Rachael_Book (35 of 99) copy

That's right, I said it, beauty is bullshit. Don't get me wrong, I love to put on make-up, get my hair done, and get gussied up as much as the next girl. This is what I mean... we spend countless money, hours, and energy over trying too look perfect. We try to have Audrey Hepburn eyebrows, Penelope Cruz's smile, or Angelina Jolie's lips. If you go on to Youtube and type in "Celebrity Make-up Transformation", there are full tutorials teaching you how to look like someone else. But why look like someone else? Is being you not enough? Are we so defined by the idea of being beautiful that we don't want to look like ourselves?

Where does this want to look like someone else come from? Two Words: Self Criticism. I was out with a friend of mine and I was just trying to let loose and have a good time. A group of models came in with a promoter and once that happened her energy completely changed. "Look how beautiful they are. Look at her hair. I'd love hair like that. I wish I was that skinny. Look at the one in the leather pants, her legs are so skinny." After repeatedly hearing this I just said, "Listen, who cares, we're all beautiful in our own ways. You don't have to look like that to be beautiful. Just love what you have and be confident about it. Also, drink some more champagne." She was so obsessed about not having the features that they had that she found attractive that she was no longer in the moment and having a good time. Just looking at these qualities in front of her ruined her night. So, let's stop doing that.

First things first, LET'S STOP COMPARING OURSELVES TO OTHER PEOPLE. There are a bunch of qualities I'm not happy about. But sitting here looking at Miranda Kerr's legs all day aren't going to make mine longer, it's just going to breed self hate. STOP PICKING LITTLE THINGS YOU DON'T LIKE. I could complain about the bridge of my nose, my crooked tooth, and the fact that it's physically impossible for me to have a thigh gap (or more recently, how much I dislike these bangs) all day long but what is that going to do for me? Instead, I like to focus on the positive things. Accepting that my beauty is different and unique from each model or actress in our magazines. I think of "flaws" as character and respect the qualities that they bring to my life. Focus on the positive. Rather than "I hate my thighs" focus on "I am proud I can do a lot of squats. GOOD JOB LEGS!" Okay, maybe not in such a silly way but you're getting my point. The point is think of your body as a whole and not just individual pieces put together and if you are going to choose one thing, CHANGE THE NEGATIVE INTO A POSITIVE.

Okay, now that we've changed our thoughts on that, let's move forward to an even crazier thought. Beauty is different all over the world. Platinum blonde hair blown out stick straight is considered to be unattractive in Paris. When I was there a woman once asked me, "Why do you want to look fake? Take out your highlights and wear your hair curly." She also commented on my make-up, "You should want to look put together, not done up." I find this to be a wonderful way to look at beauty because it celebrates your natural and individual beauty. We don't really do a lot of natural in the US. Furthermore, there are cultures that think that being fat is beautiful or having light eyes makes you more beautiful, or that scarring is beautiful. So if each culture has it's own idea of beauty, how can we ever really come to a conclusion of what universal beauty really is? It's just kind of a lie.

Mostly, I want to say that I don't understand why we put such a value on it. The other day a man called me beautiful. I said, "Oh, thanks" to which he replied, "I said, you're beautiful." It annoyed me. Am I suppose to jump for joy and scream with glee because you find me beautiful. Was my thanks not enough for you? Am I suppose to feel some kind of honor because you said that? This was a person who barely knows me. I'm thinking, I could be the worst person in entire world and spend my free time torturing puppies and sending kittens to be euthanized for fun. Would I be beautiful then? You're commenting only on my physical appearance. Frankly, I'd be more flattered if he said, "You really take care of yourself. You keep healthy and manage to be put together." I DIDN'T EARN my appearance (except for my butt, that takes a lot of squats). I was born with it. If you find me beautiful, that is lovely but this isn't an achievement. I feel blessed because I am in a career where looks matter but I didn't do anything to earn it.

Isn't it more empowering to put stock and pride into things that we earn? I feel proud that I went to college. No one can ever take that away. I feel proud that I eat really healthy and display discipline. I feel proud that I follow my dreams. I feel proud I follow my heart. I feel proud that I managed to raise I slightly normal dog. I feel proud that I can pay my rent and live on my own. These are things I EARNED. These are things that no one can really take away from me. But age will take away my face and my body will start to ache as the wrinkles come. Beauty is passing. The man who loves me will always see it because he sees me. He sees my heart. My accomplishments. He sees my strength and journey. He doesn't just see my face or body. So since beauty is bullshit, take some time to figure out what actually makes you beautiful. Then tell me all about it.