I remember the first time I heard poetry slammer, Katie Makkai, define the word pretty.
I remember sitting in my chair motionless; tears streaming down my face; my brain busily trying to commit to memory the words I’d just heard.
I wanted to cheer, to clap, to give this woman a standing ovation.
And I did.
I stood up, cheered, and clapped because this woman’s words had blown me away.
Just a word.
Just an adjective and yet, so powerful, that it has the ability to make many of us feel either elated or miserable.
Yet, who defines the meaning of the word pretty?
Do we assign our own definition, or do we fall prey to society’s definition of beauty?
Do we believe we’re beautiful by sheer virtue of being who we are, or do we allow society to dictate who is or isn’t pretty?
A few days ago, fellow blogger Debbie, from Musings by an ND Domer’s Mom, wrote a blog post titled “Another Fad Diet?”
In it, she discussed how brides to be, in the pursuit of losing twenty pounds, are inserting feeding tubes in their noses for ten days and refusing to eat.
Elizabeth, from Yo Mama, recently blogged about Ashley Judd’s article in The Daily Beast, concerning how Judd found it necessary to provide the public with an explanation of why she appears “puffy” in her new television series, “Missing.”
It appears the media has made speculations and accusations that her puffiness is a result of her having had “work done.”
Judd decided to address the situation as a means to “stop the insanity.”
She makes a valid point.
We must stop the insanity of placing our lives at risk simply to achieve society’s definition of beauty.
And yet, we must ask ourselves, how do we stop?
How do we stop believing we are not worthy if we are not thin?
How do we stop believing that our physical appearance is the only thing that defines us?
How do we stop thinking we are not beautiful if we don’t look a certain way?
This post is not meant to reaffirm that we are all beautiful, although I heartily believe this is true.
Instead, it’s meant to convince you, dear reader, that we must join forces to stop the insanity.
Together, we must redefine what comprises beauty.
And while we may have different definitions, I’m confident we can all agree that in order to feel beautiful, we don’t have to weigh a certain weight, have a certain shape, or look a certain way.
In her article, Judd states that ironically, the conversation about her puffy face was started by other women.
How sad that competition among women has come to this; to women raising false accusations and speaking ill of one another, when instead, we should be bonding over shared experiences, dreams, and joy.
I say it’s not too late to reawaken the sisterhood.
Let us laugh, giggle, and support each other in our grief, pain, and triumphs.
Let us go back to the time when being best friends meant sharing secrets, helping one another, and splitting a stick of gum.
Let us encourage each other so that we can all come to believe we are beautiful; that we are worthy.
The only way we can stop the insanity is by coming together to say, enough.
Let us demonstrate that the sisterhood still exists and it’s on a mission; a mission to stop the insanity.
What say you, ladies?
Are you in?
Note: Lori, from The Ole Master Plan, wrote a wonderful blog post titled, “Worth Doesn’t Equal a Size 4.” Check it out by clicking on this link. Also, please stop by Debbie’s blog to read her informative post on the K-E diet, as well as Elizabeth’s inspiring post, “Making Ashley Judd’s Moment Last.”