Skin Deep

Beauty is skin deep, in the eye of the beholder, and/or a matter of perception depending on whom you ask and whether they’re talking about themselves or someone else. One of my favorite quotes that I wish I could give proper credit to is that everyone is beautiful given the proper light and perspective. Maybe it was a photographer who said that, maybe a poet, or maybe I wish I could have made it up.

One of my favorite people had a baby a bunch of months ago and was disheartened recently when her clothes didn’t fit the same way post-baby as they had pre-baby. Even though she could remind herself that her innards had shifted when she birthed a person, there was still a part of her that felt betrayed. The clothes hanging in her closet are as yet still unwearable, not because they don’t fit but because they don’t fit her the way she remembers. She literally has a closet full of clothes and nothing to wear. The clothes lurk there, silently passing judgement on her postpartum physique. It doesn’t matter that I could remind her that she is a remarkably beautiful woman, with honeyed skin and big blue eyes that show a deep level of caring for others. Nope, it’s inanimate objects she’s paying attention to.

This weekend she’s going to be the boss of her closet and take down the clothes that aren’t comfortable at present so that she can assess what she has to work with. I hope that she’ll feel a burden lifted by putting subliminal reminders of the past away rather than lament what doesn’t agree with the beautiful woman she is at the moment.

We’re ever-changing multifaceted critters, we people, and our beauty is best expressed in our current evolution, not some vestigial remnant of clothes and days gone by. I don’t advocate to anyone that they run out and buy an entire closet every season – that’s pretty silly. I do, however, know how much better people feel when they feel comfortable in what they’re wearing. It’s just another version of being comfortable in one’s own skin, which is quite a bit more than skin deep.

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