Thoughts on Beauty: The Birthmark

“To be beautiful means to be yourself.  You don’t need to be accepted by others.  You need to be yourself.”  Thich Nhat Hanh

Internalizing and acting on these words is very freeing.  Happiness, self-acceptance, self-confidence and internal peace are the keys to real beauty.

A long-time friend of mine has a prominent birthmark down one side of her face into her neck.  When we first met I noticed it.  How could I not?  Yet, as our friendship grew, I simply never saw the birthmark again.  She made me aware of this one day when I was helping her chose an outfit for a TV appearance.  She wanted to downplay the birthmark.  Her concern brought her birthmark into focus again for me but only for a  short time.  Then once again it receded in my perception of her.  I never notice it when I am with her.

My friend’s  interview was successful as is her life as a wife, friend, social activist and professional.  What could have been a stumbling block is a non-issue thanks to her positive, balanced view of life.  She is truly beautiful.

Like my friend, my appearance is important to me.  I don’t want to drag around extra weight or constantly replace my clothes. I love fashion and want to wear pretty clothes.  I want to feel good about myself.  So, as with many things, there has to be a balance.  My appearance does not define who I am but is a part of my persona.  I am beautiful  when I accept myself and others.