Beauty: One Definition Does NOT Fit All

By: Courtney Giardina, Regular Contributor

We spend our whole lives trying to fit someone else’s definition of beautiful, thinking that we are not because we don’t fit the mold. Scrolling through magazines, we try to understand the tricks and tips on how to shape ourselves into who we think should be. We compare ourselves to everyone around us, always wishing we had what they did. And you know what? That person you are comparing yourself to: they’re comparing themselves to someone else, wishing the same thing. Why? Why is it that we believe we’re not beautiful because our hair is curly instead of straight, our eyes are brown instead of green? Why is it that we wish we were taller or our lips were fuller or our legs were thinner? The answer is because that is the kind of world we have grown up in. All of our insecurities and imperfections are pointed out at every turn that we’ve become so obsessed with trying to fix them, to hide them.

Society’s definition of beautiful is skewed by airbrushing techniques and digital technology. It is not real and it should not be the accepted version of what really being beautiful is all about. The truth is, you can’t define beautiful in one solid statement. Beautiful is different to everyone. Are you familiar with the phrase “Beauty is in the eye of the beholder?” There couldn’t be more truth to that statement.


We, as women, need to stop trying to adhere to the world’s definition of beautiful and start changing it. We need to learn to embrace ourselves, stand up for who we are, stand together, and share with the world what being beautiful really means.  

To help me with this write up, I asked a few of my friends to share what the definition of beautiful meant to them. Here is what they said:

“My definition of beautiful has nothing to do with perfection and is being a decent human being inside and outwards... that is makes you beautiful.”

Confidence, independence. Embracing your past, knowing it doesn't define who you are and moving on knowing that all of your scars, visible or invisible, have made you into who you are today. Learning, always learning and respecting yourself.”

“Beautiful isn't synonyms or a generic description, but the actual things that I consider beautiful in my life: The feeling of new life growing inside of me, the faces of my sleeping babies, the scent of my love's skin, the moment I learned to love myself exactly how I am, and the music and things in nature that connect deeply with my soul.”

“Beautiful to me means, being true to yourself and being happy.  Truly sending out good vibes.”

These women have defined for themselves what real beauty is. They understand that it cannot be seen or touched, but experienced. What’s inside of us, how we are perceived, and the type of vibe we give to those around us, that is what true beauty is all about. Who we are on the outside: our hair, eyes, lips, skin, those things are just the shell that embodies our beautiful souls. 

My definition of beautiful: Being beautiful is about being strong and confident. It’s about spreading love and joy along every path you take and walking away from anything that dulls your sparkle. It’s about making a difference in this world and striving to better yourself each and every day.

What is your definition of beautiful? Whatever it is, don’t ever, ever be ashamed of it. Own it, sell it, share it, and wear it proudly.

 Let's Chat!

When was the last time you had an honest conversation about beauty and beauty standards? Why not start now!

  • What IS your definition of beauty? How do you live it every day? Share it and inspire others here!

About Courtney

cgiardina.jpgCourtney was born and raised in a suburb outside of Rochester, NY. She now calls Charlotte, NC home. Each day she lives by the motto that we create the life we imagine for ourselves. Her debut novel Tear Stained Beaches was released in 2013, her second novel is currently in editing and she has begun work on novel #3. Having a passion for cheerleading most of her life, it’s no surprise her spare time is spent currently as the head coach for a local middle school team and also as part of the Charlotte Hounds Major League Lacrosse dance team. She tweets under @sweetangeleyz and shares her latest adventures at The Girl Behind the Covers.


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  • commented 2014-08-06 18:37:18 -0700
    As a highschooler I can tell that most of the girls at my age think that how you look is the most important thing, in order guys look at you with ‘other eyes’ and actually like you. Nonetheless, I do not think my classmates are right. Recently, I have started a personal project about getting to know myself better and at the same time ,try to be the best version of myself. And though I’m not a psicologist or something, I really think that, to be beautiful or pretty, you just need to encourage who you are and feel confident about it.

    I know sometimes is hard to feel confident when you look at yourself in the mirror, above all if you are a teenager, or when you see girls in your school that seem to be perfect: nice body, pretty face, healthy skin, perfect figure, all the boys find them pretty… Believe me, been there, and I think we all have faced that at least once in our life. What we forget is that, THAT IS NOT ALL! LOOKS ARE NOT EVERYTHING. There can be the most beautiful girl you have ever seen, but what if she is rude? or if she is an awful person?

    To me beauty is about, as I said before, being confident and secure. To embrace yourself in every aspect. Cause, if you don’t think you’re beautiful.. why someone else would? Also, I believe that if you are beautiful on the inside, though that’s all you need, it will help you A LOT to feel more secure and a little bit more confident about your looks

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