tanning salon (natural sunlight just isn’t good enough)

Now I am not against women dressing up, doing our hair, or wanting to look our best but it seems to me lately that more and more women are unhappy with their looks.  I know I was…I believed those cruel little lies the beauty product companies spread.  I mean my size 5 days were a long time ago.  My mom has her own personal silicon valley and my older sister gets bovine injections so she can do her part in the anti-aging campaign.  I love my sister and my mom but I often wonder why they can’t see how pretty they are without all the additives and preservatives.

I started coloring my hair when I was 15 because someone told me my hair looked mousey.  For years I colored even applying the harsh chemicals to my hair during pregnancy… oh how this saddens me now.  Thankfully my children are healthy and I am hair color free for a year now!  So what changed for me?  I began a journey to find me, somewhere along life’s path I bought into what society said” I should be” and stopped believing in who I am meant to be.  I stopped seeing my inner beauty and that was hurting me inside and out.  I think a turning point on how I viewed myself as a woman began when I read Merlin Stone’s book “When God was a Woman.”  It changed a lifetime of what I was taught about being a woman and allowed me to see the beautiful creation I am.  Funny thing is this was not a book on beauty but boy it sure did show me the beauty in the feminine!

It was funny I had a friend post a comment on a picture of me on Facebook; she said “I see your hair is still normal.”  Yup… it’s normal, it’s mine, and it’s me and I am happy that this is the person I see staring back at me in the mirror. I love my sun kissed hair and that my freckles show instead of being buried beneath a pound of make-up. I am glad I traded in my anti-aging, fad dieting, need to be prettier days with ones filled with being comfortable in my own skin.  I look forward to the day my hair is silvery like the moon and my laugh lines tell a story of a life well lived. But mostly, I love that when my husband tells me I’m beautiful I believe it.

Beauty just is… it is not bought and it is not only for a select few.  We are all beautiful creations and should never be afraid to be who we were beautifully created to be…