Introducing "What is Beautiful"

Beauty is a nebulous concept. When used to describe an idea it can encapsulate depth and critical thought. In music, beauty can just as easily mean dark minor notes as it can mean whimsical harmonies. It calls to attention the awesome force of the natural world when it's used to describe the Grand Canyon or Mountain Chamonix. Yet even though language has given beauty the toolkit to mean so much, its multidimensionality often falls by the wayside when the same term is used to refer to women. When a woman is called beautiful, when she is told to "Smile, beautiful," or when she is greeted with "Hey, beautiful," her experiences and her capabilities are not what come to mind. Instead, she knows that what is being referred to is her body, her eyes, her hair - all of which she was born with, and nothing that she has worked to create.

Beauty Within seeks to repurpose “Beauty,” to make multidimensional and empowering a term used to hold girls back. It is important that they realize that beauty is much more complex and nuanced than what they might hear from people in their lives. For young women – beauty needs to refer to what they create, what they work to achieve and how they feel about themselves. Girls should have beautiful minds – open and nonjudgmental. Beautiful girls should be empowered and encouraged to be strong willed. That’s just our opinion, though.

Beauty Within has commissioned a blog series from a number of young women and a handful of young men on the meaning of beauty, check back here every Monday for new postings. 

- Rebecca