What is beauty?Mette Skjærbæk
A story about a beautiful woman
Sometimes we experience things that change our view of the world. I LOVE those experiences! The ones where I learnt something or suddenly understood something better than before.
There is one experience I often think about – a woman I saw on the street in New York.
It was back in the 90s, and I was sitting on my windowsill on the 2nd floor on East 20th Street, watching the world go by. There was a large basketball and football pitch across the road from my apartment. It was like a massive television where I could watch people of all different nationalities, and I witnessed how the city kids were under constant supervision while they played. I loved sitting on that windowsill.
From the window, I saw an African-American woman walking down the street. She was a buxom woman, her hair was unkempt and her clothes worn, but she sauntered down the street with an unashamed wiggle of the hips and oozing self-confidence. Her back was straight, her chin held high, her shoulders back, and her hips a-wiggling!
It was so beautiful, and everyone she passed stopped to look at her. She brought the whole street to a standstill as I looked down. People saw her and were captivated by her.
She looked happy and she OWNED the street.
It was a wonderful contrast to the fashion industry that I was working in as a model, where beauty is measured in terms of height, proportions, cheekbones – and the list goes on.
For me, the woman on the street became the poster child for judging beauty on the whole package.
It’s not about all those individual features we’re so busy beating ourselves up about. It’s the whole person we need to look at – especially when we look at ourselves.
Beauty is one of the joys of life and a wonderful inner feeling.
We spend so much time comparing ourselves to others in this age of social media, and that is why it’s so important for me to remember this beautiful woman. I’ll never forget her.