Growing up female in a western society is toxic. One would assume that because I came from an immigrant family where both of my parents, raised in poor families, never put the focus on appearance, or that, to this day, I have never heard my mom complain about any flaws on her face or on her body, for as long as I can remember, I have hated my physical appearance.

Although I was slender until the past few years, I always found something to dislike. Recently, I entered my forties and experienced a change in my weight and body type. Even with a loving husband who practically worships me, it was a change I tried to fight and lost bitterly. It wasn’t until one morning a few months ago that I gazed at the reflection of my face in the mirror–face free of make-up, wet hair plastered to my head–that I realized a few important facts:

It is not normal for any woman, especially one who has experienced the miracle of pregnancy, to have a flat stomach. Neither is it normal to have a face free of blemishes.

I know I have had external and internal beauty for the majority of my life, but I had refused to acknowledge it based on the false belief that I wasn’t slim or pretty enough. I only hope that I am helping my daughters to go against this false fear and anxiety that plagues females in this country and around the world.

You are beautiful. Yes, you. And even if you or anyone else cannot see that, there is more to you than your outward appearance. Although looks gain attention, it is the beauty of the soul that attracts. I fell in love with my husband because of the person he is inside… not because he happens to have blue eyes. I am thankful that I finally realized that these were all lies I had believed this whole time. I am a beautiful person, regardless of looks. I know my heart is pure and that my loved ones recognize the beauty within me.

The Truth About Beauty



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Araceli has a background in music education and rediscovered her love for poetry after meeting her muse. A resident of Alabama, she divides her free time between her family and her writing. Her poems are listed under the name A.M. Ream on the social media sites she manages.

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