What is your current definition of female beauty. Is it blonde hair, blue eyes, skinny figure, and full breasts? Or, the male version: 6 feet tall, broad shoulders, a perfect smile, perfect teeth, and a super athletic body? If there is a yes or a maybe in your mind, where do you find yourself in those definitions? How do you measure up?
At the high, there is about 2% of the population that meet all the above criteria, and blessings to them. These physical types and other similar ones are valued more in our society than almost any other. So where does that leave the rest of us? If you find that you are always comparing yourself to these kinds of images and feeling yourself less than perfect, you are not alone.
More and more women and men are feeling the effects of fear-based advertising. This is advertising and TV that perpetuates the age myth, the size myth, and the beauty myth. Companies that use these tactics feed low self-esteem and teach unreachable idealism, creating a society which is unsatisfied with itself and one obsessed with outer perfection.
Putting Yourself Down?
Do you find you minimize valuable parts of yourself such as health, emotions, talents, and abilities for the importance of the outer physique? You can discover your answer by how much time you spend on each of these areas during the course of your day. If you are shocked by your findings, you are awakening. I believe we have been conditioned to equate the media and beauty industries approved images with health, talent, financial freedom, love, and sex -- the core elements that most all of us aspire to.
Placing primary importance on our outer appearance is valuing the effect over the cause. In other words, appreciating the wrapping paper more than the gift. Exterior emphasis denies the whole, the truth, the soul, and our uniqueness, creating feelings of fear, anger, jealousy, self-hatred, judgments of inferiority and superiority, worthiness and worthlessness, depression, eating disorders, competition, entrapment, and quiet desperation.
If you don't feel this subject effects you, you have either gone through the process of finding your value beyond the limits of social conditioning or you are so deeply effected by it that you are in complete denial.
Redefining My Own Beauty
Although I had been on a spiritual quest most of my life, it wasn't until a few years ago that my Spirit made a dramatic choice and my ego made a semiconscious choice to begin valuing my authentic self more fully. Until then, as an adult, I had depended on my outer appearance for my livelihood, lovability, and value.
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Still strongly in denial that the outer imagery I was participating in and witnessing was affecting me negatively, I simultaneously began to feel little desire to continue modeling or acting and, overnight, I became ill. My illness took me on a two year journey that forced me to stop working, be in bed, and to look at myself. I began to move my attention from my outer reality to my inward reality, taking small steps to face my anger, self hatred, and unworthiness. It was the most challenging time of my life and yet one of the most rewarding.
At the time, I didn't know why I was ill with many ambiguous symptoms and exhaustion, but as I look back it is clear that I was given the opportunity to strip away my false sense of external value and power. To take off my makeup, let my hair remember its natural color, reevaluate my sexuality -- learn to differentiate reality from illusion and "looks" (what I perceived as ugly) and learn to love myself.
As I came out of those two years, I was different. I knew more about myself. I was present, and I appreciated more my heart, spirit, and ability to show compassion and appreciation for others. But that did not exclude me from still vacillating, primarily unconsciously, of whether my outer self and outer reality was more valuable than my inner. Daily I get closer to what is true, self love and inner wellness, beauty and peace, and appreciation for the unique whole beauty of others.
How to Begin
Redefining beauty is a personal journey. It requires asking oneself certain questions, such as "What is beauty to me? What do I truly find beautiful in myself and in others?" This can take time because we have become so accustomed to thinking that our cultural messages and definitions of beauty are our own.
Inner Beauty begins with health, both physical and emotional. There are many ways to increase ones physical health, through balanced eating, exercise, healthy habits, and meditation. Emotional health can also be strengthened through acknowledging emotions, talking about them honestly with a friend, partner, or therapist, and emotional transformation methods such as journaling or various other methods of release, and also meditation.
With physical vitality and emotional harmony, you will see the difference in your whole life. You will feel great, look your best, and have better interaction in the outer world. This is the journey of Inner Beauty and I look forward to hearing your stories and comments about your own inner journey.
A colorful array of energy emanates from all beings. Pamala Oslie offers a guide to these aura colors and how they correspond to four main personality types. She also describes 12 combination colors and includes a test to determine one's own aura color. With celebrity examples and ways to cultivate new aura colors, this insightful guide can lead to greater self-understanding.
About The Author
KARINNA KITTLES is a former international model and actress. She is a certified Healing Tao instructor who studied with Master Mantak Chia. Karinna teaches classes in meditation and qi gong both privately and at the Healing Tao Center in NYC. For more information on Karinna, visit her web site at http://www.sacredlove.com/