You Are Beautiful. . . Or Does It Even Really Matter?

The sign beckons me from a parking lot in Santa Monica.  You are beautiful, it says.  And for a moment, I agree.  I am beautiful.  And so are you.  And you.  And yes, even you.

It’s such a, well, beautiful sentiment.  We should all acknowledge how uniquely beautiful we are.

For years, I’ve worked within this framework, encouraging women to focus on what aspects of their appearance they liked.  For some, even finding one or two features was a difficult task, but I was patient and resolute.  For me, it was important to recognize that appearance isn’t a black-and-white issue, and that while you might not like your stomach, your eyes, well, they’re kinda pretty, no?

And, zooming out a bit, aren’t you really just a beautiful complete creature, a perfect constellation of limbs, organs, fluid, and cells, parts that fit and function in a miraculous way?

More recently, though, I’ve found myself shifting frames.  If you feel beautiful, that’s quite an accomplishment given our current cultural context.  Good for you.  You’ve outwitted them.

But if you don’t, that might okay, too.  Because, I’m interested in taking that current cultural context and slamming it into an empty parking lot wall.  Why must we put such a premium on beauty? You’re not so attractive?  Okay.  What do you have going for you that likely, in the scheme of things, matters significantly more?  Beauty may get us through this world more quickly.  I’m not going to argue that.  It’s like a theme park fast pass for life. But, if beauty is what you want out of life, and that’s how you’ll evaluate your time on earth as it nears it’s end, then it’s possible you have some larger challenges than the shape of your nose or the size of your thighs.

The ladies behind Beauty Redefined offer up some words of wisdom that reflect this change of course.  You may argue, “No, that’s not true,” but isn’t that just another sign that you’ve been brainwashed like the rest of us?

So, what do you think?  Should we continue to stress “You are beautiful,” or instead radicalize the discourse a la Beauty Redefined?

Eating Disorder Self Test. Take the EAT-26 self test to see if you might have eating disorder symptoms that might require professional evaluation. All answers are confidential.

Find a Treatment Facility Near You

Click on a state below to find eating disorder treatment options that could be right for you.

The information provided on is designed to support, not replace, the relationship that exists between a patient/site visitor and his/her health professional. This information is solely for informational and educational purposes and we encourage all visitors to see a licensed physician if they believe that they have an eating disorder. The publication of this information does not constitute the practice of medicine, and this information does not replace the advice of your physician or other health care provider. Neither the owners or employees of nor the author(s) of site content take responsibility for any possible consequences from any treatment, procedure, exercise, dietary modification, action or application of medication which results from reading this site. Always speak with your primary health care provider before engaging in any form of self treatment. Please see our Legal Statement for further information.

Copyright © 2008-2018
Company Information

© 2018 All rights reserved. Use of this site constitutes acceptance of's terms of service and privacy policy. The material on this site is for informational purposes only, and is not a substitute for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment provided by a qualified health care provider.