Beauty Beyond Limits

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I was talking to my dad recently, as we were scanning through old pictures and he asked me a question that intrigued me. He noticed the clothes I had worn over the past year, and how they have changed immensely. He said, “why don’t you wear turtlenecks anymore?” To my surprise I didn’t know that he noticed such a detail. I answered the question with, “I don’t have to hide anymore.” The reason I had word baggy shirts, turtlenecks, tights, and other items that seemed to cover every part of my body, was because I was hiding myself from the world. I had gained weight and I was afraid of revealing myself to others. It was hard to be vulnerable with those around me. So, I would clothe myself in things that shielded my body from ever being seen. Clearly, you see the problem here, as I did at the time, but I failed to address it. This year, was the first time in 2 years that I wore a tank top. Can you believe it? I let my weight determine everything. I let my weight determine my value, my beauty, my friendships, activities-- everything. Ashamed, I stayed hidden. 

I know this is a topic widely talked about, and I fear it becoming a cliche to bring up, however, I think the reason it is brought up, is because it is a very real problem that is affecting MANY women. The problem is that the world tells us what beauty is, and the rest of us that don’t seem to cram into that tiny --1% we feel that we couldn’t hold such a title, as beautiful. This is WRONG. Yet so many women feel trapped under the societal standard of beauty. It is an image that haunts us, and is unattainable. We are told If we aren’t  a size 0, we can’t wear a tank top, or bikini, or cute sundress. Whatever it is, whatever item of clothing you think you can’t wear at the moment, I want you to write it down, along with the reason behind your thought. My items were two piece bathing suits, tank tops, and low cut shirts. I have always had smaller boobs, which kept me from wanting to wear low cut shirts. I would pass it off as though I was just trying to be modest in my choice of clothing, yet that wasn’t the truth. I was insecure. My reason for neglecting tank tops-- or spaghetti straps of any kind, was because I felt my arms were too big to be exposed in such circumstances. So for two years, I didn’t buy one tank top, or two piece bathing suit. I was determined to keep my body hidden. I looked at girls on Instagram, in magazines, on youtube, and every other media you can get a hold of these days, and began to compare myself to these women. I didn’t look like them, therefore I couldn’t wear the clothes they did. I was trapped without any hope of escape. 

We do this constantly. We compare ourselves to the women around us, and immediately discover we don’t measure up. So we’ll refrain from ever wearing the clothes we dream to, and we’ll hide ourselves under baggy sweaters, turtlenecks, pants, and escape from ever being fully seen. What is this rooted in? Is it because of the people you see in magazines, victoria’s secret ads, or commercials, and think you can’t wear the clothes they wear because of the size you are? I was there, I was the queen of hiding. All my friends can attest to this. I hid, and I hid because I didn’t feel beautiful. Every size is beautiful, maybe you have heard this before and have never believed it. I know how you feel too. Maybe you’re tired of people trying to encourage you to feel good about yourself when you don’t-- I get it, trust me. But I also know how miserable you will continue to be, if you don’t allow yourself to accept those words for what they are-- TRUTH. You are beautiful. Every part of you. You need to meditate on those words, and allow them to ring true for you. When that day comes, you will walk around with a confidence like never before, and people will get to enjoy all of you. People notice those who are confident in who they are and those who aren’t. The way you present yourself matters. BE confident in you unique beauty. Own it and accept it. Don’t allow society to determine the clothes you can and can’t wear. Wear a bikini, buy pretty lacey feminine underwear, buy a cute low cut shirt, wear a sundress or tank top, or whatever item it is that you think you can’t. Let the world stop and stare and bask in your beauty. What an honor for them. Not only are you confident in yourself, but you are giving God the glory by feeling beautiful as his creation. God only creates beauty, which includes you. 

Maybe this will take some time, that’s okay. But, don’t continue to hide my friend, and deprive the world of the beautiful creation you are. Acknowledge it, and rebuke the lies that tell you different. You are beautiful, and when you walk in that, your beauty is accentuated in a way it never was before. Show off your curves, your hips, those things that make you unique. Show off your freckles, curls, legs, and celebrate the things that set you apart from others. Don’t let society tell you the clothes you can wear, and walk into a store and pick out your perfect outfit. When you do, it’s liberating. Guess what, I bought a tank top this year, MULTIPLE, and I bought 4 two piece bathing suits. I bought sun dresses, and threw away all those clothes I used to hide in. I’m done hiding, and I am walking confidently in the body I was given. SHINE ON, FRIEND. Don’t forget your a light. 

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WomanhoodTaylor Carr