Imagine this: you wake up to a blaring alarm, only to realize it’s been going off for forty minutes and you slept right through. Your heart starts to beat; you panic and jump out of bed. Your mind begins to race: “where are my shoes? What am I going to wear today? Where is my work bag? Crap! I don’t have time to grab a Starbucks!” You run around your apartment, grabbing essentials for your day and trying to hurry. You know you have to skip your morning shower, throw your hair back, and dress yourself in the first thing you see. As you dash to the mirror to take one last look at yourself before running out the door, you think: “Man. I look horrible, I wish I would have gotten out of bed 20 minutes earlier- it’s going to be a long day.” As you make your way to your car, you are double checking your purse and bag to ensure you have your laptop, cell phone, and work filed. You jump in your car, turn the key, and realize you forgot your blackberry. You bolt back in the house, grab the item, and run to the car. By the time you make it to the office, your fifteen minutes late and so overwhelmed, you could cry. You walk in, drop all of your things at your desk, just to see an email that you have a meeting in ten minutes you forgot about and need to prepare for. You rush, gather all the notes possible, and walk into the meeting feeling disheveled and “thrown together”. You sit at the table, organize your notes and pad of paper, still wishing you had that coffee, you take a deep breath and prepare to present your notes at the meeting. Just when you think it’s going to go horribly, your colleague walks by and says, “You look great today- did you do something different with your hair?” You turn to your colleague and laugh, “Are you serious? Uh, no I didn’t- but thanks.”
If you’re anything like me, as soon as your co-worker says something like this to you, your immediate reaction is, “What the heck? How could he/she possibly think that today? Today of all days!” These “off days” happen to everyone. Where is the beauty in these “off days”? Why is it we make ourselves feel so unworthy of attention on days such as these?
I believe it comes in all shapes and sizes, colors, and places. As much as I believe in this statement, I have my “off” days. Those days where I put on the first outfit I saw but don’t feel great in it. Or my bad hair day is taking over and it’s secretly bugging me as I’m trying to work. Personal appearance means a lot in our culture today. So, why is it when sometimes we don’t feel good about ourselves, others think we look great?
I believe there’s something to be said about those days when you aren’t “trying”; those days, such as this one for example, where you don’t try too hard and are just being yourself. I think it’s when you are being yourself, not worrying about being some gorgeous person, that others are able to see you as most beautiful. This story is proof that there are people among us that see beauty in its raw form; when our faces aren’t full of makeup and we aren’t dressed to the nines. It’s when we are in these raw forms that others can see the real us; just being us and trying for nothing more.
What would happen to the definition of beauty if more people thought this way? Can you imagine if our society looked at beauty like this all of the time? If more people felt as though others were most beautiful when represented in their most raw form, we would absolutely change the definition of beauty; we would make it about real beauty; beauty that is in its best form: rare and genuine.
Maybe “off days” where you are running fifteen minutes late, with little makeup, and an un-planned outfit are the best days we can have. They teach us we can be beautiful in the raw. They teach us what beauty is about. They teach us that others see that beauty and, in my opinion, these are the best lessons we can learn.