Monday, March 27, 2006

in the eye- part one

i've always been the smart girl. the talented girl with every solo and the leading roles. the girl with drive and determination. the girl you can count on, trust, and look to for fabulous advice. the girl with great shoes. the girl with great taste in music. the girl who's good with kids. the girl who will go far, who will change the world, or at least big parts of it.

but never, NEVER have i been the cute girl. the hot girl. the beautiful girl. the sexy, gorgeous, stunning girl.

and i'm divided about that. one half of me is an empowered woman, who wants nothing to do with the people who would say that i am less because i haven't owned the "pretty" title. this is the half that knows that looks fade away and then you're left with ugly AND boring. this is the half that is so glad i've got intelligence and compassion and that i'm gifted in a lot of ways.

the OTHER half, the one that is louder, would gladly hand over every talent, and nearly every brain cell IF ONLY i could be the girl that turns heads. this is the half that is secretly jealous of Paris Hilton and Jessica Simpson because, stupid as they seem, they have so much power in their blond hair and long legs. and to be honest, this is the part that desperately longs to be one of the girls that boys love and chicks despise.

why is there such a divide? why does so much power exist in appearance...and why does power seem to slowly leak from my being when i'm near these beauties?

i've certainly done my best to rid myself of this. plenty of conversations with other women who, in all their glory, feel they don't quite measure up simply because of their measurements. and, although the conversations are temporarily therapeutic, i am never healed of anything. we all end up agreeing that it is far better to be who we are than to be beautiful and hollow. but i leave the conversation whispering to myself "but even still..."

i've read books and poetry and blogs and scriptures that assure me that REAL beauty is on the inside, and outshines the physical. but no one ever wrote a love song about a girl like me...
take, for example, James Blunt's absurdly famous song "you're beautiful." (for the record, this song makes me cringe.) Basically, he see's a girl on a subway or whatever, and she's stunning, but with some other guy. and from this one glance, his entire life changes. even though he's never said a word to her, never sees her again. he writes an entire song about how that moment will "last till the end." simply because of her beauty. RIDICULOUS.

i like to imagine that after he wrote the song, he ran into her again, and she had the voice of janice from Friends...and was completely ditzy and rude and shallow and HORRID. because it makes me feel better.

i'm not trying to come off as the bitter ugly chick. far from it. i just can't find a way to reconcile within myself...how do i overcome the part of me that feels worthless for lack of playboy standard "beauty?" i have friends who are stunning and picture perfect, who feel the same way i do...so it can't really be about the actual looks...then i have other friends who are far from supermodels, but ADORE themselves, inside and out...how'd they get that way?

and for those of you who are gorgeous and KNOW IT...is it all it's cracked up to be? is life really easier? are you more complete and content and happy?

and boys....do you ever deal with this stuff?

and for those of you who didn't bother reading any of the above because it was too wordy...here are some of the results when i googled "beautiful"
Image hosting by Photobucket
Image hosting by Photobucket
Image hosting by Photobucket
Image hosting by Photobucket
Image hosting by Photobucket
Image hosting by Photobucket
more thoughts to follow...

17 comments:

rebecca marie said...

we are all formed in God's image. period. and the most wonderful bonus to that is that we all have different taste. i think paris hilton and jessica simpson are average at best, i however, am a perfect ten.

Sarah said...

To be honest, I think I'm somewhere in the middle of the spectrum - I can look attractive when I fix myself up & look pretty plain jane when I don't.

When I go shopping, say at the mall, I notice a huge difference with the way I am treated depending on my look. If I am dressed up, sales people are very polite, helpful and respectful to me. If I look dowdy (which is most of the time) - they barely glance at me.

Sometimes, I just want to be one of those beautiful people that look GORGEOUS even when they are wearing sweats, no makeup and haven't showered in 2 days. They make me sick. :)

You know what though? Beauty is so subjective, anyway - Some people look so beautiful to me and not to others at all, and vice versa. It's truly all in the eye of the beholder... and I really do think that people who are beautiful on the inside, glow on the outside. At least that's been my experience.

LoriLoo310 said...

