Every one of us is a Natural Beauty in all of our diversity of ages, shape, ethnicity, and cultures. When we no longer look to change what we are, but embrace the beauty we have each been given, then we shift what is important from the temporary to the permanent.
One of my most favorite quotes about beauty is from the Lebanese poet Khalil Gibran, “Beauty is not of the Face, Beauty is a Light in the Heart.” Who is not touched by someone’s love, joy, enthusiasm, inspiration, etc., despite outer appearances?
Being a Natural Beauty does not mean that we can never enjoy wearing makeup, coloring our hair, or a variety of other enhancements: Self Care, also known as “Pleasure Healing” (a wonderful book by Mary Beth Janssen), is an important method of nurturing ourselves and others.
Still, seeking perfection solely through such actions, which produces variant results, has us constantly measuring ourselves and constantly wanting.
The purpose of makeup or clothes or hair, etc., is to add radiance to the world in the form of beauty and enjoyment; the meaning comes from how we use them to contribute to ourselves and others. Hair, makeup, or other personal style is the same as any other art form, and can nurture body, mind, and spirit when used as such.
List all your beautiful qualities: physical, emotional, intellectual, and spiritual. Should you find something needing more care, honor it with simple first steps.
Often we get caught up in what others hold as a beauty standard, be they loved ones, or current societal trends, which can be hurtful if we are not confident enough to know what works for us, or recognize how to enjoy these standards without getting caught up in them.
I once had a woman upset with a cut another stylist had given her; she wanted something that was going to make her feel good about herself, as she should. Still, after conversing with her I realized that what she was really looking for was the cut to make her happy, rather than being happy and enjoying a good cut.
I told her so, and said that I didn’t want to cut her hair because she was seeking for something where it could not be found. She said she wanted it anyway…obviously I gave her lots of love and attention as well as a beautiful cut; she remained unhappy and must have gone to another stylist with the same story.
Cosmetologists, stylists, cosmeticians- what ever you call us, or we call ourselves- are human; we have good days and not so good days. We each have areas where we excel and others where we get by. I tell my friends and clients to have a backup because there may be days I am not available, or perhaps you like the way someone cuts but prefer how I color, or visa versa; as professionals we should understand.
Still we are not able to fill your emptiness with our talents, unless you accept we are fallible, willing to allow us to learn who you are, what you like, make some mistakes, practice forgiveness, and grow together.
You work on you, I will work on me, together we work on us, nurturing each other, create beauty in community and the greater good.
As printed in the Uitca Phoenix June 10, 2011