When I was a little girl, I loved playing with paper dolls, making mud pies and playing dress up with my Mother's clothes. I would sit for hours underneath the dining room table playing with the paper dolls that I cut out from the catalogs my Grandmother kept in a box underneath the phone table.
The requirements for making the "cut" were precise. They had to be complete, meaning nothing or no one could be blocking any part of their body, their outfit had to be stylish and most importantly they had to be pretty.
At the ripe old age of six, I had set my standards and defined beauty. I would spend hours, turning page after page looking at each potential paper doll, deciding if they met the criteria I had set. Looking back at this, I ask myself these questions, how did I decide who was beautiful and who wasn't? What influenced this decision? Well, could it have been the catalogs I was looking through or the magazines on my Mother's coffee table?
For years, print and broadcast media have defined beauty. There was a time in the not so distant past where voluptuous women like Marilyn Monroe, Mae West and Jayne Mansfield were the "hot" commodities. They were the pin-up girls who women wanted to be like and men drooled over. They were a size 14 or above. By today's standards they would be obese women on the cover of tabloids with some horrifying caption. So, when did the standard of beauty change from healthy and curvy to unhealthy and straight? When did a woman having a boy's body with breasts become the "hot" commodity? Who is defining beauty and why as a society are we buying it? It is time to change this way of thinking and honor our bodies at each age and size.
The Maiden's body beginning to form and develop, flowing with creative juices as she begins to paint on the blank canvas of life. The Mother's body full, juicy and ripe, ready to birth life in all forms, and the Crone, whose body carries confidence, wisdom and grace from a life lived. Honoring the wisdom and the curves of our bodies is a testament to true beauty. Embracing each curve, stretch mark and wrinkle is testimony to living an alive and full life.
In the last few days of my Grandmother's life, I would sit next to her bed, holding her hands. She had beautiful hands. I looked at her hands and thought about the number of tortillas these hands made, how many quilts these hands made that keep her grandchildren and great grandchildren warm. I thought about how these hands worked on a farm and held her children, grand children and great grandchildren. I looked at her face and touched her cheek and thought about, how many smiles were on this face, how many tears streamed down these cheeks. I looked at my Grandmother and saw the beauty of a life lived. The beauty of a women who touched many lives, fed many people, cried many tears. At that moment, the size of her clothes did not matter, it was the size of her heart that defined true beauty.
In the end it is not the size of your clothes that matters, it is the size of your heart. Live from the beauty of your heart. Do not let a number on a tag define you, let the number of people whose heart you touch be the meter of true beauty.