by Natalie Yuhas
What I find most beautiful in people are the little, everyday mannerisms they don’t even know they are doing. I love the way a person interacts with the people and things in his or her environment. Anyone can look into a mirror, pose, and smile, but that is not a good way to gauge how you actually look. How often are you posing completely still, smiling in your everyday life? You aren’t. There is no way a mirror can show you just how beautiful you look when you laugh at something someone you really care about said. It can’t show you the way you look when you’re reading your favorite book in your comfiest clothes, or the way you light up and come alive when you’re doing
something you are completely passionate about. There’s just no possible way that you can see the little things that make people fall in love with you in that harsh fluorescent lighting. Why do you think people love candid pictures so much? It’s Murphy’s Law that any cute, quirky, or funny candid photo taken can and will be put on Instagram (and get a ton of favorites in the process). People love them so much because it’s a picture that catches you in one of these beautiful, unplanned moments where you are interacting with your environment.
The mirror can’t gauge beauty, and neither can the scale or society. Last week, The Women’s Resource Center put on Love Your Body Week on campus with programming to inspire students to reflect on what it means to respect yourself and have a healthy body image. It’s so easy to get into the pattern of focusing on the negative things we see with our bodies. I hate that I can’t wear a baseball hat because my ears are too big and they stick out. I hate the way I unintentionally bounce on my toes when I walk and everyone notices. I hate the way my skinny jeans feel after I had two pumpkin waffles from The Rat (not that that has actually ever happened…).
Finding flaws is too easy in today’s society that expects nothing less than pencil thin perfection. What we need to remember, however, is that “God created humankind in his image” (Genesis 1:27). God loves us so much that He decided to make us like Him, which makes us uniquely special and beautiful. We are a reflection of His undying love, mercy, and beauty, and to disrespect our bodies and see ourselves as anything less than beautiful is a disgrace and insult to Him. God doesn’t make garbage. “Your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit within you…therefore glorify God with your body” (1 Corinthians 6:19-20). Because you are a beautiful reflection of God’s love, it is important to take care of the one body you have been given. Balanced eating habits, exercise, and other healthy habits glorify the beautiful masterpiece God has made through you. You are more than the scale, the mirror, and the expectations. You are your nervous habits, your bellowing laugh, your big ears, and the freckles on your nose. Own it. You are uniquely you, and you are beautiful.