I Asked 18 Women What Their Definition of Beauty Is, And Here's What They Said
Originally posted for Her Campus Media.
Beauty. There is definitely a dictionary out there that simply defines the word. Then, there are the standards that the fashion world places on us, as women. The tabloids exploiting celebrities for looking “fat” on the beach, criticizing models for not having the perfect “runway look” and social media showcasing the world’s most stunning and influential people complete with Photoshop and editing. Finally, there are the unattainable ideals set by men. Don’t get me started there.
The Internet could define ‘beauty’ in a million ways, but who is to say we can not create our own meaning for that six-letter word.
Here are 18 powerful women and their definitions of beauty.
1. "Beauty to me means letting my personality shine in everything I do, and having an open heart for those around me.”
Speech Pathology Major
2. “Beauty, to me, means having a radiant personality and being kind to myself and other people. It’s recognizing that every “flaw” is really just a mark of uniqueness that should be appreciated!”
3. “Beauty to me is feeling my absolute best about how I look. It’s wearing what makes me feel like the best me. To me this picture is that, I’m in my favorite place, with my sister, yes I have a double chin and ice cream on my nose...but I feel beautiful here.”
Elementary Education Major
4. “Beauty is being unapologetically you. It is fully embracing who God made you to be and being joyful in that because once we are satisfied in that, we can see the beauty in everything.”
5. “Beauty is seeing someone or something and its entirety, both good and bad, and still being able to see the value it has.”
6. “Beauty is being happy and comfortable with yourself. For me, that means always being kind, generous, and honest to everyone. As well as exercising and eating nourishing meals, that makes me feel on top of the world.”
Callie Kay Carter
Film & Digital Media Major
7. “To me, beauty is more about seeing what your body is capable of and less about how your capabilities differ from someone else. With bigger thighs and strong, broad shoulders, I was a pool powerhouse as a competitive swimmer. It used to be something I was insecure about, but when I reframed it in my head as a part of myself that allowed me to do something I love, it became easier to love my differences. In terms of expressing my personal beauty, I love the phrase, “the existence of someone else’s beauty does not diminish your own.” You have to find what makes you YOU—flaws’ and all— and embrace it.”
Winona State '21
Her Campus- Campus Correspondent
Mass Communication Journalism Major
8. “I, like many other girls, would be lying if I said external appearance is not thought of when I hear the word beauty. I feel like there has been a movement in the past few years that drives girls away from putting effort in their looks, for they should be: “happy with what’s on the inside” or “know they are beautiful without trying”. However, it has grown into the belief that girls who do try, aren’t satisfied with themselves, which I don’t think is true. If someone wants to wear makeup, dress up, or even get surgery to fit what THEY think is beautiful, that by no means says they don’t love themselves. In fact, for a girl to look at what she wants and allows herself to have it, means she loves herself that much more. Yes, there is a fine line between using these mechanisms for yourself or using them to satisfy others, but the certainty in what YOU want and satisfying YOUR OWN happiness is what beauty is to me. If a girl wears pounds of makeup and feels good in it, that’s beautiful. If a girl wants to workout for a body she feels healthy, confident, and attractive in, that’s beautiful. If a girl finds what SHE truly wants and works to get it, that’s beautiful. This question asked what WE as individual girls think beauty means and it means something different to everyone. What makes someone else feel good won’t always fit the girl standing next to her, but when a girl finds a way to fit her ideal image and feels confident in herself, no matter how she got there, THAT is beauty.”
9. “My definition of beauty: Embracing the way you look and being comfortable in your own skin.”
10. "To me, true beauty is the measure in someone of kindness and integrity, together with the inner grace and strength possessed by each one of us, and the unique, inherent loveliness of every human."
Applied Music Major
11. "To me, beauty means we are made in the image of God. He made us perfectly and wonderfully because all His works are wonderful!"
Olivia Grace Bragg
12. "To me, beauty is being authentic and confident in your whole (good and bad) true self!"
Middle Grades Math Education
13. “The purest form of beauty is authenticity. Being authentic (real/genuine) with people is when you are at your most vulnerable and yet it’s when people can see the real you. The you that isn’t hiding behind a mask or hiding in the closet, is the truest and most beautiful you I will ever want to see.”
Professional Writing and Rhetoric/Business Majors
14. "To me, beauty means embracing the gifts, qualities and quirks that God has given you. Those are what make YOU uniquely YOU! That same beauty can be seen when we lift others up, encourage one another and serve each other!"
15. "I think beauty is resilience. It's standing in the face of adversity and doing the hard things anyway. It's selfless discipline and sacrifice that makes you simultaneously stronger and softer."
Higher Education and Student Affairs Graduate Student
16. “Beauty to me is the composition of all of the unique qualities that someone possesses. It’s not necessarily the physical features, but the inside and who they truly are as a person. 1 Peter 3:1-4 is a great passage to remember when considering what true beauty really means!”
Management Information Systems/Marketing Majors
17. " 'A person who has good thoughts cannot ever be ugly. You can have a wonky nose and a crooked mouth and a double chin and stick-out teeth, but if you have good thoughts they will shine out of your face like sunbeams and you will always look lovely.'
I think this really shows the way I think of beauty: Beauty is the grace and happiness within yourself being shown to others."
University Scholar - Classics, Political Science and History Major
18. "Despite what the common perception of beauty may be, I think beauty is more characterized by one's inner character, as shown in Proverbs 31: 'Charm is deceptive, and beauty is fleeting, but a woman who fears the Lord is to be praised.' A beautiful lady is confident in her true self. She treats others with kindness. She is courageous and brave. Real beauty is someone using her life to serve and put others before herself. The physical look may fade away with time, but inner beauty will last forever."
And as for me, beauty is defined as the difference in all of these definitions. There is a certain uniqueness in all of these incredible women's words and how they see the world. Beauty is within each of their stories, their backgrounds, their thoughts and their dreams and aspirations. It's the way they speak their minds strongly and love others fiercely. Women are beautiful in every shape, form and definition of the word.
There is no "right" definition of beauty, and that itself is beautiful.