A Great Opinion Piece - Sally Thibault

A great opinion piece.

And especially around the word beautiful…when really people are using the word to describe ‘prettiness’.

I was at a shopping mall yesterday and I couldn’t help but notice how marketers and retailers are vying for our dollar all in the name of ‘beauty’.

Walking through the large department stores is like walking through a cacophony of sound, smell and visual images all aimed at you buying their products in the hope of looking like the airbrushed actress who is their latest brand ambassador.

When really want they are trying to sell you is a false belief –

That if you look good you will feel good – when in fact it’s the other way around.

True beauty comes from your heart – your kindness, your intelligence, your passion for life, your confidence and the way you make other people feel.

Real beauty shines outward,

As Dr. Maya Angelou said in her poem Phenomenal Woman

Pretty women wonder where my secret lies.
I’m not cute or built to suit a fashion model’s size
But when I start to tell them,
They think I’m telling lies.
I say,
It’s in the reach of my arms,
The span of my hips,
The stride of my step,
The curl of my lips.
I’m a woman
Phenomenally.
Phenomenal woman,
That’s me.

I walk into a room
Just as cool as you please,
And to a man,
The fellows stand or
Fall down on their knees.
Then they swarm around me,
A hive of honey bees.
I say,
It’s the fire in my eyes,
And the flash of my teeth,
The swing in my waist,
And the joy in my feet.
I’m a woman
Phenomenally.

Phenomenal woman,
That’s me.

Men themselves have wondered
What they see in me.
They try so much
But they can’t touch
My inner mystery.
When I try to show them,
They say they still can’t see.
I say,
It’s in the arch of my back,
The sun of my smile,
The ride of my breasts,
The grace of my style.
I’m a woman
Phenomenally.
Phenomenal woman,
That’s me.

Now you understand
Just why my head’s not bowed.
I don’t shout or jump about
Or have to talk real loud.
When you see me passing,
It ought to make you proud.
I say,
It’s in the click of my heels,
The bend of my hair,
the palm of my hand,
The need for my care.
’Cause I’m a woman
Phenomenally.
Phenomenal woman,
That’s me.

We, as mothers, bosses, leaders, have to be the role models.

We have to make it OK to age without resorting to erasing all signs of a life well-lived; to be our perfect for us shape, without resorting to restriction, judgment or shame.

To be the brilliant essence of who we are as women – so that our daughters, our sons and the young people we associate with, understand that true beauty does not exist outside of us. It can’t found at bottom of a jar of ridiculously expensive face cream, or at the end of a surgeon’s knife, or needle.

But it is, in fact, is a reflection of being a truly phenomenal woman. And we show them that, by refusing to shrink into invisibility and instead stepping firmly, confidently and passionately into our own brilliance – so we give them permission to do the same

Kindly click here to read a statement from an Instagram influencer telling she doesn’t want you to tell her she’s beautiful.

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