By Cassidy Rich
What does it mean to be beautiful? Honestly, what is the definition of beautiful? I know I could look up the definition in various dictionaries, but that never satisfies me. Media tells us that beauty equals a model’s status and it also sends us the opposite message that we’re beautiful just the way we are. Which is correct? It may seem obvious that being ourselves and accepting the way we are shaped is the correct way to define beautiful. After all, being ourselves is easier than trying to go out of our way to look a certain way that pleases people we don’t even care about. Tan, pale, or somewhere in-between. White teeth, straight teeth, crooked teeth. Tall and thin, shorter with curves, athletic, petite, big-boned. We’re all our own combination of the same features that make us who we are. Yes, this is what we call beautiful, but it is the appearance. What about the inside?
What if the definition of beautiful focused solely on someone’s heart? The older I get the more I realize how true this is. Being on a college campus I meet new people all the time and I admit that for years I always judged someone’s beauty on their appearance. But what I’ve come to realize is that when I get to know someone’s character, I find him/her to be a beautiful person. I once heard a guy say, “I like being denied. It builds character.” I was shocked that these words came out of his mouth because my immediate thought was, “Who likes to be denied?” But when I gave his statement more thought, I realized he was right. Being rejected and denied in life teaches us lessons, builds our character, and makes us into more beautiful people. When we hold grudges, walk around with a chip on our shoulder, and are just plain mean to those around us, it makes us ugly. When we face adversity with a positive attitude, work to bring joy to others, and lead a selfless life, we are beautiful.
I have noticed that people are attracted to things that are different, out of the ordinary, rare, and unique. That’s why I believe people with great character are beautiful. It’s easy to be negative when something doesn’t turn out how you expected and your life isn’t going the down the path you pictured it would. To resist the urge to sulk when life sucks takes a great amount of character and that’s admirable. So I think if I were to define beautiful, I’d say that beauty is admirable character.
From the Author: “I am currently a senior at Grand Canyon University, double majoring in History and Communications and graduating in December 2016. I love writing and putting my thoughts on paper, so I am hoping that when I graduate I can work for a company or organization in a position that requires a significant amount of writing. I currently write for my university’s chapter of Her Campus, an online forum for female college students.”