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Look and Are: The True Definition of Beauty

By Jennie O’Hare

The other night I was driving home and was admiring the sunset. The sun was about to sink behind the mountains, giving off a beautiful yellow and orange glow, the bright green of the meadows offsetting the vibrant hues and the blue sky creating a gentle frame above it all. It took my breath away and made me realize something; it didn’t just look beautiful, it was beautiful. While this beautiful image took my breath away, it also got me thinking.

Too often today are we caught up in our looks. When someone says, “Wow, you look great today!” our insecure minds tend to respond internally, “Sooo, does that mean I didn’t look good yesterday?” which causes us to look in the mirror more critically, or stress over which outfit to wear tomorrow to wow our perspective audiences. Too often have I heard comments in the dressing room: “Daaaaaaaang, gurl, that dress makes you look ah-mazing!” or “Ughh, these jeans don’t fit right, I look like a tub of lard.” We listen to the lies of the world that we aren’t good enough because we don’t look good enough. This is so, so damaging because it feeds that massive insecurity that most of us fight on a day-to-day basis. Why have we all become so caught up in our looks? We don’t realize that we too are like the sunset; sure, we can look good (or not, if the world tells us so), but we also are beautiful.

Yes, we are all beautiful. Some days we might not feel like we look beautiful, or we might not get any compliments that make us feel like it, but we truly are. Because beauty is ever so much more than just looking good. It is a state of being. We are beautiful, each one of us, whether we are a size 2 or a size 20. Each one of us is made in the image and likeness of God, Who is beauty. That means that there is a tiny smidgen of God’s own looks in us. Every. Single. One. Of. Us. Honestly, that blows my mind. By having God within us, keeping us into being, we are beautiful. We don’t even have to work at it by applying pounds of makeup, because we just are. By being, we have the ability to share our beauty with others, in a smile, in a kind gesture, in a comforting hug. Such things are quite underappreciated because the world constantly compares us to supermodels. “You’re not worth anything unless you look like THIS.” False! So, so false. Even if some of us weigh more than others, or have disabilities that alter our features, we are beautiful. Every flaw, every blemish, every acne scar, every pound on the scale is beauty, because God made us and He thinks we are beautiful. Society tells us that we must always look good, but there is never any emphasis on being good. Lies, all lies! Because beauty is not defined by how tan your skin is, or what number you are on the scale or in a store. It is simply, being. Living, recognizing that God made you, and made you beautiful, and to share His goodness and beauty with others, THAT is true beauty. Beauty is not caught up in your looks, but by your actions.

handflowerWhen we truly recognize God’s hand in our creation, and recognize that we are beautiful, goodness follows. We become more focused on God because we recognize His hand in our creation. I once read an article on the Blessed Mother, who appeared to a girl and the girl asked her, “Why are you so beautiful?” Mary’s characteristically humble response? “Because I love. If you love and do good to others from the inside, it begins to show on the outside.” Yes, indeed! Beauty comes from within, from being, and it thrives from good actions, which also are a part of being.

When we say, “You look good,” we only put emphasis on our earthly bodies and features, and completely ignore the most important part of ourselves. We ignore our “are”; the mere act of being, of being creatures of God, and thereby we ignore God Himself, which is a complete tragedy. When you compliment someone, you invariably compliment God, whether you want to or not, because God is the Ultimate Creator of every single soul.

So instead of saying, “You look good today!” and only focusing on features that will eventually fade, we should give the ultimate compliment, “You are so lovely, today and every day!” This type of compliment will not only be more appreciated by the person, but will also help people to be more sincere. Too scrupulous? I don’t think so. There should definitely be more intentional compliments and actions in the world.

So, go forth and appreciate your beauty because each person’s beauty is unique and should therefore be celebrated and shared with others. And remember, God made you beautiful. So recognize the beauty in not only yourself, but also in others, and compliment them sincerely and share that beauty. Remove the look of the world, and embrace the true being of beauty.

You are so beautiful, and your beauty will continue to grow with your love and good actions.

Jennie O’Hare is a rising senior studying literature at Ave Maria University. When her nose isn’t in a book or behind a laptop, you can find her riding horses, doing something related to music, baking/cooking for loved ones, or snuggling soft, fluffy kittens. She would be absolutely thrilled if you followed her blog at She hopes to pursue a career in publishing and writing. 

image: Jennie O’Hare | Facebook