#itsdad ~ Tell Her Why She’s Beautiful

Hey guys, It’s Dad!

An idea crossed my mind this morning after I dropped you off at school. It’s bugged me for a while so I want to share it with you guys in hopes that you learn to see things more clearly than I did at your age. Yes, we live in a pretty fantastic country. I’ve never really thought about living anywhere else, but this is one area where I think that America has it all wrong.

We have unwittingly given too much power and too much freedom to the wrong people. They’re not bad people, but they’re the wrong people to have power over us.

Movies, magazines, and most of all Social Media are constantly telling us what’s important and what’s not, who’s cool and who’s not, who’s beautiful and who’s not. Think about that. They’re telling us what our opinions should be. We’ve given them the power to influence our desires, our goals, and our dreams.

They, the media, do this because they make a lot of money doing it! How much is “a lot of money?” A quarter of a trillion dollars annually in the US alone. That’s a lot of zeros! It’s $8,000 per second…morning, noon, and night…forever. But it only works for them because we let it. We willingly (but often unknowingly) hand our power to choose over to them.

At the time I posted this article, Kylie Jenner had more than 180,000,000 “followers” on social media. That’s 180 million people looking to her for her opinion on everything from cars to makeup to Kylie Jenner Uno cards! But don’t we know what we like? I mean…who better to know what I like…than me? Right?

Let this idea sink in for a moment. We let people influence our opinions. We let people tell us our opinions. Wait…we’re paying them…to tell us…what we should like. We should like this rap artist or that pair of shoes, or this sports team or that actress…because they (the influencers, the opinion leaders, the media) tell us to! That hardly seems fair, or even ethical. It’s disempowering.

But once it’s pointed out to us, just how preposterous this idea is, we see things differently from then on. We see things as they are, and that is empowering. Don’t you know already what you’re attracted to? Don’t you know which movies you like and which ones you don’t? Don’t you know what tastes good…all by yourself? Of course you do! Only you can know what’s beautiful to you. I hope that this post helps you hold tightly to that.

If we dig more deeply into what we like and what we don’t like we’ll learn that we don’t actually choose what we’re attracted to in the first place. If left to our own senses, without having opinions forced on us, what we like or dislike…simply happens! We like a style of architecture or a a genre of music or a type of food, simply because…well, ‘cuz we like it! We don’t have to ask our friends or see what “the cool kids” like. We just know, automatically. It’s part of us already!

Margaret Wolfe Hungerford penned the quote, “Beauty is absolutely in the eye of the beholder.” in 1878, and it still holds true today. It simply means that beauty is subjective. It’s different for each of us! So don’t allow things outside yourselves to determine what’s beautiful to you. Don’t look at magazine covers. Don’t watch reality TV. Don’t see what’s being sold to you as “beautiful” on your favorite social media apps. Look for, or better yet…feel for…what’s truly beautiful…to you, and don’t question it.

As I run through the trails in the springtime I’m blown away by how pretty the flowers are. Wait. OK, maybe they’re just weeds, or are they “wildflowers?” Do you even know the difference between a flowering weed and a flowering plant? I don’t! They’re both green and they both have pretty flowers. A better question might be, why does it even matter?

So which is more beautiful, a weed or a plant? If you ask the florist for an opinion, he’ll point out just how pretty the most expensive flowers in his shop are, and he’ll tell you how you’ll feel after you buy it.

Image for post
Photo by Corina Ardeleanu via Unsplash

To me, the little wildflowers that line the single track trails where I run are way prettier than the tulips and roses in the stores. Why? Because they are simply there. They open up with the sunrise and go to bed with the sunset. They endure the harsh winters and the blistering heat. And they do all of this, endlessly, …whether we ever see them or not. They’re free. I think about them. Their beauty takes away some of the struggles of my runs! They matter to me, and that is beautiful to me. How could a florist, or anyone else for that matter, possibly know what I like, or what we like…or why?

Guys, when you find a young lady that you just can’t stop thinking about, the one that keeps you daydreaming and smiling out of the blue, you’ll see her as beautiful because that’s the way you see her! Keep it that way guys! See the beauty that is uniquely her. Then, tell her and show her that she’s beautiful, just as she is, because that’s the way that she was created. Whole. Perfect. Even better, perfectly imperfect.

Do you remember what first attracted you to your girlfriend? Was it her intelligence or her kindness that initially attracted you to her? Was it her strong spirit or her sense of humor, or was it a rich blend of all of the qualities that are uniquely hers? Maybe it was something that you can’t even describe; an energy that just drew you two together. Whatever attracted you to her, and her to you, didn’t depend on anyone else to spark that flame.

I’m sorry to say this, but it’s important to know. Sadly, if she was raised in America, she probably already thinks that she’s not pretty enough. She probably tucks herself in at night wishing she could change something about the way she looks. That breaks my heart.

