Growing up, I was often criticized by others for the way I looked. Whether it was for the way my ears stood off from my head, the shape of my legs, or the clothing I wore, thoughts of not being accepted is what I often struggled with during my younger years. Sadly, because of what others seemed to think of me, I felt unworthy and less than beautiful.
Little did I know, I was far from any of those things. I remember conversations with my mother and grandmother; they would always encourage me to be the best in everything I chose to do in life. They taught me about self-worth, and self-love. I am so grateful for their wisdom.
I have since learned that it takes something far greater than what the eye can see. We live in a society that teaches us that labels, lifestyle, wealth and looks are what determine beauty. Real beauty, referred to by many as inner beauty, cannot be bought. It is priceless. It is determined by confidence, strength, and wisdom possessed from within.
That is beauty that is skin deep. It goes beyond the surface of just appearance. It is the entire being of love, respect, and dignity that we are to have for ourselves.
It is a reflection of how you present yourself to the world. It is how you choose to treat others and allow others to treat you. It is recognizing your self-worth and having courage to stay true to who you are and not being defined, labeled, or swayed by what others think you should be.
No, you do not have to be a size smaller or a size lager. You do not have to drive a fancy car. You do not have to attain a certain social status or have a certain look or appearance. True beauty comes from the heart.
Phenomenal Woman by Maya Angelou
In the words of the greatest poet, Maya Angelou:
Now you understand just why my head not bowed.
I don’t shout or jump about or have to talk real loud.
When you see me passing, it ought to make you proud.
I say, it’s in the click of my heels,
The bend of my hair, the palm of my hand.
The need of my care,
Cause I’m a woman Phenomenally.
Phenomenal woman, That’s me.