’Tis but thy name that is mine enemy;/
What’s Montague? it is not hand, nor foot,
Nor arm, nor face, nor any other part/
What’s in a name? That which we call a rose
By any other name would smell as sweet; (Romeo. 2.2.42,44-45,47-48)
This quote, if you are unfamiliar, is from Shakespeare’s own Romeo and Juliet.
When I think of the word “Beautiful”, I liken it to a name… a title… a qualifier.
So…. What’s “Beautiful”? It is not hand, nor foot, nor arm, nor face, nor any other part.
Our societal perception of the meaning of the word “beautiful” does not capture the essence of a person, does not capture the richness the word – or the person – deserves.
“‘Tis but the name” – the societal definition of “beautiful” – “that is mine enemy.” To distill a woman down to merely a hand, a face, a part, is to dismiss the whole of her.
Truly consider what makes a woman beautiful. What qualities do you see in others, do you possess, that you treasure? My guess is these things do not include a tan complexion, chic haircut, or the size of a waistline. Lord knows those things are not included on my list (or on me).
The perceptions of beauty these days, though, seems to only refer to the outward qualities of a person. To redefine this generalized meaning, the momentum will have to start with us and what we value in each other. My definition of beautiful, the things I see in women that attract me to them, holds a much different tenor.
Let’s change the name – let’s build into the word “beautiful” the innermost essence of the women to whom we are attracted.
Let me just start by saying CONFIDENCE looks so much better on a woman than size 2 pants! To me, confidence looks like a woman striding in the door with her head held high, her chest up, and her shoulders back. She owns her femininity and exudes the strength she has within her. We all possess this strength within us. We just need to recognize it, embrace it, and bestow upon it the value it deserves.
Feeling the JOY emitted by a woman on a cellular level, elicits a subconscious reaction in all of us. Joy radiating from a woman’s heart does more for her complexion than a tan or even the most masterful application of makeup. Perfectly sculpted eyebrows and smokey eye-shadow pale in comparison to positive energy pouring forth – dancing in her eyes and spreading across her smile. Glowing skin and a youthful complexion are side effects of a joyful heart. Celebrate the joy within yourself and others. Doing so allows it to grow exponentially, to become contagious.
The outward manifestation of GRATITUDE proves to be magnetic in its ability to draw people in and retain their friendship and admiration for a lifetime. The humility that accompanies gratitude is more alluring than any Prada dress you can buy. Wearing humility and gratitude is not size, income, or status dependent. Cherish the moments and the people in your life that make it remarkable and share this appreciation. Just like The Grinch – it will allow your heart to grow three times larger.
These are only three of a multitude of definitions of the inner beauty women possess. Can you imagine how life-changing it could be to hear someone compliment the essence of who you are? Let us strive to recognize the inner beauty of those around us, share this recognition with them purposefully, and bask in the elevation it provides for us all.
Let’s build a community in which the name “beautiful” first brings to mind the sweet smell that is at the heart of the rose. Make thine enemy a companion.
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