A Lesson in Beauty

I was hit by something rather profound this morning and it really resonated with me, so please bear with me.

For my entire life I have dealt with self image issues (like a majority of today’s population I am sure). I have been camera shy, people shy, fitting room shy and event shy because I just don’t have that ‘perfect body type’ that so many women are supposed to have.

Having children has not helped that.

 Now I have stretch marks on my tummy and legs. I have a section of my stomach where I can feel the muscles I earned playing sports growing up, but can’t seem to see them anymore because they are playing hide and seek under post-pregnancy skin. I don’t get to the gym as often as I like because, let’s face it: I work, have a husband and three beautiful babies to take care of (that’s not even counting the cats, dog, and my own personal goals and dreams, but I digress).

Some days it’s very hard for me to feel pretty. In fact, some days I wonder what my husband even sees in me when he tells me I’m beautiful. Some days, I’m pretty sure he’s lying. 

But this morning, I was looking through some pictures my mother took of us at the beach on vacation. I didn’t realize she was taking pictures, so I had no opportunity to be camera shy or pose or suck my tummy in. I was just myself. With my babies.

And I was beautiful.

I’m not going to lie, looking at these pictures, I still saw the flaws that constantly nag my self-conscious, and honestly I don’t know if there will ever be a picture I see of myself where I don’t find something to nitpick. That is a struggle of mine and something I will have to work through.

But I will say this.



Looking at that picture, I wasn’t focused on its flaws. Or my legs, or my tummy or whatever. Because every time I started to dissect it, my focus got drawn up to my face and my beautiful baby sitting in my arms with my precious princess taking my hand. And I realized that’s true  beauty.

My children love me. And I love them. They think I’m beautiful. My daughter tells me so every day. And if there is one thing I don’t want in this world, it’s for her to be plagued by the same self-image issues that I have. Because she is gorgeous and she deserves to know it.


So while I am far from perfect, and while I will probably continue to tell my husband I need to run and will work on living a healthier lifestyle, I am going to do my best to make sure I provide a positive example for my children and not focus so much on the flaws, and instead focus on the beauty.

Focus on the love.

Because that’s what makes us truly beautiful.

JM Sullivan

Retelling Writer. Sparkle Enthusiast. Author. Although known to dabble in adulting, J.M. is a big kid at heart who still believes in true love, magic, and most of all, the power of coffee. If you would like to connect with J.M., visit her on social media at @jmsullivanbooks--she’d love to hear from you!

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