Do you think you are ugly? Maybe not completely ugly; maybe not a garish monster; but do you think your looks aren’t so great? Would you call yourself “average-looking”? At best, can you say about your looks, “I’m alright.”? If so, why? Where did you get the idea that you are not beautiful?
For many women (and men, too), the default answer is, “the media” or “magazines.” But, is it the truth? Aren’t most people sure that the way movie stars and models look is, if not totally digitally manipulated and air-brushed, the result of both unusual genetics and centuplicate-thousand-dollar expenditures on plastic surgery, stylists, make up artists, hairdressers, clothing, personal trainers, and spa memberships? We’d challenge you to find anyone in the post-modern developed world who believes, in his or her heart-of-hearts, that he or she is supposed to look like a movie star or model in order to meet the layperson’s standard of beauty. (Cynicism is the common-thread of the average first-world person’s belief system right now.)
We think we are unbecoming because, when we were children, people told us we were ugly.`Even if our parents told us we were good-looking, our peers took care of making sure we knew it was a lie created by the self-esteem movement. For most children, our peers are the barometer of truth; it didn’t matter what adults said — our peers were who mattered. Have you ever noticed how an overwhelming number of supermodels and Hollywood actresses tell woeful stories about being teased for their looks — called ugly by their classmates? If the women who supposedly set the standard of beauty could not get out of school without being thoroughly entrenched in the idea that they were ugly, we have proof that the words “ugly” and “pretty” don’t have a direct correlation to the so-called standard of beauty.
Children internalize what they are told. Children’s psyches are like sponges, soaking up every message sent their way, without the filters of discernment that we acquire as adults. What we absorb as children stays inside us, like moisture in a sponge. The antidote to thinking we are ugly is maturity. If we’re immature adults, we probably still think we’re ugly. The most telling sign of maturity is objectivity — the ability to look at oneself honestly. If you think you’re ugly, ask yourself: How objective am I?
There is not a single person on Earth who is “objectively ugly.” Every single person was created in the Divine image. This may not console a pre-teen who has been told that s/he is heinous and undesirable. But, with maturity and spiritual growth, we can come to understand that it is true — that by virtue of your birth, you are indeed a special, unique and beautiful person, glowing with a beauty that is distinctively yours.
Go deeper into this subject: Protect Our Children | My Dear Child | Give Me Your Soul | Are You Emotionally Mature? | Mature Mind vs. Mature Heart | The Value of Beauty | Being Beautiful | The Dancing Maidens of Jerusalem