Often people think of beauty in terms of how something looks. Rarely do we consider beauty in terms of how something makes us feel. We are so quick to judge a person, to judge ourselves even, based on appearances, when it is what’s on the inside that truly matters. We can make our exterior reflect our internal selves, but usually we are far too preoccupied with how others perceive us to be able to express ourselves freely.
On the topic of beauty, Anne Wilson Schaef writes:
“Everyone pays so much attention to how women dress: ‘We should wear three-piece suits, look just like men, and dress for success.’ ‘Women who get raped were asking for it by the way they dressed.’ ‘Men like women who dress in a feminine fashion. It makes men feel masculine.’
Is it any wonder that we sometimes feel confused about what seems right for us to wear?
What if the way we dress is simply a reflection of our hearts? What if our main criteria for beauty is what feels good on our bodies and reflects who we are? What if we wear colors because we like them and not because they are ‘our colors’ or make us look thin? This opens up all kinds of possibilities, doesn’t it?”
As people, we often judge and are judged by appearances. For example, what comes to mind when you see someone wearing clothes with holes in them? A wrinkled shirt? A tailored suit? An expensive handbag? A frilly pink dress? We make assumptions about people all the time based on what they are wearing or what they look like. It isn’t fair. Appearances can tell us something about a person, it’s true, but they are usually not the whole story. As Coco Chanel famously said, “Adornment is never anything except a reflection of the heart.” How would we feel if we allowed ourselves the freedom to express ourselves fully? To adorn ourselves based on the heart, instead of the judgements others would make about us? We all deserve that freedom.