Who decides beauty?

Sedruola Maruskaj Blog

I was having a conversation with my sister that turned to beauty. We were talking about marriage and anniversaries and how long some of our cousins have been married. We’re a huge supportive clan so we’ve all been to almost all our family weddings.

Anyway, my sister lamented that she looked “so bad” at our aunt’s wedding, but she just knew she was beautiful back then. “Why didn’t anyone ever tell me about my mustache or unibrow? How did I feel so beautiful?”

I didn’t think long before saying “we told each other we were beautiful so that’s what we all took into the world. We didn’t see your mustache or unibrow as ‘ugly’ we saw them as you.”

Who decides?

The more I’ve thought about that question the more I wonder, who decides what beauty is? Who decides that a woman with a mustache is less desirable than one without?

Did we lie or mislead her?

Mommy, Can I Change My Color?

Who decides whether we did or didn’t? I’m not sure. What I’m sure of is we were sincere in our praise of each other. We loved each other unconditionally and saw our beauty beyond the norms.

I was 95 lbs. until I was 34. That made me self-conscious because I didn’t feel I was beautiful at that size. I didn’t wear bikinis or show my arms. No one told me I wasn’t beautiful, but those I was around had curves I wanted.

My family always told me I was beautiful so I never truly doubted it, but there were counter messages that got through anyway.

At some point, someone in advertising decided what the “ideal” look would be. They took parts of ethnic women and created an ideal that has been etched into our minds. If we don’t feel we fit into that ideal, we think something needs to be changed. But does it really?

No changes necessary

No.

Beauty isn’t a product of what you look like on the outside, it’s a compilation of inner and outer beauty. I’ve seen men and women turned off by beautiful people because their beauty was skin deep. Then I’ve seen those men and women turned on by someone who would never fit the “ideal” because they glowed.

Scars To Your Beautiful

The next time you’re looking at yourself and thinking “I need to change. . . ” stop that thought. Think about your spirit. Think about your aura and consider if that’s what needs changing rather than your outer appearance.

Take it from a woman who walks around with and without breasts . . . no one cares how you look, they only care about who you are. Your person is what they respond to.

“Those who care, don’t matter and those who matter, don’t care.”

You are enough. You are beautiful. You decide, remember that!


The answer is yes

Sedruola Maruska | Leisure Life Coach

I’m currently an Uber driver for some very awesome reasons. It gives me the opportunity to meet different people and that’s so much fun (to me)!

The other day I picked up a young lady going to the airport. We got into a conversation about where she was going, and what she did for a living.

When she mentioned that she’d graduated from an art college and that she worked as an illustrator for a publishing company I asked a very simple question.

Me: Are you good at drawing?
Her: Well. . . I feel like if I say yes it would seem conceited.
Me: Uh. . .the answer is yes! Because it was a yes or no question.
Her: Yes.

So, I went home and in the course of conversation with my daughter I asked her a few questions.

My worst mother / daughter conversation to date

Me: Sia, are you pretty?
Sia: Yes.
Me: Are you smart?
Sia: Yes.
Me: Are you a good reader?
Sia: Yes.

Whew! After I registered my relief to her answers I explained how happy I was about her answers. I explained that I’m happy she knows her strengths and that she acknowledges them. So I’m sharing that message with you. If you know your strengths, acknowledge them.

When I was Sia’s age (8) or even the same age as the young lady in my car I’m not sure I was as forthright as I am now. I’m pretty sure I would have answered “I think so” rather than “yes”.

Where do we learn that? Boys don’t seem to learn that same lesson. They tend to be more on the “yes” track, even when it’s not true.

The answer is yes. When a yes or no question is asked it’s not meant to stump us, it’s meant to be answered yes or no. Where we get stuck is in wondering what the question asker will think of us when we answer in full confidence.

Hard questions to answer

Some of the questions many of us (ladies) have a hard time answering:

Are you
– Sure?
– Pretty?
– Good at ______?
– Smart?

If you’re sure, pretty, good at or smart, the answer is yes. It’s always yes. When you know the answer is yes and you pretend to be unsure of yourself, others become unsure of you too.

You set the tone. Don’t worry about what others think about your answer. If you’re putting it forth with grace your part is done.

Practice. Ask yourself hard questions that you know the answer to, then answer them confidently. That way, the next time someone asks you a hard yes or no question you can confidently say yes.


What’s your self story

Sedruola Maruska | Leisure Life Coach

Do you have a self story? You know, a story you tell yourself and others on a regular basis. A story that’s probably not true, but because you’ve told this story so many times you don’t recognize it as a fairy tale. That self story.

Self stories can be empowering or destructive. We get to choose which ones we tell or which ones we ignore. These stories can be reinforced by the media we consume or experiences we’ve had in life.

In any case, they’re all stories we tell ourselves on a regular basis. But are they true?

Years ago I read about a man who never got sick. His theory was that he told himself he didn’t get sick and that was that. He didn’t get sick. On the flip side, I know people who say “I get sick all the time” and sure enough they get sick all the time. Whatever germ is around is theirs to share.

I know it sounds weird right? Well, it didn’t hurt to try, so I tried it with something that seemed more controllable, my timeliness.

No watch?

Instead of being controlled by and being late for appointments, I told myself “I’m always on time” and ditched the watch. What happened, I’m usually on time.

Could it be that our self stories are alterable? Wouldn’t that be awesome!

Stories we tell ourselves

There are a ton of stories we can tell ourselves, here are a few I hear A LOT:

  • I’m always late
  • I’m bad at math
  • I’m a terrible cook
  • I’m not very athletic
  • I can’t lose weight
  • I can’t gain weight
  • No one wants to hear from me
  • I’m not very interesting

In my experience, most of these are stories we tell ourselves so we don’t have to try hard to change them. Instead of owning our power, we give it away.

What if, instead we changed our self story to more empowering phrases like:

  • I’m always on time
  • I’m pretty good at math
  • I cook pretty well
  • I’m athletic
  • I’m living a healthy lifestyle
  • I’m working to build muscle
  • My voice is important
  • My story is worth sharing

What if? Try it and see how it fits. You may be pleasantly surprised.