Do You Find Me Beautiful?

“Do you find me beautiful?”

I remember a friend asking a guy that question over chat. She was met with a snippy “girl, we play for the same team” or something like that, because unbeknownst to her, apparently, he was gay.

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When she told me about that experience, I couldn’t help but think to myself, “Why? Why do we women put ourselves in that position? Why do we make ourselves vulnerable in that way? Why is it so crucial for us to have an answer to the question of our beauty? And why do we go to broken men with this question?”

Why does it make us come alive when people – specifically men – assure us that they find us beautiful?

—O—

I ask my dad that question a lot, but whenever he says yes, I don’t believe him because he’s my dad. I figure that he’s supposed to say that. Thus, my usual reply to him would be, “Hmm… You’re just saying that because you’re my dad.” I think that frustrates him. 

—O—

I’ve been thinking about this question lately and how much we, as women, seek an answer to it. I know of girls who are constantly told by men and women alike that they are beautiful. Some struggle with the wound of never having been told that they are beautiful. Some struggle with the agony of being told to their face that they are not beautiful – scarred deeply by tactless criticisms and cold insults.

As women, something deep inside us longs for an answer to that question: Am I beautiful? And it’s not even just about physical beauty. It’s about that inner beauty every woman longs to have – that beauty that radiates from within. 

There’s something within us that needs to be assured that even when we grow old and we’re no longer in our prime, we would still be seen as beautiful.

—O—

I have this awesome, awesome friend who one day, out of nowhere, just gave me a numbered list of things I need to improve in order to make me less intimidating. He said, “Please know that who you are, what you know and how you act is intimidating. I’m sure even to the guys that you could possibly like. I wouldn’t be surprised if the girls get mad if they see their men even just talking to you.” He then expounded on why and gave me the list. He assured me that I was “beautiful and vibrant and smart and wonderful in every way,” but of all the assurances he gave me as a brother and as a really great friend, the only thing that hit me was that I was intimidating and that I needed to change.

Why is it so easy to believe the negative or the areas of improvement and yet it’s so hard to believe the positive? Maybe it’s true what they say… it takes at least ten compliments to erase one insult. Or maybe I’m just being really negative about myself.

—O—

My younger sister once tearfully told me that she has to accept that she’s not beautiful. If you know my sister personally, you’d know that that’s not normal. While I struggle with my own sense of beauty, she’s typically the one who goes, “I don’t care if nobody tells me I’m beautiful. I think I’m beautiful.” She wasn’t as confident that time.

I’m like, “What are you talking about? You are beautiful.” As she told me the reasons behind her confession, recounting the times when people have made her feel less than the beautiful person that she was, I realized that I myself wouldn’t have been assured by a nonchalant, “You’re beautiful. Believe it.”

I don’t know… I guess people were never meant to answer that question for us. I believe it helps when we are told that we are beautiful. Positive confession always does help, but that does not satisfy.

Maybe we need to first behold Beauty in order to become it. Maybe the Only One Who can really answer that question for us is He Who is Beautiful.

—O—

No conclusion here really… Just random thoughts… I’ll end with this quote told by Rumplestilskin to Belle in the show Once Upon a Time: “You try to find beauty in everyone, and when you don’t find it, you create it.”

Be-you-tiful.

About brainofivane

Writer. Beloved. Lover. Hopeless romantic. Passionate. I'm a woman searching, inquiring, wondering, hoping, fumbling, seeking... to know Him and to make Him known.

Posted on January 7, 2014, in On Beauty, On Life and tagged , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 7 Comments.

  1. This was lovely! I really enjoyed the realness of it.

    I think the desire to be considered beautiful is as old as womanhood itself, and many of us struggle with both the question and the answer. And if you are one of those women who has always been told by culture that she is not beautiful (heavyset women, dark-skinned women, etc) the effect is magnified.

    Btw, have you read Captivating by John & Stasi Eldredge? They talk about this quite a bit in one of the chapters.

    • Hi! I’m glad you enjoyed it!

