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June 28, 2011

What Makes You Feel Beautiful?

Over the past several months, I’ve been thinking a lot about “beauty”.

I’ve been reading Julia’s weekly posts on the subject, and I also recently read a book about the “princess” culture in today’s world.

I am raising two little girls. I think that “beauty” is definitely a topic that warrants some contemplation.

Multiples & More asked the question a couple of months ago, “What makes you feel beautiful?

I thought it was a fun prompt, and I started thinking about that for myself. Let’s see…

…I feel beautiful when I have on my smokin’ hot jeans…

…I feel beautiful when I have on a trendy new top or dress, or a power suit…

…I feel beautiful when I wear high heels…

…I feel beautiful when I take the time to dry my hair “just right”…


Whoa.

If those are the things that make me feel “beautiful”, then I must spend a lot of time in the dumps, huh?

Since the girls were born two and a half years ago, I haven’t had regular occasion to don my coolest jeans, or wear a power suit. My high heels are mostly gathering dust in my closet. And I surely don’t have the time to spend on my hair every day.

That realization made me step back a bit and take stock. I don’t walk around feeling “dumpy” all the time…so surely I was missing something, right?

Upon further consideration, I thought about taking away the hand-held mirror and asking that question again…

…I feel beautiful when I’m out for a walk with the girls…even when I’m smeared with sunscreen and all sweaty from the jogging stroller…

…I feel beautiful when I read to the girls, when I encourage them to construct the most elaborate block towers, when I help them organize a huge picnic for their dollies…

…I feel beautiful when I sit down for a meal with my family, and see us all enjoying the same dishes, knowing that I’ve used fresh ingredients that are good for us and taste good…

…I feel beautiful when I drink water…

…I feel beautiful when I steal away for an hour by myself in the coffee shop, book in hand…

…I feel beautiful when I relax on the patio with the hubs and talk about the day…


This exercise made me think about the much larger definition of beauty.

I feel beautiful when I’m confident…when I’m taking care of myself and my family to the best of my ability…when I feel like I’m where I’m “supposed” to be.

And of course, on the rare occasions when I can actually dry my hair, and maybe even wear some high-heeled sandals when I take the girls to the market…well, that’s icing on the cake.

***

I plan to write more on “beauty” later in the week, with respect to my thoughts on raising girls. But for today, I’m linking this post up with Holly at Twins Plus One, Three Times the Fun, and her new meme, “What I Love About Me!

Hope you have a “beautiful” day!

11 comments:

Jeremi said...

mandy, thank you SO much for the nice comment on my blog : ) that really means a lot to me. this is a huge transition -- i knew it was coming but i kept telling myself i'd deal with those feelings/issues when i came to them .... now i need to : )

i am so grateful to have been home but really, i can't believe how fast it flew. i love teaching so that's good, it's just going to be such a big change initially.

also, the school that i'm at is one of a few that added an hour to their school day in hopes to help with student achievement (it's a low-poverty/high ESL population). so kid contact time for me, with 5 and 6 year olds will be 8:35-4:05, a VERY long day. i struggle with some the changes that have happened that are in my opinion not developmentally appropriate for young children (no rest time, no play time). i've been taking a lot of deep breaths!

keep being the moment with your girls : )

jeremi

love this post!

Double the Giggles said...

"…when I feel like I’m where I’m “supposed” to be." I really like this. Well said. I admit, I feel dumpy all too often because I'm not who I 'used to' be before the twins. I need to take a step back and recognize who I've become over the past 2 years and appreciate the new beauty that motherhood has given me. Thanks for giving me some clarity ;)

Holly Ann said...

What an incredibly beautiful post! Thanks so much for giving me this food for thought. I feel beautiful when I look at the whole person that is me and not just what I perceive in the mirror. :)

Julia said...

Mandy, awesome post!

"I feel beautiful when I’m out for a walk with the girls…even when I’m smeared with sunscreen and all sweaty from the jogging stroller…"

Love that!

"…I feel beautiful when I relax on the patio with the hubs and talk about the day…"

Brad and I do this all the time! I've never thought about it that way, but you're so right! I do feel beautiful when we do that!

This morning at bootcamp, we did yoga by a lake. The sun was shining, I could feel the cool breeze on my face, I felt my strong body relaxing. That. That feeling--that makes me feel beautiful!

Thank you for this.

Johanna said...

Great post! You are beautiful and created TWO beautiful people. But, best of all, you are beautiful on the inside. Hope your girls inherit that on top of your appearance. :)

Melissa Ann said...

I love the perspective shift of this post! It was so eye opening for me as I sit here wearing makeup for the first time in two weeks with a hand towel stuffed down my shirt to protect the belly from dripping lunch.

I feel beautiful when I try to keep clean what God has blessed me with :)

Thanks for sharing!

Just Another Mom of Twins said...

What a great post! Totally lightened my mood...I rarely take time to think about my inner beauty...so thank you for reminding me how important that is. (That's why I have tagged along on the "What I Like About ME Monday" hop...really makes me be nice to myself...LOL!)

Today I feel beautiful on the inside and out becuase your post got me thinking!

Andrea said...

Mandy what a "beautiful" post! You always have a way with words make me take a look at the whole picture! Thanks for making me think of the WHOLE picture! Very moving words!

Barbara Manatee said...

Great post!! My kids told me something today that I'm posting about tomorrow that's perfect for this :-) (and made my heart melt!!)

I know what you mean though - we sometimes have to rethink what that means for us. Last night I was at the gym and I really pushed myself hard. I usually do 30 minutes on the treadmill, fast walking and last night I did 50 minutes which included 20-30 minutes of running intervals. I get sweaty and BEET red when I'm hot and working hard and oh boy...I was a HOT MESS when I was done! I caught a glimpse in the mirror and thought that I'd likely scare someone with how I looked at that moment...but ya know what? I kicked butt that hour! I did it for ME to make myself healthier and stronger! I was really proud of myself (but then I avoided the mirrors the rest of the night! ha!)

Rebecca @ Unexplained X2 said...

Well said...

Now I want to think about when I feel beautiful...but I'm too tired! LOL

Dolli-Mama said...

This is a perfect post and it really made me think!