Defining "Beautiful"

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She's beautiful, isn't she?  The girl in the clip below, I mean.  Danielle is an example of the way that many women in the United States (myself included) aspire to look- tall, thin, perfect hair, great body...

Here are a couple of stats for you:

95 percent of women have cellulite.

Over four million women in the United States had some sort of plastic surgery last year.

Less than ten percent of women in America wear a size zero. 

Only four percent of women around the world believe that they are beautiful.  

Read that again.

Only four percent of women around the world believe that they are beautiful.

How has our society come to this?  While I do believe that the video below is well-done and that the model is talented, I wonder if fashion and film have together contributed to women's low senses of self-worth.  Let me explain.

When you pick up a magazine at the grocery store, who do you find on the front cover?  Most likely, it's a girl who resembles Danielle Knudsen.  She is pretty with flawless skin.  She's wearing a fashionable outfit, and the words next to her head on the magazine probably tell you something about "how to lose that stubborn fat" around your midsection.  Oh, and did I mention that she has probably been airbrushed to at least a small degree?  Any minor imperfection is not okay.

With such images constantly surrounding you, you begin to believe that "cover girls" are the only ones who can be considered beautiful.  After all, you never see an overweight woman with a couple of wrinkles modeling for Cosmopolitan.  

I haven't been able to stop watching this Dove advertisement all week.  Its message is so different from the messages I normally hear about beauty.  

You are more beautiful than you think.

That is a message that women need to hear.  Danielle the Ford Model is gorgeous, yes.  But so are you.  So am I.  True beauty lies in imperfection, because it is in our flaws that we realize our humanness.  We were not created to be Barbies; we were created to be women.  When I look at another woman, I'm not counting how many blemishes she has on her face or checking to see how well she curled her hair that day (and neither are you).  I'm looking at her whole person, beyond her eyes and into her soul.  

Wondering about how to empower women?  Make them feel beautiful.   

(Check out this and other videos on MyWebTV at

About the author


Mary Rachel Fenrick is a graduate of the University of Oklahoma, where she obtained a Bachelor of Science in Education and a minor in Spanish. She currently teaches Special Education and English for Norman Public Schools in Norman, Oklahoma. Some of her passions include reading, writing, editing, teaching, distance running,…

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