by Celeste Davis

“Do you think that we would have been interested in one another if we crossed paths in college?” he asked.

I wanted to say yes. The connection was so energetic 10 years after his hypothetical meeting, I wanted to believe that of course we would have been interested in on another back then. How could we not?

“No,” I replied. “You wouldn’t have noticed me.”

What exactly is noticeable? Does that sound a bit vain? It could very well be. However, I have found that being “noticeable” is a reflection of both inner and outer self. Many times, we place so much importance on the outer visibility, that we neglect what is much more important – our inner selves. This is proven in society time and time again with so much importance is visual imagery today. And often, it’s a specific type. You know. THAT type. The supermodel. The famous actress. The pop star. What I was alluding to during this conversation was just that. I knew I didn’t fit a specific mold of presentation that most of the young men I was surround by were looking for. And unfortunately, if I happen to meet someone who is still blinded by this false sense of beauty, I still won’t that mold. He won’t SEE me. He won’t see ME.

“However,” I continued,”if we had crossed paths and held a conversation, I can guarantee you would have remembered me.” A smile beamed across his face as proof that I was right.

What we must realize is that it’s what’s on the inside that shines through and makes us truly unforgettable. In fact, I believe our purpose in this life is to let our inner selves shine as bright as possible and inspire others, do good for others, and learn from others. That inner beauty starts with self. Confidence, beauty, and self-awareness start from accepting what is in the mirror and in your heart and soul. It’s being aware of what you have to offer this world and knowing how worthy it really is. It’s taking what you have been given, your gifts, and knowing they are unique and special. It’s putting on armor and repelling the ugly you encounter on a daily basis. This work is not easy, no.

Recent Oscar winner Lupita Nyong’o recently exposed what she called “the seduction of inadequacy.” In this culture, capitalism is based on “improving” what we feel is not enough. Clothes, makeup, gyms, diets. You name it. And, not surprisingly, if you believe you are not enough, others will you see as not enough too.

Here’s a secret. If you believe you are beautiful, because of who you are and what you have, others will see that too. In my acceptance of my beauty, I don’t try to make myself fit a visual mold of what outer beauty should be. I take pride in what I have and I own it – my skin, my hair, my body. It is only a reflection of everything I value on the inside – my heart, my soul, my thoughts.

And if you happen to cross paths with me, I guarantee you will remember me.

Celeste Davis is a public health and social justice advocate working to advance health outcomes in marginalized communities. She is especially passionate about helping women improve overall health and well-being in every aspect of their lives.
Follow Celeste on Twitter: @JSTCEisLOVE

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