The Eye Of The Be(auty)holder By Resli Costabell

I have to admit I relish women who speak of beauty in addition to their experiences. I\’ve always been of the opinion that being pretty is housed from 0 to plus sizes, as in I am able to see the a human\’s elegance regardless of weight. I was consistently called ugly growing up, being barked at is probably one of the most humiliating things that could occur to you during your formative years.  When constantly exposed to such negativity with regards to my beauty as with Resli — the echoes of \”I am ugly?\” or \”will I ever be classified as pretty?\” or \”I hate myself for every physical attribute I am heavily confronted over.\”  These phrases stay with us over time — until your individual sense of self says \”enough\” and you learn that beauty is a subjective concept and the fibre that makes our marrow is significantly more profound.  Once, I started to focus on the positive of everything I am — as Resli does below — it set me on a course to discover human truths such as this one.  

I would encourage you to read Resli Costabell\’s piece below and understand — YOU ARE GORGEOUS! And, all those naysayers that don\’t think so — can take their subjectives opinions and simply go away!!! For more articles like this one, I would encourage you to follow Resli on Facebook: Not only is Resli a tremendous writer but, also  one who is not afraid to speak up against conventional bias and ignorance.  I so appreciate that about her! 


Rania M M Watts, Founder CCIQ Press 

The Eye Of The Be(auty)holder By Resli Costabell

Today, I was asked: \”When most of the people say that I am ugly, does that mean I\’m really ugly?\”

I rather enjoy responding to people\’s questions. So I responded. Here\’s what I wrote:

Sweetheart, NO! Beauty is skin deep. Ugly goes right to the bone. If people are telling you you’re ugly, that says a lot about them. And what it says ain’t pretty 🙂

Having said that: I’ve been called ugly myself. Many times. “But I have a beautiful heart and soul” provided some comfort — but I still wanted to feel physically attractive. I remember asking my beloved grandmother whether I was pretty. She paused in wide-eyed horror, then warmly and firmly told me, “You have *beautiful* eyebrows”. I adored her loyalty to me. At the same time, it occurred to me that I could not recall anyone ever saying, “Wow, check out the hot woman with the amazing eyebrows!”.

I asked my mother the same question. Mom smilingly assured me that, “You don’t have the sort of model-pretty that fades. You have the kind of looks that will keep going”. Mom meant it to be reassuring. (And my mother actually had been a model.) But the message I took away was, “You’re ugly and you’re going to keep being ugly.”

Here’s what’s worked to help me feel more attractive:

1) I did some research into ideals of beauty over the ages. It was heartening to discover an era during which a flat chest, prominent tummy, complete inability to tan, and startlingly high hairline were considered attractive.

2) I travelled. Europeans didn’t find me attractive. But in Thailand, I kept getting asked whether I’m a movie star. And in India, I’d literally have a crowd of people following me around. A shining moment of my life: I was with female Thai friends. They started speaking in Thai, and were obviously talking about me. I asked what they were saying. Turns out they were saying how beautiful I am, because I have such white skin and such a big nose. Ha!

3) I sort of grew up into my face. The acne cleared up. I lost weight. In my 30s, my pumpkin-round face developed visible cheekbones. I stopped hating and bullying my insane frizzy cloud of hair, and just sort of went with it.

The results?

1. I know I am a beautiful person, full of compassion and love and generosity of heart. I value that more than if Vogue were leaving urgent messages requesting me to be their cover model.

2. Stocky chubby ugly girls were never going to be accepted into the cool crowd. Had I been pretty, I might have more and more moulded myself into what society expected a southern woman to be. Instead, I kind of gave up on all that, and did my own thing. I read, discovered I have a wild sense of humour, developed my mind and brain. I hope my prettier peers are happy with their lives. But by not putting efforts into trying to be one of them, I’ve carved out a life I wouldn’t trade for anything. And it’s a life that some of them envy. I’m not still in suburbia. I’ve lived in Europe and the Middle East, and travelled widely. I have all my weird hobbies and interests that extend far beyond magazine articles on how to decorate your home for the holidays. I have friends – not just acquaintances, but friends – in China, India, the Middle East, Australia, Brazil, and Egypt. I love my life. And I doubt I’d have this life if I’d been The Pretty Girl.

3. Because the boys were not interested in me, I never learned to play on my looks. I don’t know how to get my way by being adorably helpless, by flirting, or by offering a glimpse of cleavage. When I go to class reunions, I see that age is the great leveller: even the formerly gorgeous girls have succumbed to the ravages of age. But I still have the personality and character that I developed – those just keep getting better with age. Meanwhile, the cutiepies are still trying to get by on “cute”, because they never needed to learn another way. They can seem desperate and faded. They scrape and beg for reassurance that they’re beautiful. Meanwhile, I’m the life of the party. I can hold my own in a debate. I have the kahunas to stand out from the crowd, not the instinct to fit in. And I freaking love it.

Plot twist: this ugly duckling eventually (*very* eventually!) turned into a swan. Other women – including much younger women – tell me they envy my figure. I’ve discovered that though many people prefer silky swishy hair, there are a whole lot of people who think my insane frizz cloud is rather gorgeous. I get told I’m beautiful. It’s fun feeling attractive. But I know in my soul that my beauty is not in the cheekbones that appeared so late, nor in the figure that appeared when I dropped 10 sizes. My beauty is the inner light that shines from letting myself become the true me: a wild, bright, vivacious powerhouse of a woman.

Questions for you: you can’t see my photo in my profile, so you don’t know whether I look like Scarlett Johannson or a Rhino. But as you read what I wrote, were you thinking I’m a likeable person, a beautiful soul? Or were you thinking that I come across as a rather ugly person? And whatever the opinion you formed, would you change your mind if you could see what I look like – or have you already decided how beautiful or ugly I am? Hmmm. Something to think about.

PS: The photo is not of me. All of my \”fat photos\” were destroyed long ago. I googled \”chubby ugly girl\” and found this gutsy woman\’s photo.

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