It's sad that we base so much in this world on outer beauty, but at the same time it's so much a part of our human nature to judge based on looks. I'm not surprised that people like Paris Hilton and Jessica Simpson are famous based solely on their looks. I know for a fact that there is someone in this world who can sing so much better than Jessica Simpson, but isn't famous because he/she isn't beautiful according to the industry's standards. And I don't even know why Paris is famous, so I won't comment on her.

As a kid who was told she was ugly almost everyday from elementary to middle school, I can still feel the pain of not feeling like I was living up to the world's standards. It's so hard to find beauty in yourself when there are so many horrid things on the outside telling you that you're not. Pretty soon, you start to believe it yourself and when someone (like Breanna, a person you've never met in your life) tells you that you are pretty ... well, it just makes you feel so wonderful.

Breanna, I have seen your pictures on your Myspace account. Girl, you are GORGEOUS.

Ike Graul said...

This is the kind of post in which boys through no fault of their own (except maybe their genetically predisposed, insensitive shallowness) can get in a lot of trouble.

The glamour and entertainment industries, culturally speaking, play wicked step sisters to the real women of our world. "Beauty" has been the victim of a brutal terrorist hijacking, mostly financed by the media. What a tragedy that many/most women of our society fail to see the beauty and power that God has given to them. I think the same could be said of our men.

What can I say? Well, I'm very happy to be coming to speak at LS this Sunday, and my only preference for songs is that they remind us of Good News and that they be familar favorites for LS. I hope that is helpful.

James Wood said...

Holy deep-end, Batman!

Thanks for posting from your heart. As a boy I haven't really struggled with these feelings about myself, but I have been on the other end of things. I have found myself judging people's worth based on their appearance - I don't like that in me. I do think that God has gifted us with an eye for beauty, we see things that strike a chord within us and move us in amazing ways. But stupid Satan has perverted and corrupted what God has created. I say we need to take back the territory that Satan has claimed, we need to reclaim beauty and sex and money for God.

Holy Father, give us the power, through your Spirit, to live life as you created it to be. Heal the hurts in this world caused by the corruption of your good and perfect gifts. Give us your eyes to see your beauty for your glory.

manky said...

just fyi, not that it changes your point, frustration, longing, etc...

that song, is about seeing his ex... with another man now, they excahnge a look, no words... the song is all his thoughts and lament of it all.

all his songs seem so drudgingly depressing, I can't stand them once I really stopped to pay attention to the lyrics and background.

grrrr!

Mrs. Andrea Wood said...

Unfortunately this is all too common among women. And I don't think that there is a woman out there that is completely happy with their body. There is always something that we want to be smaller or larger or shaped differently or a different color.

I think that it is slightly necessary that we consider our bodies and know what needs to be improved upon because that will keep us healthy as long as we go about the change in a healthy way (exercise, wearing sun screen, etc.).

Honestly, I used to be a pretty girl that turned heads. That was back in high school. At the time I was in an yoga/aerobics PE class and running track and being a teenager that scurried all over the place. I was in great shape and knew that I was healthy and I was happy with myself and that caused people to think that I was full of myself and conceided.

Now I have a very different looking body and a very different feeling toward my body. Maybe it is because I was high school and life is just easier during that time but I know that I am not so free and comfortable anymore. Being pretty can make you feel more confident and I think that is what makes life easier for those that are good looking.

Lisa said...

I don't know you, but I found you and am thankful for your honest heart about this, because it speaks to me that I am not alone in my struggle. Obviously I know most women have this divide, or either one of the extremes, but sometimes I can feel so alone in my chasim. I am learning as I grow up that women are so much more powerful than we are given credit for. I am committed to being a women of God, not of this world. And I have to fight the little voice in my head that says I am not worthy. My husband is so good at making me feel worthy too, that's why I love him. But you and I can change this world, and be powerful and beautiful which will change how people perceive beauty; when beauty is lived and acted out in life, not just a fashion trend or hourglass figure. I've never seen you, but you are beautiful, and I see it in your graceful transparency. Be Beautiful today! Give from your heart.

Breanna said...

manky- i've read the lyrics...i don't see anything that indicates it's about an ex...where did you learn that? was it from an interview? thanks everyone for your input. i rarely do anything here that's very "deep" or "meaningful" but it's a topic that's been stewing in my mind, and i figured a blog was a good outlet for my thoughts. i'll have a part two in the next day or so....

Rebecca said...

