Aug 7, 2014

Things That Are More Than Skin Deep

Things that are More Than Skin Deep

"Beauty is only skin deep."  That's a saying we all know.  So is "beauty is in the eye of the beholder."  And "beauty is as beauty does."  (Ok, that last one might be a stretch)  But in general, we all spend a lot of time being very focused on this beauty thing.

One very positive shift in our attitudes that I've seen lately is the push for all women to find the things that make them feel beautiful and to be comfortable in their own skin.  And I approve of that.  How could you not?  But we've gotten so focused on everyone needing to be "beautiful" that we're ignoring the more important things.  The things that make us who we are.

Ashley from Clothesline Confessional wrote the post (I Am More Than Beautiful) that inspired this one.  Ironically, the first word I thought of to describe it was "beautiful."  But, taking a leaf from her book, I thought a little further and realized "beautiful" just didn't cover it.  It's powerful, and insightful, and inspiring.

At the end, she challenges us to find 5 pictures that make us feel, not beautiful, but proud of ourselves.  And to find other adjectives to describe ourselves in these pictures.  So here's mine.

1. Honest, integrity, and self-love

I'll be honest.  I'm not a big fan of this picture.  But I didn't untag myself on Facebook.  Because how I looked really didn't matter.  It was part of my sister's album and it was telling the story of our skydiving beach adventure on my birthday.  Right around this time, I decided not to untag myself in any pictures, because who am I trying to impress?  Who am I kidding?  My friends all know what I look like.  And even if it's unflattering, it's me, and I accept me for what I look like.  (One untag exception: Halloween pictures and a friend had a giant penis costume.  Grandma did not need to see that.)

2. Perseveres, strong, overcomes obstacles

This one is a 2-part picture.  The one above is me after hiking the longest recommended day hike at the Grand Canyon.  I was cranky, and I didn't even want to hike at all, but my sisters convinced me.  The way up was long, and strenuous, and utterly exhausting, and it was very hard to not slide into a negative and unpleasant mindset.  So I'm proud of myself for the physical achievement, but also for overcoming my own negativity.  And yes, I earned that drink!

Hanging out after the hike.  The view from the top was gorgeous!

3. Positive attitude, fun-loving

This one is similar.  We drove all the way to this place in PA to do zorbing.  When we arrived, they were closed, with no explanation on location or on the website.  After driving for hours to get there, it was pretty frustrating and it would have been easy to get cranky about it.  Instead, I made a concentrated effort of will, and stayed positive, allowing my sisters to convince me to climb to the top of the ski/zorbing hill.  The climb was mildly strenuous, but at the top we sat in the empty ski lift, and climbed this sign, and I'm really proud of all of us for finding a way to have fun even though our plans went astray.

4. Intelligent, hard-working, perseveres (seeing a pattern?)

Graduating college was something I was not always certain would happen.  I took a few alternate paths, but when I finally got there, I was all the more appreciative of it!

5. Brave, exciting, adventurous

Another 2-parter.

I really like overcoming my fears, and I love the adrenaline rush of doing something terrifying.  This was not terribly long after sky-diving, but there was a huge difference.  When you sky dive for the first time, an instructor strapped to your back makes the call on when to jump.  You don't get to nerve yourself up to and take the plunge of your own free will.  This was a much smaller distance to fall, but there was no one to unclip the harness but me.

So I'm taking 2 thing away from this exercise.  1. The pictures and adjectives I chose are a great reflection of the things that I value, but there are things in that list that I'd like to see and I don't.  Hopefully one day I'll be able to show off my awesome discipline or career achievements.  2. It is so much fun to go back through my Facebook pictures!  It's like a quick-browse photo album, and I get to see all the highlights of the last few years.  I'm feeling fortunate to have so many great experiences to remember.

What adjectives would you choose for yourself?  Do you ever go through your Facebook photos just for fun?

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  1. I'd really have to put some thought into what adjectives I would use to describe myself, especially good ones. :)

    I do go through my FB photos for fun, I was looking at the really old ones the other day!

  2. I didn't interpret the initial pic challenge of finding five photos in which you felt beautiful to mean those in which you looked the most beautiful. Sometimes I feel beautiful at the end of a hard day of yard work when I'm covered in dirt and likely stink because I know I worked hard and hard work is an attribute I value.

    If I had to pick attributes in myself I value, I'd choose honest, strong, balanced, hardworking, and loyal.

  3. These are so great. I've seen the 5 pictures posts going around, but I haven't done one yet. I don't know if I have it in me right now. But I love your pictures. And your descriptions. You look like you have awesomeness coming right out of your pores!


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