I once broke up with a man because he refused to tell me I am beautiful.
What a conceited bitch! Where’s your self-esteem? Why do you need a man’s validation?
I don’t know if you are thinking those things about me, but I have thought them about myself.
I’ve been giving some thought as to whether or not it should matter to anyone if the person they are dating calls them the (complimentary) B-word.
He told me I was pretty. He said I was attractive. Hot. Sexy. But for some reason he could never cross over that line into the realm of “beautiful.”
I have no idea if he ever called another woman beautiful in the past, and I don’t believe it matters. The fact is, the four simple words “I find you beautiful” hold so much power that he could not make himself say them, and I could not get past the fact that those words were being withheld.
When I am in love and want to express my complete adoration, there is nothing stronger I can find to say than “You are a beautiful man.“
When I hug my boys before they go sleep, I say to each, “Goodnight my beautiful boy.“
The distinction between calling a woman beautiful rather than pretty, hot, sexy, attractive, etc. — or calling a man beautiful rather than handsome, hot, sexy, attractive, etc. — is that beautiful is never merely a simple statement about physical appearance.
Beautiful is all encompassing. Beautiful is organic. Beautiful is whole. Beautiful is soothing, healing, uplifting, joyous, and so much more.
Beautiful is far more powerful than gorgeous, stunning, or lovely. Beautiful connotes the physical, spiritual, and emotional.
I found the following synonym discussion of beautiful on the Merriam-Webster Dictionary’s website:
“Beautiful applies to whatever excites the keenest of pleasure to the senses and stirs emotion through the senses — beautiful mountain scenery. Lovely is close to beautiful but applies to a narrower range of emotional excitation in suggesting the graceful, delicate, or exquisite — a lovely melody. Handsome suggests aesthetic pleasure due to proportion, symmetry, or elegance — a handsome Georgian mansion. Pretty often applies to superficial or insubstantial attractiveness — a painter of conventionally pretty scenes. Comely is like handsome in suggesting what is coolly approved rather than emotionally responded to — the comely grace of a dancer.”
Beautiful is what we all seek in our lives. Beautiful is peace, harmony, tranquility and love.
Then I found myself sitting in my parked car — smiling, crying and laughing at a video created by high school student Shea Glover.
According to the description on Glover’s YouTube channel:
“I conducted an independent project, which evidently turned into a social experiment halfway through, regarding beauty at my performing arts high school in Chicago. I want to clarify that my intentions were not to get a reaction out of people. I was simply filming beauty and this is the result. Here it is.”
As the video progresses, the variety of expressions across the faces of the classmates she recorded are a testament to just how much weight this seemingly superficial word carries. It is as though you can watch a bit of each one of their life stories flash in their eyes as the word sinks in.
Disbelief, gratitude, self-doubt, confidence, anger, and elation.
There is nothing superficial about telling another human being that you find them beautiful.
In my opinion, if you are romantically involved with a person who cannot, will not or does not tell you that you are beautiful, you may want to take an inventory of the other ways in which you are being treated as less than the beautiful creature you are — either by them, or by yourself.
But first, I dare you to watch this video and not find yourself smiling brighter than you have all day. I feel quite sure that as you do, you are beautiful.
Photo credit: Shutterstock
Also by Arianna Jeret
7 Ways Men Can Reignite The Spark In The Bedroom
An Open Letter to the Man I Want (A Woman’s View)
The Most Powerful Way to Know What Your Woman Wants
How to Rebuild Self-Esteem After Divorcing a Manipulator