One of the things I find very important to teach the women who learn belly dance from me is one of the things I find very important for Alice to learn, and that is that women are beautiful. And I am a firm believer that true beauty shines from the inside out. Kindness is beautiful. Sauciness is beautiful. Intelligence is beautiful. Confidence is beautiful. If a woman is shallow, or self-serving, or otherwise a jerk, no amount of highlights or spray tan or squats can make up for it.
Yesterday, a campaign by Dove was making its rounds on Facebook, and while there were a few legitimate concerns (like the lack of diversity in the featured women), the point was still very poignant. We as women allow the photoshopped media to distort our view of ourselves, and- I was going to say are overly critical, but I think I would say we manufacture flaws that are nonexistent in our physical appearance. Or at the very least, we magnify them in our minds. I often say I wish my female friends would see themselves the way I see them. When I look at the women with whom I am close, I think the mischievousness in their eyes, or the defiant tilt of their chin, or the way they toss their head back to laugh is what is the most beautiful thing about them.
When I first got Alice I had no idea how much being a mother to a daughter was going to be about facing my own demons and insecurities. I'm pretty quick to ra-ra other women, but I'm just as guilty of zeroing in on my "flaws" as the next woman. Now that a person is learning to be an adult from me, I really need to quit that.
Alice is affectionate. Alice is silly. Alice is way too smart for my own good. She also has bright blue eyes and and infectious giggle and can dance like a (three year old) rock star. She is amazingly beautiful because of these things.
I smile sincerely. I am smarter than I let on. I am good at hearing what people are saying even if it's not what words are coming out their mouths. I work hard to be healthy. I have a crooked smile. I don't take myself too seriously. I am beautiful because of these things.
What about you? Tell me why you're beautiful. Please.