Monday, December 16, 2013

What is Beauty?

When I was a little girl, I believed that long hair was a sign of beauty. Every Disney princess I knew of had long hair. I would read my picture book about the story of Rapunzel. Her long hair won her a guy. I never read stories or watched movies where the heroine had short hair. It was always long, shiny, healthy, and flowing.

I grew my hair out and for a while, it was long, shiny, healthy, and flowing like the hair of the Disney princesses I watched on-screen.

Then it was the summer before I would go to middle school. I was no longer the little girl who wore scrunchies in my hair and jelly shoes on my feet. I now had a mind of my own. At an age when so many are self-conscious . . . .I was strangely confident. I was prepared to enter the world of lockers and gym class with a bold new look. I was ready to get rid of my hair.

I clipped a picture of Halle Berry out of a magazine and told my mom to schedule a haircut appointment.

I remember how light my head felt after cutting off my thick chestnut brown hair. I ran my fingers through the short and spiky tresses and I felt so beautiful. It was my own kind of beautiful. Not the kind of beautiful society had tried forcing me to believe in.

As women, we live in a world where we are constantly told we must meet some certain standard to be beautiful. Skinny is beautiful. Long hair is beautiful. Bronzed skin is beautiful. Straight teeth are beautiful. Dark eyelashes are beautiful. We spend so much time applying makeup over blemishes, eating less and working out more. We all too often look in the mirror and see all the things we wish to change about ourselves in order to fit this definition of beauty.

Well, we are being lied to.

Beauty isn't about looking a certain way or fitting a specific mold.

Beauty is being comfortable in our own skin. Beauty is in speaking kindly. Beauty is living our lives in a way that makes us happy. Beauty is in the way we act and the way we carry ourselves.

I recently cut my hair off again and I keep having moments of doubt. I become conquered by my insecurities. Is my nose too big? Do I look like a boy? Did I make a mistake?

Then I try to remind myself of that preteen who so boldly cut her hair because she wanted to. She deserves some self-love. She is worthy of confidence. She has the right to feel beautiful.

I hope tomorrow you'll look in the mirror and notice all the things you like about yourself. I hope you'll feel beautiful and be slow to judge yourself too harshly. I hope you will speak kindly to yourself. Beauty can be found in all things. You are a beautiful soul.

I have short hair, a flat chest and stretch marks on my legs, and I'm beautiful.   


  1. I seriously love this. I cut off my hair last year, and before I did it, so many people were telling me not to and giving me advice like "women just look *better* with longer hair" and "men like longer hair better" and "what if you get married soon? you'll have short hair for your wedding!!" as if it's some sort of unspeakable crime to not have flowing hair on your wedding day. Psh. I did it anyway and loved it. btw I think you totally rock the short hair. The asymmetrical thing is super cool, I might have to grow one side out like that.

    1. Leah, short hair is awesome. I love how it makes me feel like a rockstar even though I'm totally not, ha. And I had people tell me ALL those same things when I got a pixie cut my freshman year of college. But guess what? My husband LOVES my hair short. He is actually the one who started dropping hints I should cut it again. Oh, and I had short hair when we got married. The world didn't end. Actually, I often have people tell me, "That's so cool that you had short hair for your wedding." Sadly, we are just creatures of habit. I love long hair and short hair. The real important thing is that the individual likes their hair the way they have it. It makes me so sad when girls won't cut their hair because they want to please a guy. If a guy can't like you because of the length of hair you have, you probably don't want to be with that dude. Just saying, hair is a very superficial thing.

      Thanks for all your sweet comments on my blog. I love reading them!

  2. kelsey, you're just my favorite person in the world. i LOVE this. i've read a lot of posts on beauty & what it is, and you just really nailed it. and made me cry (but that's not too hard these days) haha. you're fantastic, and thanks a whole bunch for posting this!!

    1. Thanks, Laura. That really means a lot.

      PS- You are BEAUTIFUL :)

  3. manifesto for Master Camp was "I nurture beauty...I will continue to nurture beauty, forever..." ... Beauty as biblically of mind and beauty of Soul and of Love...YOU MY fabulous Brave Sister have totally defined that which is beauty...and it comes from your heart and your soul and your true and loving belief in Him that has Blessed us with the JOY and GRACE of all that is beautiful! By the way...your hair style rocks big time are beautiful!!!! Love you!

  4. Absolutely love this post Kelsey! So amazing! Thanks for sharing, you are so beautiful inside and out!


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