Guest Blogger: Michelle Casey
There are so many reasons this world gives us for why we should constantly find ways to “fix” or change ourselves to become the ideal beautiful. I always equated beautiful with thinness: a tiny number on the scale, or a much smaller number on a tag in my ultra skinny jeans.
Since I have pin straight hair, I thought beauty meant having effortless beach waves or the kind of curls that only seem to be attainable on Oscars night. I spent so much money in the seventh grade on hair products, including beach spray for that “Yeah, I just went for a swim in the ocean even though we have a quiz in Pre-Algebra 6th period” look, only for those waves to fall out by homeroom.
We get so many mixed messages these days. We are supposed to have the lips of Kylie Jenner, the butt of Kim Kardashian, the waist of Blake Lively, all while eating whatever we want and having the confidence of Jennifer Lawrence.
Then, there are other people telling us there is nothing wrong with being confident and we should participate in #NoMakeupMonday and #FreshFacedFridays . . . thanks Demi Lovato!
If it seems a little bit impossible to be this “perfect” person that the world is trying to tell us to be, you’re right. It’s impossible to feel beautiful, happy, and downright peaceful if you are constantly spending all of your time trying to be what your mind thinks is beautiful. So I challenge you to look around and look inside yourself.
It took me a little while to feel peaceful with the fact that I do not need to have the body of Blake Lively or Kylie Jenner’s full lips. It might have even taken me a little longer to come to terms with the fact that I will never have curly hair. But while I am finally confident with who I am on the outside, I would never have found peace if I did not realize what it is that actually makes me beautiful.
I think there are certain physical characteristics that do add to my beauty, but they do not define my worth. My faith in God, my love for others, my big heart, my ability to never give up, my intellect, my JOY . . . those things are what make me beautiful.
I believe beauty radiates outward. Our worth absolutely does not equate to beauty, but I think since our society focuses so much on what beauty is, it is up to us to redefine it, starting a revolution.
So I challenge you today to think about what beauty is to YOU? What kind of beauty do you see around you in your family, friends, and in everyday life? There is beauty in the big and small. There is most definitely beauty inside of you. Keep your eyes open and experience it!
And at the end of it all, Don’t Forget to Love Yourself!
Michelle Casey holds a Rutgers University College of Nursing, B.S.N. (class of 2015). She is a UMDNJ-NJMS Research Assistant, Rutgers University Peer Mental Health Educator, and a Dunkin’ Donuts enthusiast. She lost her mom to Anorexia when she was 14, and she herself recovered from Anorexia a few years later. She now shares her story of recovery, speaking to schools, universities, and groups in the tri-state area about eating disorders, suicide prevention, mental health, mental illnesses, and healthy body image. She has also done extensive blogging with her own website, Recovery Flight. www.recoveryflight.org