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(De)Constructing Beauty

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 by Montana Leigh Jackson

When we think of the term beauty, different images, descriptions, and ideas shimmer before our eyes; twisting into constructions based on the standards that live amongst us.

It’s no question that the world we exist in places so much value in the term, that it pushes us from the start to strive to be it...but what exactly does it mean to be beautiful?     

Is it a feeling or is it just a description?

Is it something we earn from the way we carry ourselves or is it something that carries us?

Is there actuality to the idea that we are only ever as beautiful as we believe ourselves to be?

And mostly, is all that we’ve been told about what allows something to be considered beautiful, real?

To many, beauty means something that's pleasing to the eye— but maybe it's more. Maybe for some its one thing, and for others, it's another.

Maybe it's not always something we pick up off the floor in the morning and struggle to pull over our heads. Maybe its something that wakes up alongside us— there all along, no matter if we see it; its existence something that doesn’t need any physical proof.

But what about the things that are pleasing to the mind?

The things that expel energy that cause us to halt, to do a double take?

The things that fill us with warmth when we're around them?

Is beauty an adjective that fits into their spaces?

See, there's a cycle that exists within this idea of beauty, one that we will all eventually get tossed in. It catches us with the glamour, the love, the attention, but then reels us in with the ideals and standards set out to make us fail.

But the key to not getting tossed around relentlessly, to not get dragged along its bottom, is to embrace a definition of the word that keeps you floating, that keeps you with your head above the surface…

I think beauty is something woven into the soul.

I think beauty is something we can create, while at the same time being something we already own.

I think beauty is something that cannot be confined to simple terms, to the small space we shove it into, to the select few faces our world willingly places it onto.

I think beauty is a question, and the answer is anything. 

The hardest thing about being a part of a world that sees beauty as one of the sole determinations of worth is that it is always something we'll aim for— no matter how consciously.

We lose so much time trying to wedge ourselves into boxes that rarely ever have room for us, spend so many hours chipping away at the pieces of ourselves that are too sharp; adding onto the ones that aren't quite fitting just right. And we forget that in doing so, we can easily cause ourselves to reroute a journey we might have been on to find self-improvement into danger-land instead. 

We need to take what we think is beautiful to us, and allow them to just be that— beautiful.

To not second-guess ourselves when someone tells us that our definitions are wrong, that they’re untrue.

To stop feeling ashamed of the ways we choose to recover beauty in the moments where we’ve believed it to have disappeared.

To realize that its okay to have days where we are struggling to see beautiful things amongst all the ugly— but to realize that it doesn't mean that they no longer exist.

To remember that beauty, at its purest, is something that is fluid. That it is not something that has a home, or something exists solely in certain places, but instead that it is everywhere, and with that—can be found in anything.

And to remind ourselves that that rule applies to us, as well.

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