I read an article called ‘The Ugly Truth’ by Ann Bauer in the latest Elle magazine. This courageous woman starts the article saying, “From as early as I can remember, I knew I was ugly.” And she went on to detail the cruelty of people towards her throughout elementary, junior high and high school because of her looks. Sadly, it didn’t stop when she entered society as a young adult, nor present day.
I found myself sickened by the fact that people can still be so very cruel. In 2009, she wrote an essay called “Finding Love at 40” in which she details her amazing marriage to her loving husband and included a photo of them. She received an email response to the essay which read, “You’re a hag who looks like your husband’s mother, and my wife agrees. He will leave you soon.”
I cringed through the majority of her story, shocked at the audacity of people.
I felt hopeful, however, when she tells of her trip to Budapest where she finally felt like she belonged.
“…I saw something I’d never seen before: myself, in a sea of women who looked just like me.
…I was normal, even conventionally attractive. Stylish. Interesting. Sexy. Simply that.”
Experiences like that solidify my theory that if people start to become comfortable with themselves and stop changing the physical features they don’t like then others will see that and know it’s okay. That means YOU can empower and inspire.
There is nothing wrong with having a big nose or a small chest or thin lips. Don’t even get me started on “inadequate lashes”. And wrinkles? They can be SO beautiful.
Stop being afraid to be different, less than perfect. Your original creation is much more beautiful than you know!
If this brave woman had caved into the taunts of these heartless folks she would have had a different experience in life.
But she also never would have met her incredible husband who says of her prominent nose, “Do you know this is the first thing that attracted me to you? It was so, I don’t know, exotic – unlike any other woman I knew.”
She also wouldn’t be such a real and gifted writer.
While she may not be eligible for supermodel-dom (though how many of us are?) she lives a happy and rich life. Authentic, honest and true to herself.
Like it or not, we take cues from each other every day. Carl Jung called it “the unconscious influence of one being on another.”
(Excerpted from The Book of Awakening):
“What Jung speaks to is the fact that the energy of being real has more power than outright persuasion, debate or force of will. He suggests that being who we are releases an extraordinary power that without intent or design, affects the people who come in contact with such realness.
…When we are authentic, expressing our warmth and light in all directions, we cause things around us to grow. We emanate what Jesus called love and what Buddha called compassion and the roots of community lengthen.”
Therein lies Mrs. Bauer’s true beauty.
(Ann Bauer is the author of The Forever Marriage, from Overlook Press)