A quick glance at any social media platform will show you what we think of as beautiful today: toned body, tanned skin, smooth hair, actresses, models, boobs, butt, curves, etc.
Now come on girls! That’s beauty from a guy’s perspective! Or at least from a shallow perspective! We need to stop obsessing over these superficial signs of beauty. We need to redefine beauty.

To me, beauty is:

1. Kindness

Understanding other people’s difficulties, forgiving someone for their mistakes, lending a hand to those in need, saying kind words with a smile. If you’ve ever received help from a kind person, you’ll know that kindness made that person look infinitely beautiful.

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2. Strength

My mom showed me what it means to be a strong woman: facing difficulties with a smile, with hope, doing whatever she can to protect her family. Being strong doesn’t mean having a strong body or running a marathon. It means having the courage to stand up for yourself and to persist in your ideals.

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3. Focus

Beauty is NOT about achieving success. It is not about making other people jealous of your career, your beauty, or your achievements. It’s about focusing on yourself and working hard towards your own goals. Beauty is the look of hard work, focus, and passion.

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4. Respect

Growing up in an Asian family, I was taught that BEFORE I can be beautiful, I need to be civilized and respectful. I need to hold respect for other people and for nature. Once you know how to respect others, you will also learn how to love and respect yourself.

5. Intelligence

Again, I’m not talking about being booksmart or any outward signs of intelligence (If you’re a star student, good for you!) But TRUE intelligence means not doing things you’ll regret, knowing what you want in life, and making the right choice for yourself.

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6. Modesty

Girls are always told to show confidence. But to me, confidence should NOT be a show! It’s a quiet feeling inside that says: we’re good, things are fine, we are strong. Which is why I actually think that someone who is confident is also modest. Instead of screaming confidence in other people’s faces, let’s be poised, let’s be classy, let's be quietly confident.

7. Happiness

When someone is happy, they don’t care what other people are thinking. They stop comparing themselves to other people. They are so carefree! So have fun, be silly, be funny. Happiness looks so purely beautiful on everyone.

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8. Being different

You’re truly confident if you don’t mind standing out from the crowd. I used to not like how short I am, or my small asian eyes, but when I learned to love my individuality, I realized that they are the most beautiful parts of myself.

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In the end, a pretty face is nothing compared to a real person whose beauty touches hearts. It’s natural that we want to look beautiful on the outside. But we should ALSO want to be beautiful on a deeper level!

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XX Love, 林子 XX

Cover Photo Credit: blerta @blerazeqiri