I work very hard and am attending college to obtain my degree in the Human Service field. Writing makes me feel alive and gives me the opportunity to touch those whom I would not be able to otherwise. Last but not least, I have been blessed with two amazing daughters who love me completely and support my dreams. Feel free to contact me with questions, concerns or feedback.
So, this morning I went to church. Before the service began, they discussed a non-profit organization which I thought would be a great place to volunteer. It was a really great morning and I saw some old friends. I can honestly say it lifted my spirits and gave me some new insight into life.
After church I decided to head to the closest mall to walk around and get something to drink. I am more of a window shopper than anything. There are not too many times when I feel I "need" something at the mall. If you find me at the counter with a new purchase, you can bet it is something that is on sale, marked down or last season. Even if the latest greatest technical item is on the market, my initial thought is, "I can purchase that next year for a fraction of the price" and I wait. By the time it does go on sale, the initial excitement has worn off so I usually end up forgetting it was that I thought I had to have. I remember when DVD players came into our lives. I never thought I needed that as well. What is so funny is that I ended up having 3 within a year, given by friends and family who had no need for the more than one they had purchased already. Although I can honestly say I enjoy my DVD player, I never felt "less than" when I didn't have one.
At the ends and middle of the mall you will mostly find larger stores, ones that contain anything from furniture, bedding, clothing, jewelry and cosmetics. The reason I believe these particular stores are set up is so that you can find everything under one roof. Instead of having to go 5 different areas of the mall, you can conveniently park outside of one, walk in, find just about anything you want, and walk back out. Since I am more of a window shopper, I may cruise inside, yet still enjoy people watching within the mall as well.
In thinking about the mall or any store I came to this conclusion. Every store, large or small, gives the impression that they carry everything you "must have". With their 20% off bonus days, customer appreciation and specialty events, we are all drawn into what we believe is something very special. As you cruise the isles and walk between the beauty consultants, you will see numerous items for face, skin and fragrance. Each item for face and skin promises a more youthful appearance, less wrinkles and ensures a clearer complexion within days or weeks. Ok, I admit, I have tried different facial items and agree that some have more effects than others. But, on the other hand, I wonder if we ever stop and think. Think back to the time when as children we did not use beauty items besides a bar of soap and maybe some powder. I never realized that my mom or grandma had wrinkles, ever. To this day my grandmother is a beautiful woman, not because of her skin, but because of who she is. I am sure my children are not concerned about my eyes, lips and skin either. When I wake up in the morning, before I take a shower, my daughters give me a hug, a kiss and tell me they love me.
I reach far back into my mind and wonder how long ago it was that beauty products hit our shelves with such excess. Was it 10-15 years ago? I am unable to recall, but I know for a fact the following things. These products not only made their way into our medicine cabinets, but also hit our perception of ourselves. We are lead to believe that without having "perfect" skin, bodies, hair, fingers and toes, we are unattractive. They have lead us to believe what is worth most is what is on the outside. I wonder who in the world came up with the idea that we "must have" flawless features. I would love to be able to meet the men and women who convinced us that being flawless and fat free is attractive. Because of him or her, they are sitting "pretty" at this time, in the lap of luxury, and I am sure, laughing all the way to the bank.
When are we as a society going to take back our self worth and help women and men believe that every inch of each of us is beautiful and handsome Flaws are perfect imperfections. They are yours alone, they distinguish us one from another. Being attractive comes from the inside out. Unless we begin to believe the above statement, we will be in bondage to the beliefs of strangers. Why have we allowed others we don't even know to dictate to us what we need in order to be acceptable and beautiful? I believe it is time to take back ourselves, who we really are, and what we are really like. For one day, dress in something really comfortable. Wear a pair of sweatpants and a t-shirt to the mall. Walk around by the lakefront in an old pair of jeans, a sweatshirt and a baseball cap. Guys: Remember that favorite t-shirt of piece of clothing you keep in the back of your closet? The one your girlfriend or wife retired years ago? Put it on, wear it with pride. Be yourself. Ladies: be daring, before you go out, put some moisturizer on. Other than moisturizer, take a drive without makeup. Walk into a local gas station and get a candy bar. I bet neither the men or women who try the above ideas will see any reaction from strangers other than the reaction they see on a daily basis. I bet initially you may feel uncomfortable, but it will be one step towards being true to yourself.
Let's stop buying beauty magazines and create our own ideas of the types of men and women we find attractive. Let's look at the every day heroes we come across in our own lives and find out what makes them special. Better yet, look inside yourself and become your own hero. Save yourself from the bondage of beauty and realize that you are already attractive, flaws and all!
UNTIL NEXT TIME AMERICA!