“I was never one who fits in. I’m six feet tall, dark-skinned..but I felt I could use it as an excuse to dress the way I wanted.”- Unknown
Have you ever thought of yourself as a master piece created for a unique purpose?
In fact, you are fearfully and wonderfully filled with greatness. See Psalm 139:14. Now, I must confess that I have not always believed this to be true. I am a 5’9″ dark-skinned woman who wears a shoe size 11. This does not fit the model our society perceives to be as beautiful. I was so desperate to fit in that I began to hunch just to appear shorter. I would try my best to not speak or engage in discussions in hopes that I would become invisible. As I write this, my heart breaks for my younger self. At the time, I did not understand how precious and beautiful I was even though my mother and sisters constantly affirmed my worth.
The summer before my freshman year of college, I went to a conference that changed my life and I finally decided I did not want to live a life in the shadows of this world’s definition of beauty. As I began my self-love journey, I decided to create my own definition of BEAUTY which is Becoming Educated, Artistic and Understanding Towards Yourself.
This definition focuses on:
a. Becoming. Understand the road to self-love is a life-long process. Growth takes time. You never plant a seed into the ground and expect it to grow overnight. In order for that seed to grow, you must faithfully position the seed in fertile ground where it can receive water and sunlight as needed. Just like a seed, you must place yourself in an environment that promotes growth. Surround yourself with people who encourage you to be the best version of yourself.
b. Educated. You cannot grow if you do not learn. I understand that college is expensive and not everyone has opportunity to learn through formal education. However, there are so many opportunities for informal education. You could set a goal to read a personal development book every month, subscribe to an educational/inspirational YouTube channel or even just read great blog like this one! The point is in order to grow, you must make it a priority to fill your mind with truthful words.
c. Artistic. You are UNIQUE! Imagine how boring the world would be if we all looked alike and had the exact same talent. Diversity is a beautiful thing. We are created to be different and that is a GREAT thing. I encourage you to embrace your unique God-given talent. You might be thinking “I’m not good at anything.” I hear you! I used to believe I did not have a talent because I never actually tried to do anything. I finally decided I wanted to learn how to dance so I watched a few YouTube videos and started practicing. Today, I am a very competent dancer and I am still working on perfecting my skills!
d. Understanding Towards Yourself. There will be days when you look in the mirror and you do not “feel” beautiful. Well I have good news. Your beauty has nothing to do with the way you feel or look. Your beauty should not come from outward adornment, such as elaborate hairstyles and the wearing of gold jewelry or fine clothes. Rather, it should be that of your inner self, the unfading beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is of great worth in God’s sight. Focus on falling in love with yourself by taking the time to learn about yourself.
It does not matter who you are! You too can redefine BEAUTY. This movement encourages women to deviate from society’s perverted view of beauty by “Becoming Educated Artistic and Understanding Towards Yourself.
It is a movement for women of all races, ethnicities, cultures, shapes and sizes.
So, what do I love about myself? I am an intelligent dark-skinned Nigerian beauty who loves to dance her heart out and laugh with the most joyful spirit! Now it’s your turn! What do you love about yourself?