Bone Beauty

by Melissa Borg
October 27, 2013

Dear Ladies,

Let's have us a little chat.

We, and society, are constantly judging us, labeling us fat, thin, short, heavy, and a billion other terms but it's all a ruse and uselessly pain inducing. So we all seem to have a love/hate relationship with our reflections.

Growing up, I never cared much for clothes, fashion, hair, or make-up, all the important "feminine" things in life. So I was labeled a tomboy, masculine, or butch.

It didn't bother me too much though, because I knew what I was and who I was. My outside was only that; a shell that housed my true self and if people were willing to judge me against their own insecurities then there was nothing I could do about it since I couldn't control what others thought or did.

Fast forward to now. I've actually taken more care when choosing my clothing, not that I'm drooling over what's the latest and greatest, but I have decent clothes that are classic and of good quality. The most important thing about them is that I like them and I like the way I feel when I don them. So I get more compliments on what I wear now that I have ever before in my life.

This ratcheting up of complements isn't because I'm stick-thin and constantly worrying about getting soft around the middle. I'm currently at my heaviest I've ever been but sometimes I catch my reflection in the mirror and realize that my hair is just perfect today or that my outfit is very flattering.

I know I hear people thinking, well that's natural. Well for me it's not. I normally don't even register how my hair looks until 4 hours into my day. I mean I brush it out wet (shh don't tell my hairstylist, she'd try to ban me from doing so) when I leave the house but that's it.

We have a distorted view of ourselves.

When I get dressed 9 out of 10 times, these are my 3 questions that need to be answered when picking out an outfit in the morning:

  • Is it clean?
  • Did I already wear this this week?
  • Can I wear comfortable shoes with this?

That's it. I only wear make-up if I know I'm meeting people for the first time. (What can I say, 1st impressions matter but after that . . . only if I know I have to be in pictures.) I blow dry my hair and actually put product in, oh, about once every other month, so it's not like I'm doing all the fluffing and decorating of my body we traditionally see women do to get complements.

I think my biggest strength in getting compliments is that I'm not looking for them.

Do I love to get them? Hell, yeah I do.

But when people give them to me it's because they truly mean it and aren't buttering me up for any favors or benefits. Plus, my inner self-worth isn't dependent on these kudos, they only enhance my beauty instead of being my addiction that I must have to validate my breathing.

We all know women or are those women, who without those repeated external praises feel lackluster and dingy.

Have heart and know you are the most beautiful creature ever to land on this Earth.

How can I be certain of this? Because there is beauty in every soul. We are perfect - quirks, wrinkles, and cellulite and all.

Let's talk a little about "wrinkles."

I'm what I like to call a thinker; when I'm contemplating, plotting, or reading, I apparently furrow my brow in concentration so I have the dreaded 11s lines. For those of you who don't know what they are (heck I was blissfully unaware until I was informed I had them by a well-meaning colleague), they are the vertical lines between your eyebrows. So since I was informed about them, I guess I have them. I also have smile lines beginning to form.

Shouldn't I agonize about these "imperfections" that mar my face? Society, ads, and other women say yes.

But how can I lambaste these creases that carry 32 years of joy and pondering?

The big they (again society and other women) believe that I should fill them in, plaster over them, and not take pride in the happiness nor the deep reflective thoughts that I've expressed in the world. Sorry world, that just ain't going to happen.

You can call me names and slap we around with slanderous terms trying to make me believe that jail-bait beauty is the highest peak of beauty. Well, that's not how I see it.

How can people believe that youths, who don't know who they are and are constantly bowing to the peer pressure of other like wise clueless peer group and modeling who they think society is pretty, hold a spark of the brilliance of beauty to a fully-grounded woman who knows a bit about how the world works and is willing to keep her own rules about how to express herself? Is it delusions that make us negate "older" or "mature" beauty?

How many of you cringed reading those words of older and mature beauty? Stop it. Seriously. Quit buying into society's joke of that you're beauty wanes by your early 20s.

Vintage beauty, is the term I prefer.

It's a beauty that starts in your soul and permeates each cell and pore until it bursts out for the outside world to see. I think that's why many people love French beauties (or at least the culture depiction), they don't care what others think of them, they wear what they want, when they want because it pleases them. That's it, no other motivation is needed & if you don't like it well they don't care.

Close your eyes and imagine, that each line, pound, and divot that is on your body are really beauty marks. Is there a reason why you have it?

Vintage beauty is the term I prefer.

I've already explained why I appreciate my wrinkles but what about those few extra pounds? I know there aren't many women who are content with, dare I say it, being fluffier. Heck, I know I struggle with my newly found pounds. But I keep reminding myself that I am grateful that I am well fed and without this extra weight, I'd be a glorified clothes hanger.

I know it sounds cliche but it all boils down to how do you treat yourself? Do you believe that you have worth & are beautiful? And if someone says something contrary to your truth, of how glorious & dazzling you truly are, know that it's your choice to believe them or let the comment fall out of your mind without a second thought.

When you feel alone, withered, and without grace, know that you are the embodiment of love and house within your fleshy shell the most precious flame of the gods. And your body is perfect just as you are right now. Nothing is wrong with you.

You are loved deeply.

You are perfection reflected.

Know it is true. And so it is.

I'm glad we could have this little chat. I feel better, I hope you do too.

With a pep in my step & love for all you vintage beauties,

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