“It is time for parents to teach young people early on that in diversity there is beauty and there is strength.”

Maya Angelou

There are moments in life when you will encounter something or someone SO luminous, SO grand, SO striking, that the beauty will overwhelm you. You will remember them for the rest of your life, pulling upon those memories when you need to fill the space in your heart that feeds on the beautiful. Those moments, while overwhelming, aren’t comprised of the components of the traditional standard to which we apply the word beauty.

Real beauty comes in faulty angles, it comes in the turn of a cheek reflected on a window pane of a fast moving train. Beauty is the shrill note at the end of a peal of laughter, it’s in the flush of excitement when you win a fight. It’s in the messy tangle of hair that falls down your back, after a night with the one you love. Beauty is the pride the ones who love you show, when you’ve accomplished a milestone. Beauty isn’t found in the airbrushed perfection of a glossy photo shoot, it is found in accomplishment. It’s not something that can ever be squandered, because beauty is subjective. What is beautiful to me, is rarely going to be what is beautiful to you. And yet.

Here we are, daily chasing this word, beauty. Here we are, using an app to change the lighting so our contours are highlighted. Here we are, hunting an elusive beast, which we have been told lives somewhere beyond our mortal grasp. We are taunted with flesh that’s been cut and pulled and contorted, into something other than that which it started.

Somehow we have allowed ourselves to be convinced, that this is the standard to which we should hold the word beauty.

Perhaps it is time for us(I mean ALL of us), to reclaim the word. Perhaps it is time for you to declare your definition, the one that matters. Perhaps beauty needs us to defend its integrity…..

Beauty to me is the moment I see one of my girls beam after completing a pushup. Beauty is the sweat that drips from my nieces forehead, when she crosses someone on the basketball court. Beauty is the pride reflected in the face of new parents, it’s in the fraction of a second, in which the man I love allows his vulnerability to show. Beauty is in every act of kindness I witness, it is found in EVERY woman, everywhere, every day. Beauty isn’t some tangible good that needs to be acquired, and despite what the media wants you to believe, beauty can’t be bought. Beauty doesn’t exist for us to try and bottle it. It isn’t here for us to horde and covet and salivate over. Beauty exists to remind us that there is always more of it, that if we consciously see it, we will find it in ourselves more often.

So to all of you, in all of your beauty, I see you.

By : Holly “Lil Bear” Lawson

@lilbearlawson

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