Written by Ivette Moutzouris
Inner Beauty is a concept that is not celebrated enough in our society of instant gratification and remaining forever young!
I saw a movie recently where an elderly man was describing his wife and he stated that her inner beauty never aged!!! How wonderful it would be if our youth and some of us adults could celebrate and value inner character as opposed to outward appearances.
The danger of over focusing on our outside appearances can be detrimental to our overall self- esteem, particularly since we cannot remain young and inevitably change physically. There is a growing trend in modern society to look perfect….that is flawless and air brushed, no or minimal wrinkles, a toned and slim physique and even how we look under our clothes appears to be of importance! It is unhealthy to make this the focus of beauty at the expense of what really counts, which is good character that can be nurtured and does not fade with age.
I have counselled many females (but I am sure this is an issue for men) who feel depressed or unhappy because they do not live up to ideals that are either unrealistic or superficial. The truth is that we are all individual and we can’t be someone else. In order to have healthy self- esteem we need to value inner character and inner strength and what makes us who we are. Everyone is unique and special regardless of how they look on the outside and it is extremely important that we teach this to our children from a very young age. As a modern society and as adults we need to encourage inner growth of character not false perfection of the external. Characters traits such as respect, integrity, honesty, compassion, empathy, love and so on. These traits need to be demonstrated and valued in a superficial world where youth are being bullied for how they look and are learning that this is what gives someone their worth. Researchers have noticed that plastic surgery is occurring in increasingly younger ages and the obsession with the outside self is overriding the search for the inner you.
I encourage to you to help reverse this trend by thinking of yourself in terms of inner character and uniqueness and not fall into the temptation of comparing yourself to others. I also encourage you to make an effort to value the traits that last a lifetime and do not fade with age but can become more and more beautiful!!!
If you would like to read more on this topic of self-esteem and the values our youth are adopting I would recommend authors such as Maggie Hamilton and Melinda Tankard Reist.
Maggie Hamilton, ‘What’s Happening to Our Girls?’ 2008.
Melinda Tankard Reist and Abigail Bray (Eds), ‘Big Porn Inc –Exposing the Harms of The Global Pornography Industry’ 2011.
Dr Patricia Weerakoon, ‘Teen Sex By The Book’ 2012.