I wish we could all be honest with ourselves when it comes to the issue of beauty. That one line has been in a word document on my laptop for about a week and a half now. This is a concept that has gotten me intensely excited and flustered all at the same time. This is probably because it is a very sensitive topic. Now, with that being said, I am going to be as sensitive as possible. Beauty. It is unfortunate how as a global society, we are becoming more and more dependent on aesthetics for the sole definition of beauty. Notice that I used the word ‘sole’ in that statement. About a month ago, I posted a status on Facebook that was somewhat of an epiphany to me. It was a sentiment that was shared amongst two ladies that resonated a well of truth in me. The status was about how translating your inner beauty is an intentional effort. One does not wake up with eyeliner already on and a beautiful red lip colour already smudged on their lips; one has to intentionally stand in front of the mirror and put this on.
The first comment I received from that status is the reason why I felt the urge to write this. “Beauty is an inward thing.” I understand the rationality behind this comment and I actually agree but I also believe that beauty needs to be translated on the outside. Now, please hear me well, I don’t mean that everyone should now get weaves and start putting on make-up. Everyone has their own way of showing forth their individual beauty. For a very long time in my young life, I lived in a rather delusional state of thinking that I will one day wake up looking like Khanyi Dlomo or Gabrielle Union. I did not necessarily admire these women, but I considered them beautiful and that’s what I wanted to say to myself when looking in the mirror; Kanyisile, you are beautiful. The reason why I couldn’t say these words meaningfully was because I didn’t understand the worth and the value and the unique extent of my inner beauty. I therefore cannot dispute that beauty is an inward thing. I also cannot ignore the fact that no matter how beautiful I am on the inside, when people see me, they see the outside.
I wish we could all be honest with ourselves when it comes to that part. You cannot or rather you should not be jealous of people that take time to make themselves look aesthetically pleasing. My truth is that I once was jealous of this group of people. I didn’t understand why their beauty was portrayed better than mine. I didn’t understand why being wonderfully made didn’t come out as wonderful for me. I didn’t understand. I had to come to terms with the fact that I didn’t understand. Having done so, the Lord helped me understand and is still helping me understand. I understand that jealousy is an enemy that one should declare war against or it will eat you alive. I also understand that it calls for repentance. I understand that I am beautiful. I understand that I am not Kanyi Dlomo nor am I Miss Union but even so, I am beautiful. I understand that there will always be someone prettier than me, slimmer than me, more intelligent, more outgoing, more articulate…but there is only one me. This doesn’t come from a place of lack in confidence, but rather a place of knowing and accepting and loving who I am.
I still struggle with the above and beyond translation of myself but I am getting there. Right after that status update, I posted another one that basically read “Beauty is….?” The responses were everything and then some. “The work of the Father.” Our Father is beautiful and every good gift comes from Him. We are made in His image and because He is beautiful, then so are we. “You.” You are your own kind of beautiful. There is no benchmark when it comes to beauty, it is a unique treasure that starts within and spills out on the outside. It is a synergy between the meditations of your heart and the workings of your mind. It is not something that lies in the eyes of the beholder but rather something that can only be seen by those who are wise enough to know its makings, therefore having the ability to identify it. You are beautiful.