It is a struggle for most women when they don't feel like they measure up. I don't care who you are, you want people to find you attractive.

As I develop my relationship with Jesus, He is faithful to meet all of my needs. I feel prettier and prettier everyday. He gives me confidence and I think, like Andrea said, confidence is the thing that makes people attractive. I want to be attractive not because of my physical beauty (which is obviously nice to have) but I want to be considered beautiful because my spirit shines as Christ would have me to shine, not for my glory, but for His.

BSC said...

Hell, most men do this too. If they say they don't, they're lying. We have a lot of the 'vain' concerns as women, deep down.

manky said...

breanna- he was on Oprah... explained the song, the incident, and others... this beginning my complete disdain/loathing for the depressing lyrics touted by many, and played ad nauseum!

Tim Lewis said...

Ron Clark posted something very similar about this on his blog. You might check out the conversation there too.

The God of Thinness

Jessica said...

Well, Breanna, I have to be honest, when I read your blog I was thinking to myself "what? What is she talking about? Breanna is beautiful... she DOES have it "all".....
I have come to the conclusion that I am 100% completely bias about someone's physical appearance. I cannot look at someone and say they are beautiful based ONLY on physcial looks. Personality has SO much to do with how I see a person. Example: Tall, thin, blonde woman, confidently strutting down the street. Eyes forward, arms crossed, ignoring everyone she passes. I don't think she's as beautiful as the "frumpy" older woman who takes the time to look at who she is passing and offering a smile - even when that smile is missing teeth it just makes a person so much more beautiful.

Anyway, like Andrea, I got much more attention for my
looks when I was in high school, and I think that I was 'prettier' but I agree that a lot of it had to do with confidence. Someone who is content is way more attractive than a stunning, but insecure woman.

PapaPeters said...

Umm I also wrote about this aways back in my "art of God" post don't know the html to link it so you'll have to look if you want it.

But here goes, Confidence is Glow it is different from being pretty.

I wanted to point out what Ike said it was really insightful. Do people understand that commerce actually promotes self-hatred. If you don't feel good enough you buy more make-up, jeans, whatever...

Secondly Men have a different point of view typically because we have a different judging point outside of just being a hunk. A guy can be a jock and get alot of attn. He can be just a really nice guy and get attn. Or even the bad boy and get lots of attn. Women ussually get attn for one thing... But do you really want that attn. If so if you just wear really slutty clothes you'll get it. That sounds bad but it is very true, I'm not sure you really are connecting what the people you want to attract are...

I could talk about this for hours and hours, it is an important topic, but if you wanted my opinion you can go to my site. Here's a brief, God makes beautiful things. It all depends on the ability to see through God eyes. I'm Hot (especially to my wife) maybe I'm an abstract painting and it just takes a good eye to see it... BUT I'm Hot.... I also know a guy who's opinion is alot more important than mine who thinks you are very attractive.

tabitha jane said...

i've told you before about the journey jon and i have taken on this very subject . . . and now, he looks at my stretch marks and says "i think they are beautiful."

society and the media say "use this cream to cover those puppies up. they are gastly!"

my husband used to agree.

a change of heart. a better understanding of who i am. a deeper love.

and now "tabitha jane, i love your stretch marks. i think they are beautiful."

and now, no matter what the magazines or media say or what my own brain says . . . i am beautiful to my man. and i have decided (after much struggle, depression and self-loathing) that i love me too.

and i'm gonna do more sit-ups. because i love me and want to take care of me.

moorefaith said...

Whether you believe in the story of Adam and Eve literally or metaphorically, the Bible is clear over and over again: we choose way too often to exchange the truth of God for a lie. We both worship and abhor ourselves. Our understanding of beauty and worthiness is fractured.

This is where we fall into God's grace: realizing that we cannot love ourselves healthily without Christ, nor can we love each other healthily without Christ, just as he said we couldn't. I praise him that we can bring our broken identities and screwed-up ideas and submit them to him, and I have experienced his loving hand raising me up, and lighting me from within.

Then I get distracted, and my confidence tumbles and breaks again. Eventually, I remember to take him the pieces, and once more he lifts me up. And every time is longer and better than the last, till someday he convinces me of my utter worthiness and beauty in his eyes, and I will be satisfied with his joy in me. May it be for everyone. You glow, girl.