Do you feel beautiful

Do you feel beautiful?

This is not a simple question, despite its brevity… So let's dive in…
At the moment I don't feel aesthetically beautiful.
I have my glasses on, which I think makes my nose look sort of club-like.
I'm in pajamas and I'm not wearing makeup and my forehead is breaking out a little—just tiny bumps that aren't even red, but I hate having skin that isn't perfectly smooth (I have keratosis pilaris on my cheeks and upper arms so I'm constantly self-conscious about those areas and usually fighting the urge to scratch them "clean").

I did, however, get my hair cut today to just below my ears, a style I think is extremely cute.
I love having short hair; it's adorable, wavier than when it's long, and low-maintenance—I have little patience or talent for styling my hair.
So I've been admiring my new look in the mirror all day.
And as for fashion—I'm very happy with my eclectic clothing choices and I have an extensive jewelry collection.

How about on the inside? I definitely feel beautiful on the inside.
I fill my head and heart with beautiful art and music and poetry every day.
My full and varied bookshelves reflect the multitude of opinions and dreams I carry about with me.
I'm sparkling company; as an extravert who spends most of her time reading and doing interesting things, I can carry a conversation with anyone, as long as they're willing to keep up their end of the dialogue.
I'm confident, and although I wouldn't say I'm humble, I try to keep my ego in check and merely use that confidence as a source of courage.

How can I feel both unattractive and beautiful at the same time? The other day I took a couple of mirror selfies in flamenco class.
I didn't think I looked beautiful—but I sure as heck felt beautiful.
The dance itself is so strong and empowering, and I love the way the skirt and shoes look on my figure.

(You even get the no-filter version, unlike my friends on Snapchat!)
All this isn't to say I find myself ugly—if my contacts are in and my makeup is done (foundation, powder, mascara) I often catch myself staring in mirrors.
My eyes always look so huge and gorgeously luminescent under those conditions! Second favorite feature: My lips, which are not symmetrical but have a lovely bow-shape and happen to be very good for kissing with 😉 As for my body/figure—I'm very happy with it.
I want to work out more, but to gain strength and flexibility, not to lose weight or "sculpt" my body.

Tl;dr, like many women, I have mixed feelings about my appearance and my perception of my own attractiveness is always in flux!

I have written elsewhere about my near-daily perception change in myself.
One day I will wake up and look in the mirror and feel a sense of pride, other days I will think I look like nothing more than a big toe trying to dress itself up.

Beauty exists outside of mere aesthetics, though, and with this in mind, I think there is a doubtless beauty to me.

One of the things I pride myself on is my ability to perceive beauty and actively seek it.
Art, music, nature; beauty is integral to my existence because, as Keats says, “A thing of beauty is a joy forever”.

These beautiful things inspire me and keep me sane.
They sometimes serve to save me from myself, or to save me from others.
It isn’t hyperbolic for me to say that without them I would be lost.

I latch onto beauty because I have to.
It’s innate.
I can’t (and don’t want to) live without it.
It’s woven into my soul.

And I think that is beautiful.

Not at all.
I don't really try to be either, though.
For the female gender, there is so much of a person's self-worth wrapped up in appearance that I almost rebel against it.
Where I am, (United States) a woman is expected to put a great deal of effort into her appearance, and if she doesn't do it she is seen as a substandard person.
When I say "a great deal of effort" I mean over and above what men are expected to do.
Women limit their diet to the extreme, they spend loads of money and time on makeup so that their face is always *better* that it is, the fashion industry is massive because women buy and buy and buy.
So much effort just to be on the same playing field as a man.
I doubt a man has ever been asked, "At what age did you become invisible?"
Ok sorry, let me take a step back here.
I'm not trying to come off as a bitter person.
It's just that the idea that a woman has to be attractive to be valued frustrates me.
To attempt to be succinct: no, I don't find myself beautiful, but that's ok.

I have already answered a similar question.

Nisha Lini's answer to What is the secret of your beauty?
Beauty is a relative term and it varies with the person.
Yes I feel beautiful inside, externally others have to say.


No, and I don’t have to.

I know I am beautiful; that’s a scientific fact.

Yes, the two milligrams of Lorazepam they just gave me make me feel beautiful.

Of course when you’ve been hospitalized and unshaven for a week it’s kind of hard to look beautiful, but it’s what’s on the inside that counts.
Right? And what’s on the inside of me? Lorazepam!
I can’t believe that’s all the “beard” I could grow in one week.
I need to get some kind of testosterone booster therapy.

Nonetheless my gallows humor remains on-point.

There are moments where I do.
Especially when someone I care about, I trust and whose opinion is important to me says it.
It is a little embarrassing for me sometimes, though.
I get a little cognitive dissonance with wanting to accept how they see me and how I see myself.

But, much of the time the answer is… I feel… average? OK? Decent? But I am also by myself much of the time.
It gets a lot easier to be critical… Things large and small that I focus on at times.
But that’s okay… average can be good too =)

Updated: 16.06.2019 — 5:23 pm

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