My boys were less than two weeks old when they each got their first haircuts. Each of my newborn girls had pretty hair ornaments before leaving the hospital. Having “hairy babies” was something I’d always hoped for when I dreamed of being a mom. If you ask me why, I’d tell you that it was a “hairdresser thing” but the deeper truth is probably rooted in pride. After 22 years of motherhood it’s hard to deny that, like most mom’s, I want my children to reflect what is important to me. And, yes, beauty is important to me. Maybe that’s a “image-coach thing” but if you are really honest, you may find it is important to you as well.
I remember coming to the realization of how much we judge each other by appearance when my second daughter was just a toddler. Tori was one of those babies that made people stop and coo. You know, the kind of child you cannot resist speaking to with a ga ga voice even in public. When I took her shopping with me I had to plan on extra time for strangers to ask her age and comment on her long, full hair. Although I am sure there were times when I lacked patience, for the most part I thoroughly enjoyed experiencing the excitement that others had when they saw my beautiful little girl.
There were times, however, when she became invisible.
People were not the only ones who loved Tori’s sweet presence. Bugs did, too. With a simple nip of a nat my daughter’s skin would swell tremendously. Several times this happened on her face, leaving her with a severely swollen eye or lip. I didn’t need extra time to shop those days because not many people stopped me to talk to her. In fact, most people actually avoided her!
Why is it that the human nature is so attracted to beauty and uncomfortable with disfigurement?
Not everyone treated my baby girl like a freak when her face was distorted, there were a few who saw past the ugly bite and greeted her. But for the most part, only people who already knew Tori’s beautiful character would even notice her. Even then, unless they too had a beautiful character, they felt awkward and stumbled for words to say. It made me realize how I can be the same way. What is the proper etiquette, anyway? Should you acknowledge the obvious flaw, or pretend you don’t see it?
Beauty is inviting and refreshing and it is easy to tell a child how adorable she is. Shame on me for not knowing what to say to a child–or grown woman–who may be “less inviting.”
Confident Beauty is not concerned with how comfortable she is in awkward situations. She is aware of all the “invisible beauty” all around her and she is brave enough to acknowledge and encourage them, knowing all girls–of all ages–long to be lovely. A truly beautiful character is not focused on how she feels or looks; but on how she sees. That’s the kind of woman I want to be, how about you?
If you find yourself longing for beauty that attracts others, yet feel as though you repel them, I encourage you to consider the heart of those who respond to your presence. More often than not, the issue is not you or your beauty, it is the confidence level of your offender. Perhaps the best thing to do is to look beyond their ugliness and offer up a greeting to make them comfortable before they even have the chance to reject you.
Catrina Welch is an inspirational author and speaker whose personal experience with rejection, betrayal and loss–as well as her expertise as a cosmetologist, image consultant and Biblical life-coach–is empowering women to BE and LET BE.
Her latest book, CONFIDENT BEAUTY: Reflecting the One Who Made You, with the Images in your Mirror and in your Soul, is now available in your favorite bookstores. Autographed copies of all her books are available on her website at www.CatrinaWelch.com