This piece is written by Isabel Rasmussen, co-creator of Beauty Mirror and organizer of the Beauty Message Challenge.
Beauty is where we lose our power but also where our power lies. I began losing my power to beauty as puberty took hold of me. I remember at 11 I would style my hair in the morning; it was the early 90s when you stunk up the bathroom with aerosol hairspray to get your bangs to do that half moon shape. This was a challenging task to perfect and there were mornings of complete bang failure; I would have a meltdown and start crying and refuse to go to school.
Looking in the mirror had the ability to ruin my day, especially as pimples began to crop up on my face. I could not see me, I could only see the gross pussy whitehead on my forehead. I come from a family of face pickers so there was no comforting, only offers to pop them for me. Friends of mine got lost in the battle of beauty as they choose smaller waist measurements in exchange for meals and mental clarity. It amazes me that we throw up, one of the grossest and ugliest acts, to grasp at beauty. It would be an interesting fact to see how many hours we lose and opportunities we miss due to skipping school because we are dissatisfied with our appearance or avoiding risks in our careers because our self confidence has been beaten down by unfulfilled beauty aspirations. It pains me to think of how much we lose as we chase after physical beauty.
Beauty is also a place of power. Women are captivatingly beautiful when we are on stage in a red gown or on that same stage speaking from our heart and authentically connecting with the audience. When I am thinking of the power of beauty, I am really thinking of self confidence we experience as beauty – everyone being wowed by you. As women, our appearance is where we have a great deal of wow power – we can manipulate how we look drastically. But the power is not just in the appearance but also in the feeling.
The feeling of radiating this glowing smile from within that I experience when I claim “I am beautiful,” is powerful. When I feel it, it is all of me: it is my mind, my words, my relationships, my actions, and my body. We therefore see and feel beauty as we feel that glow coming off another person. There is an emotional experience to beauty. That is why I think this beauty message challenge is so powerful, because it connects us to the deep feeling of beauty. So I dare you to feel beautiful, to glow from a place within that captivates those around you. You are beautiful!