I see the college girls chasing it. The outer sort. I hear them speak of calorie counting, of diet pills, and see them scrunch up their noses at numbers before they eat anything out of a package. I hear a classmate talk about "giving in" and eating a cupcake. Then speak of how she took all of the flights of stairs right after to try to balance it out. I see the caked on make-up, the high heel wearing even though feet ache by the end of the day.
I'm not saying make-up and high heels or thinking about food is wrong. But, the extremes frighten me.
I don't want this contest of beauty. I don't like the unhealthy habits just to be "beautiful".
I don't want it. Yet, sometimes the lie of not being beautiful tries to creep in amidst the truth. I'm learning lessons in beauty from seeing others chase it in extreme ways.
I'm learning that I'd rather taste a baked good and smile without thinking the moment after that I must work it off. I'd rather spend most early mornings in prayer, writing, or in a creative moment with my camera than spending the time before a mirror covering skin with paint or making hair fall just so.
I have damaged skin and wide pours.
I have stretch marks and "imperfections".
I'm weary of hearing all the unhealthy views of beauty.
I think that the words uttered make one more beautiful or take away from outer beauty.
I think that deeds of kindness and the way one lives shows beauty in ways make-up never will.
College lessons. I'm learning them. I'm learning not to compare. I'm learning that love is so much more beautiful when it is based on the truly important things. I'm treasuring love from those near me.