Beauty is in the Eye of the Beholder

…and society’s “beholders” can be pretty tough.
My eighteen-year-old cousin got Botox in her forehead.  EIGHTEEN!!!  The two, small, horizontal lines that she was looking to erase were hardly visible, yet, someone made it a point to let her know that they could see those lines and that they were unflattering.  This sickens and saddens me. 
First off, my cousin is smart and naturally gorgeous: the whole package.  I never even noticed the faint lines on her forehead; quite unlike the six, very noticeable, lines that have ran across mine since I was a child.  And secondly, how dare someone cut into her self-esteem by suggesting that her worth is in her appearance!  I am in no way upset at my cousin, but I do hold harsh feelings toward the unknown person(s) who made my little cousin feel self-conscious and subpar due to natural skin creasing! 
Society’s air brushed advertisements have already made our ideal looks unattainable.  We don’t need people we know to point out, what they see, as flaws.  My ex-boyfriend used to tell me that I needed to start wearing makeup more often, and that my jeans and t-shirt look should be varied with more skirts and blouses—and no, my hippie skirts did not count.  It begrudges me to admit it, but to this day, I do not feel pretty walking out the door without at least a little mascara on my lashes due to those past conversations.  Please do not think that I am digging for compliments, because I’m not.  I have enough confidence to know that I am, indeed, a beautiful person.  In fact, I snagged my current, handsome boyfriend wearing loose jeans, a t-shirt, and my usual “barely there” eye makeup, so I can’t be that bad.
I don’t know too many people who can truly say that they are one hundred percent satisfied with their appearance, and I don’t think that they need to be.  There is nothing wrong with striving for a healthy lifestyle or wanting to try new looks with makeup and hair.  All I’m saying is that society needs to back off of people’s natural looks.  Yeah, I’m starting to tug at the crow’s feet by my eyes, but I don’t need anyone else pointing them out for me!  I understand that my body is going to change, and I can’t say that I won’t try “age defying” creams as I get older, but at least I can be at peace knowing that my friends and family will always love me no matter how I look, because inside, I am a friendly and caring person. 
Words hurt.  Keep unkind thoughts and opinions to yourself.  Learn to love yourself more and more.

New year.  New thoughts.  New challenges.  You up for it?