You remember my post about the Beauty Message Challenge? Well, my 10 days have elapsed and I'm ready to share them with you. (A video post will follow later this weekend.)
I posted two messages about The Beauty Message Challenge on the Facebook profiles of 2 beautiful women, telling them in frank terms that they are beautiful no matter what size they are and that no one is beautiful the way they are.
I also went to dinner with my friend Beth and gave her a little speech right outside the restaurant as we waited for a table to free up. This is what I told her:
I posted two messages about The Beauty Message Challenge on the Facebook profiles of 2 more beautiful women, telling them in frank terms that they are beautiful because they are one of a kind and very strong.
I also called my mother and told her over the phone what The Beauty Message Challenge was all about - and that I was doing my own spin on it. "So Mom," I said, "I wanted to tell you that YOU are beautiful. And the reason..." She began to laugh, which interrupted me. "Mom, why are you laughing? Don't laugh at me. I'm being serious. You are beautiful and I'm not afraid to tell you." She quieted. I continued, "The reason you are beautiful is because you are funny and you're not afraid to be yourself. You look great for your age, you're pretty and--"
It was around this time that she interrupted again. She said, "You're going to make me cry in the middle of Target."
To which I said, "That would be kind of cool," and chuckled. But then continued, "And you've always been a wonderful mother and I love you."
I found the most beautiful(!) card for my friend Jen. It's made by Blue Mountain Arts and they might as well be making cards for The Beauty Message Challenge, because it (and others like it) were perfect for my purposes this week, as you can see.
I popped it in the mail to Jen with a typed page explaining further reasons why she is beautiful and describing The Beauty Message Challenge. I also sent her a CD I hope will be a peaceful gift. Jen is beautiful AND planning her wedding (next month!) right now, so she definitely deserves to hear both the words written in the card and the CD.
I then posted two more messages on the Facebook profiles of two new beautiful women, letting them know they are beautiful, strong, and wonderful.
I mailed a special card to my best friend, Libes. It said what I wanted it to say - and what it didn't say, I wrote in myself. :) What did I add? That she's beautiful because she's family oriented, always there for me, has a great body and smile, is fun with a capital F, and much much more. I can't put into the words the beauty of Libes, but she certainly deserves to hear it!
I brought a special card into work for my co-worker, Kathy. And I made sure to write in it: "You are beautiful AND I'm not afraid to tell you! A special card for a special woman." I explained to her face to face what the Beauty Message Challenge was all about and handed her the card. :) (She told me later that she has the card displayed at home.)
I emailed my friend Alicia and let her know she was beautiful and why in detail. I mean, who wouldn't want to get an email with the subject line: "You are beautiful :)" first thing in the morning? Alicia is one of my dearest friends and is beautiful inside and out.
I sent a message to my friend Huoi. I told her about the BMC and why I think she's beautiful. She's a hard-working doctor and definitely deserves to know!
I brought a special card into work for my friend Val. The card was all about how she is strong, and of course, beautiful. She opened it up and started crying. Her other reactions? She gave me a hug (still crying) and said, "Well I'm not afraid to tell you you're beautiful! I tell you all the time!" which made me laugh.
I sent a message to my friend Sarah telling her about the BMC and explaining why I think she's beautiful. Will she take on the BMC herself and tell herself she's beautiful each day for 10 days? I don't know... but she should, because she's very beautiful. She's in Jen's wedding with me and I love spending time with her. We've been friends since 1st grade!
Day Ten is today - the last day of the BMC. I have a card in my purse that is ready to be given to a co-worker after the weekend is over. She was out for a few days at the end of this work week, so I wasn't able to give it to her when planned. But today, I am telling all of you that YOU are beautiful. It's true. You read the blog, you take the words to heart, and you fight your own fight every single day. There's lots of beauty going on here.
If there's one thing I discovered during my version of the Beauty Message Challenge, it's that women got embarrassed when I told them they were beautiful, and further embarrassed when I began to tell them why. Some blushed, some interrupted me because they were so surprised, and some cried. What kind of world do we live in when women have such a reaction to being told the TRUTH, that they are beautiful?
I also noticed that as I was telling the separate women they were beautiful (and why) in my variety of ways, I often got choked up or emotional myself. I meant what I said (or wrote) to everyone I told and I wish everyone could hear it a million times over.
One of my favorite sayings of all time is: "Beauty is not a state of body. It's a state of mind." I say this and write this constantly. I love it. But you know what, ladies? Your bodies are beautiful too.
Today, don't argue with me. Accept that you are beautiful. Accept that I think you are. And you know what else? I'm beautiful too. :)