A Question Of Beauty

        What truly is the definition of beauty? How do we each individually interpret it? I can see beauty in everything but myself. I have never seen myself as beautiful. I have cute days, pretty days, and decent days, but never have I looked in the mirror and thought the woman looking back was beautiful.
I’m not sure what societal norm I base my own definition of personal beauty. I can see a plus size woman and see her as beautiful. I can see the beauty in a woman covered in tattoos, scars, or dealing with a disability or handicap. Why can’t I see the beauty within myself as I do others?
        When I look at my love life I equate the lack thereof to my looks. There’s two major problems with that. If I’m looking for a partner who will love me more for my looks above all else then I’m asking for a relationship based on something extremely shallow. The second is where is the value I should have for myself to show a potential partner that I offer so much more? I guess as time goes on and as dating has changed I encounter a lot of people who judge a mate based on looks more than looking for other qualities in a person. These are not the type of people I should be looking towards for a romantic relationship, obviously, but still that insecurity lies within me.
        I’ve grown up in an environment where the way I looked, dressed, my weight, and styled my hair was often criticized. From a young age I saw myself as a smart and creative child and never cared to much about appearance because I was a tomboy, but I was surrounded by certain family who paid too much attention to the unattainable standards of a Vogue type of beauty. It was discouraging as a child to be taunted at school for my looks and then have people in your safe space do the same. It sticks with you. That feeling slowly turns into self loathing and never feeling good enough. I was never the pretty one. Always the weird one because I leaned more towards academics and art. It wasn’t until I was much older that people appreciated my mind, but the damage was already done. Now I’m under constant paranoia as to whether or not I’m beautiful and the answer to myself is always “no”.
         I don’t know if there will ever come a time that I will truly see myself as beautiful. It has less to do with my body and more to do with my mind. The hard part comes as trying to unlearn the negative view I have on myself and my body. I’d love to say it’s a work in progress, but I don’t even know where to start. I will continue to uplift and encourage others and speak on body positivity. Speaking words to others that I should be speaking to myself. No amount of words can erase the negativity done. I will work on it. I am working on it. It’s just waiting for it all to sink in and to finally feel beautiful inside and out.
-Asia Aneka Anderson, A Question Of Beauty 2016©

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