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!


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.


Uplift Your Body and Mind Invest in Health

Sedruola Maruska | Leisure Life Coach

Focusing on wellness doesn’t mean cutting out huge swaths of free time to care for ourselves. There are ways to focus on your health without sacrificing downtime. Let’s chat about a few.

Play a Sport

Getting a hearty dose of exercise doesn’t mean going to the gym every day. Instead pick up a sport either alone or with a group, swimming, field hockey or baseball are a few great options. The benefits of a sport extend to your emotional health, too. Not only can they be a way to socialize and develop new relationships, but playing a sport can boost confidence and relieve stress, even if it’s by yourself or with family.

Your copy of “Sleep: The Secret to Increased Productivity” is waiting for you

Check Your Dental Health

Our mouth health affects nearly every other area of our wellness. It can fuel depression, lead to illness, and even cause heart complications later in life. With so much riding on your teeth, regular dentist visits are highly recommended. It’s important to look for a practitioner who’ll do in-depth work. So, check reviews online and call to ask about the dentist’s philosophy when it comes to treating whole-body wellness.

Meditate Every Day

An excellent way to lower stress levels is to meditate. Meditation, which comes in many forms, can nurture positivity, focus, and compassion. There are different ways to develop a practice, including yoga as a physical, more hands-on discipline for those who have a hard time sitting still. No matter what you think of meditation, there are amazing benefits that make experimentation worthwhile. Not every form will work for you, and that’s okay, find one that works for your lifestyle.

Sedruola Maruska | Leisure Life Coach

Eat Better

Eating healthy can seem hard when we work long days, but it’s not impossible. By adding a few helpful gadgets to your kitchen you can put together healthy dinners quickly and easily. For example, salad choppers make eating raw vegetables more fun, a steamer can cook your food with no added fats and only a few dishes to wash. Prepping ahead on weekends means you can have food ready to cook on weeknights, with only the small job of throwing in a few ingredients for dinner.

Socialize More

Humans are social animals and require contact with those we love to maintain good health. It doesn’t matter who we are or how much we value our alone time. It isn’t something you need to do every day, and you should never lose sleep for other activities, but finding space in our schedules to see loved ones is important for wellness. After all, socializing de-stresses us, brings us joy, and reminds us of the power of laughter. Even if it’s just a cup of coffee or running errands together, find a way to be with your loved ones each week.

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We all need to focus on our well-being. While a healthy body looks different on everyone, each of us knows how we feel when we invest in caring for ourselves. There’s no reason not to look after yourself and focus on your health first.


“Jennifer McGregor co-created Public Health Library (http://publichealthlibrary.org/) to write about health and wellness topics. She wants her writing to help make the world a better, healthier place by making it easier for people to find high quality health information on the web. “