      I so get what you’re saying about the magnified effect culture has on our definition of beauty. I’m from Asia… I’m surrounded by a lot of petite, slim, attractive women – which is more the norm where I’m from. At my height – five feet six/seven – and being on the heavy side, I often walk around feeling like a giant. O_o

      Yes! I’ve read it. The book was actually running through my mind as I was writing this. I’ve just been thinking a lot about “what really makes a woman beautiful”. I’ll write a post on it soon…

      Thanks for commenting! I really appreciate it. :) God bless you!

  2. Other Half has mentioned that women need validation. Appearance is one of the of the things we need a statement in order to confirm or deny our own beliefs. I’ve seen women who could be strong, crumple at validation from some jerk who was using words to get what he wanted. It’s sad. At the same time, some females, like me, have a hard time taking a compliment. Compliments make me suspicious of the other person’s intent or agenda.

    I’m not sure how…but I’ve never sought it out thankfully. I’ve never asked anyone if I was beautiful. I don’t think I trust what people say. I gather my validation from their actions. The words always seem hollow.

    Other Half from time to time will attempt to toss out compliments and affirmations to me. I tell him thanks, but I don’t need them. As much as we gravitate to being accepted by a group…or being social animals, when it comes down to it in a modern setting, it’s my life and my opinion is the only one that really matters to me. It’s the one that lives inside my head and the one I encounter the most.

    Not needing verbal validation is strength. It is beautiful.
    Those are my random thoughts.

    • “Not needing verbal validation is strength. It is beautiful.”
      - That is indeed beautiful and admirable. Unless it’s coming from a hardened, callous heart, which I don’t think is the case with you.

      I understand how others find it hard to take compliments. There are definitely those who have never asked others that question – at least out loud.

      We all have our “love languages” I think. I, personally, appreciate words. Affirmation through words do impact me. Some prefer to see the actions rather than hear the words. I’m afraid action without words will most likely get lost on me, but that’s me.

      At the end of the day, beautiful really is confidence in who we are. We can never be as beautiful as we were meant to be until we reach the point where we see ourselves as beautiful – with or without the validation, verbal or otherwise.

      For me, as a Christian, I’ve been longing to encounter the side of God that is beautiful. What makes Him beautiful? It’s definitely not just a physical thing – because well, He isn’t physical. So I’m thinking, “If I can encounter He Who is beautiful, perhaps then I can mirror Him.”

      Early morning, random thoughts on your thought-provoking comment. :) Thanks for posting!

  3. “At the end of the day, beautiful really is confidence in who we are. We can never be as beautiful as we were meant to be until we reach the point where we see ourselves as beautiful …”
    I think that sums up my sentiments very well. This has been the most thought provoking blog post I’ve read in the past week or more. Thanks! :-)

  4. This is a hard question. I don’t agree with the idea that girls and women need to be beautiful. At the same time, I’m at time and place when I can go by a window or a mirror and think that wow, I am beautiful.
    But it is because I have learned to love myself, as I am. And I have learned to trust that God loves me for who I am. That is beauty.

    • “I don’t agree with the idea that girls and women need to be beautiful.”
      - Interesting. Why so?

      At the same time, I’m at time and place when I can go by a window or a mirror and think that wow, I am beautiful.
      - That’s awesome! I have those days too, but it’s not an everyday thing. As in one of my favorite Superchick songs, “We all have bad-hair days, those nothing-good-about-me days… We just keep moving on, ‘coz it’ll be gone, and we’ll still be here, holding on…”

      “But it is because I have learned to love myself, as I am. And I have learned to trust that God loves me for who I am. That is beauty.”
      - I love that comments on this post are comments on what we believe is beauty. The world has such a distorted image of what is beautiful – especially when it comes to a woman’s appearance. It’s interesting to hear what others believe to be beautiful. :)
      - And yes. I believe our relationship to God is key. Lately, I’ve been going to Him with this question, “Do You find me beautiful? Do I reflect the side of Your personality that makes You beautiful?”

      I have a note posted on the upper right corner of my laptop right now. It reads, “I didn’t know He was beautiful. That changes everything.” I don’t know why I feel the need to share that… haha… Just did.

      Anyway, thanks for commenting, Joanna! <3

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