Part of the $250 billion we spend on advertising each year is spent convincing young women that they need new clothes or they won’t be pretty enough, they’re too curvy or not curvy enough, that their hair is too curly or too straight or the wrong color. The beauty industry is a dreadful industry with a dreary mission. No…not all of it. There are some individuals and organizations within the fashion world who have beautiful hearts and whose companies thrive with integrity. But they are the exception. Most of the big bonuses paid to the big CEO’s (typically men by the way) are based on how insecure they can make us feel.

I know guys, when you’re out on a date, and her hair looks just the way you like it, and her makeup looks great — oh, and she’s wearing that cute top that you gave her for her birthday…of course she looks beautiful! In those times, it natural and easy to say, “Oh my gosh, angel! You look perfect tonight!” And who doesn’t like to hear that?

But what about when her makeup comes off, or worse, when her tears have washed it all way. What about when she goes to sleep? What about when she wakes up in the morning with messy hair and wrinkly ol’ pajamas and she’s just a little bit grumpy? Isn’t she still beautiful? Did her beauty somehow leave her in the middle of the night like Cinderella’s glass slipper? Did she somehow, while she slept, become a different person with different values? Of course not. She is the same person, with the same heart, the same mind, the same sense of humor, the same stubbornness that makes you laugh…and she’s every bit as beautiful. In fact, if you really look at her deeply in those messy-haired moments, she’s even more beautiful.

Don’t believe me?

Buckle up. I tell you why.

In those baggy sweats, messy-haired moments; those cranky times of exhaustion and frustration, and those red-nosed moments when she’s not feeling well…she’s actually showing you the truest beauty of all, and I don’t want you to miss it when she does. It’s the most intimate and timeless beauty we’ll ever see. In those moments, she is completely unmasked. She’s not pretending. She is letting you in. She’s letting you into a place where she might never let anyone else into. She’s showing you her authentic self, and that means that she trusts you. She trusts you with her heart and her emotions, and she feels safe when she’s with you. She doesn’t have to dress up, force a smile, or pretend that she’s happy if she’s not. She doesn’t have to “be at her best,” because she knows that she can just be…

…and what could possibly be more beautiful than that?

So, in those moments; tired, sick, disappointed, heartbroken…remind her why she’s so beautiful to you. Remind her that she’s smart, or maybe that she makes you laugh or maybe she inspires you to be a better you! Maybe she believes in you and challenges you to become an even stronger young man. Maybe when she touches you, or she leans on your shoulder, the weight of the world melts away like magic, and without saying a word, you smile. Whatever it is…reminder her that she is precious to you and that she is beautiful exactly as she is.

5 words…right guys? “Just the way you are.”

Maybe she’s tall. Maybe she’s not. Maybe she’s curvy. Maybe she’s not. Her hair is perfect. It’s straight or curly, long or short, blonde, brown, red, pink, or gray. It’s perfect. And then there are her eyes. They are so uniquely hers. There aren’t any other eyes like hers in the world, and they’ll be the same eyes when she’s 100 years old.

We all age. Our skin loses its softness. Through illness or accident, we may even become disfigured. Our bodies change, and there’s no way around that, at least not yet. Of course, we’re all attracted to physical beauty. We’re human beings! But only being attached to someone because they’re “cute” will surely lead to broken hearts down the road if there isn’t anything deeper inside to support it.

A woman’s body changes when she gives birth. That’s the way God made it! But on TV, in magazines, on billboards, and social media, these changes are criticized. This hurtful trend is sending perfectly healthy young women running to their surgeons to get those changes “fixed,” as if they were somehow broken. That breaks my heart too. Those changes should be embraced, revered, and respected, not shamed, hidden, and criticized. Those changes are proof of the sacrifice she made in order to bring life into this world and into our lives. Now THAT is beautiful.

The truth about our outer beauty is that it will always fade. Physical beauty is something that we don’t ever own. We only borrow it. And someday we’ll have to give it back. So don’t grow too attached to it. Beauty is about heart and character and strength and respect and admiration and inspiration and joy and integrity. Being drawn to your partner for who she really is will help your relationship and your happiness stand the test of time.

Oh yeah, one more thing boys. Remember that we age too. We’ll get older, and slower, and less muscular, and probably bald! So keep that in mind too. 🙂

That inner beauty though; that beauty that took you beyond physical attraction and made you fall in love; that beauty that made your heart ache when you were apart…that kind of beauty never goes away. Like a rose bush; the more you tend to it, the more beautifully it grows.

​Let’s remind each other of just how wrong the red-carpet can be. Sheild her eyes from the magazine covers that thrive on degrading us. We don’t need to change our hair, or our skin, or our style. We are our best selves when we are our authentic selves. Of course, we can change our hair color. Make it blue if you want! Pierce your ears or your lip. Get a tattoo. But do it for you, not because you’re looking for a response from someone else.

Boys, I want you to appreciate the only timeless beauty that ever existed and ever will…and that beauty is deeper than the skin. It’s the beauty of the heart and of the spirit. That beauty will never fade if you tend to it lovingly.

Look for it.

See it.

Appreciate it.

…and tell her why she’s really beautiful.

I love you,

​#5words

Dad

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