Monday, November 30, 2009

The Beholder Has a Responsibility Too

One of the sisters who went to Albania with Adam and I have become good friends, and every Sunday night we try to go walking together. Last night we did so and we had the BEST talk about the merit of a man thinking you are beautiful.

Now, I am 100% one of those people that thinks you MUST love yourself before anyone else can love you. You must have confidence in how you look before other people will look at you. And a little confidence in a stride or in a smile will make ANYONE gorgeous.

This particular girl and I have both struggled for a long time with self image, weight etc. The funny thing is, is that unless you are close to us, you would probably never know that we have both looked in the mirror and said to ourselves- "You are ugly." We did it for different reasons, but we are both equally good at hiding the thought from others, though not from ourselves.

So last night we were sharing stories with each other about men who made us feel worth our salt. I know I said I am 100% believer in loving yourself. I also KNOW that you can love yourself, without so much loving the body that you are in. I guess I wanted to say to the guys out there- NEVER underestimate the impact you can have on a woman with a genuine compliment.

My friend shared a story about a man she had dated that would text her multiple times a day, even when he wasn't with her, to tell her she was pretty, cute, the best thing he had ever laid eyes on. And how when she was with him and she woke up in the morning she never thought a bad thought looking at herself in the mirror.

The great thing is how something like that lasts even though the relationship is over. I had a best friend do the same thing for me in high school and I can remember telling him once how much I loved being around him because all I had to do was be near him and I felt like that most beautiful thing that had walked the earth. He responded, "Good. You should always feel like that. Even when we are not together." And I do. His impact, that one action towards me, has forever given me more confidence.

Now, I am not writing this to be- woe is me I think I am ugly. Because I think I am pretty darn cute if we are being honest :) But it took me a long time to get there. And I think being told you are beautiful, works the same way with being told that you are loved. In marriage classes they always say to remind your spouse that you love them. Sure they know- you married them, but it always helps to hear it.

I think one of the best things a guy can do for a girl, a husband to a wife, brother to a sister, son to a mother, father to a daughter, is tell her she is pretty. I can remember getting ready for my nieces baptism and my nephew came looking for him mom. When he say my sister-in-law all dressed up he said to her, "Mom, you look BEAUTIFUL!"

The little boy is 4. When he left she admitted, "I taught him to do that." You know what? It doesn't matter. You could tell it made her feel amazing. And the better he is for being taught that because how amazing will he make his sister feel when they get ready for church, or his girlfriends feel when he takes them out? I think some people underestimate that type of compliment because they think it is trite. Not so in the least.

Like last night. When I was getting ready to go out I put on a shirt I hadn't worn in a while. When I came out to the living room Adam looked me over and said, "Have I seen that shirt before?" I told him I don't wear it very often and he just shrugged and said, "You look really cute in it. And I like your hat." (The hat thing could have been because he was the one that bought it for me for Christmas last year but in his defense- it is adorable.) Either way- the one comment made me feel smiling good about myself even until I got to my friends house.

And you know- I will admit that I actually like it when I guy I know tells me I am hot. I know that a lot of girls think that is derogatory, and when it comes from a scrungy man in front of the dairy section, or at the gym it is. But I had a good friend who used to go shopping with me a lot. And my favorite part about shopping with him was that he would tell me honestly if something didn't look so good. My second favorite part was that when something DID look good he would say, "You look so SEXY!"

Automatic confidence booster. Sometimes ladies- you want to look smoking hot.

Thank you to all the men that have made me, and any other woman out there feel worth what she does to make herself pretty. Better, to make herself feel worth it when she hasn't tried at all. It makes me wonder how models got to be that way- and its probably because someone told them they were just that good, even though they might have already known it deep down inside.

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