Monday, May 24, 2010

Beauty or Not?

I was flipping through a fashion magazine recently and was happy to hear that there is finally a real effort on the part of designers, modeling agents and editors to change the model hiring ideal size from a 0 to a 4. Small step but a start. Many of us have adolescent, teenage or young adult females in our lives and this is a quietly growing problem that now goes way beyond a size and is a huge influence in their lives. Through TV, movies, print, and the internet girls are bombarded with what is “perfect” in the eyes of society. It is not an easy task to pass through puberty and ever be a size 0 not to mention the pressure to fill a bra, have the perfect body, perfect teeth, a flawless face, spotless skin and luxurious hair. What ever happened to embracing the genetics within a family and the uniqueness that makes us all a bit different? This quest for universal beauty isn’t a new thing but it is so “in your face” now that it can take over a personality, it can takeover a life. It is way too much for a young girl (or boy!) to put into perspective. The more we let our children, or ourselves, dwell on the physical exterior we are losing the chance to become a better person on the inside. For those that don’t see the beauty in themselves it is a dangerous road that leads to self-doubt, alienation, depression and worse. And the hard reality is it doesn’t get any easier as you age. Life is so much more than studying oneself in a mirror looking for flaws, shop ‘til you drop and finding the newest “fix” treatments. Don’t get me wrong I believe in self- improvement on all levels or I wouldn’t be in this business. I simply feel that the focus on betterment and change should go way beyond the physical and material. And as adults we also need to look closely at the messages we send to the children around us by how we view and speak about ourselves.

Haven’t you noticed that living with imperfection, whether real or perceived, often makes a person try harder and excel in other areas? This opens the door wide for developing a compelling personality, amazing people and/or work skills, broad intelligence, a sense of humor and the ability to laugh at oneself before others. And most important, in my opinion, it allows you to become a person rich with understanding, acceptance and compassion for the feelings of others. Beauty is a gift, not something an individual somehow earned at birth. If you have been lucky in this area, be thankful and humble and notice how doors may open easier for you. And never, ever be judgmental of others who may not be so lucky. I have always felt “be careful what you wish for.” Sometimes the road you think you want forks the wrong way.

In the meantime, get fit, get strong and maximize the gifts you have right in front of you.
Share the message of how commitment, work and accomplishment enhances living and self-worth. Celebrate an efficient heartbeat and the ability to move. There is no better feeling than making the most of what is the real, healthy YOU!

~ Kari