The Better Story Project conducted a workshop entitled "Beauty Matters" last October 19, 2013 at The Old Spaghetti House along Katipunan avenue. Speaker Ailene Ponce—all tanned-skin and fabulously messy hair—had everyone's attention as she told her story of adventures and misadventures, and as she tried to convince everyone that we are all beautiful.
Here are a few out of the many things I learned during the talk:
- Reality check: gravity and death.
In this world we live in, beauty is tied to flesh. But the problem with that is flesh is flimsy and it gets ugly. Beauty is not something that can easily fade away because of wrinkles or blemishes. With those superficial ideologies, we end up spending our a lifetime trying to level with the standards that this world set. But with gravity present, we end up torturing ourselves with thoughts of "I'm not good enough," which is contrary to the truth. You are beautiful.
Your smile can brighten up somebody else's day, or let you ace that interview, or help you be remembered. Plus it helps you avoid wrinkles. Also, as Ailene Ponce candidly reiterated, "braces help."
- Beauty means showing up.
We've all had our days when we feel like locking ourself in our room for the simple reason that "I feel ugly," or "I have a huge pimple on my nose." But honestly, those are really lame reasons. To be really beautiful means showing up despite all that. It means thinking, "I may be having a bad hair day but forget it, I'm going to go out because I can change the world today," because being beautiful means going out there being gutsy.
- We really must not deprive people of sincere and honest compliments.
A simple "you look pretty today," or "I like your dress," might change a person's entire perspective on herself. Don't ever rid yourself of the simple luxury of making someone happy by making people feel that they are beautiful.
- Don't be scared of being beautiful.
Sometimes we avoid mirrors because we fear that our reflection will only show us flaws. But the thing here is, flaws are only there to make you more real but certainly not less valuable. Look in the mirror again and learn to accept your flaws—maybe even embrace them—and with all the bravery of a lady, say it: I'm beautiful.
- I am beautiful. We all are.
Look closer—be it in the mirror or at other people around you—stare longer, you will notice that behind all those layers of insecurities, behind those locks of hair, or those efforts to make ourselves look pretty, we all are beautiful. The kind of beautiful that gravity and death can't take away so easily. Skin and bones and all honest things, we are all beautiful.
Check out The Better Story Project's Facebook Page to get updates on their upcoming workshops.