September Series: What makes a woman be{YOU}tiful? The Tall Mom’s Random Thoughts

Beautiful women. They’re a dime a dozen. No, really. Look around you. Coffee shops, cafes, offices, gyms, grocery stores, the parking lot at my kids’ school…I see them every where I go. Some are classic beauties, others more currently shaped and styled to today’s trending standards. They span a complete range of ages.

Yesterday I watched a woman in her mid-sixties load groceries on the conveyer belt. She was stunning. That natural gray-white hair that about 0.000001 percent of the population can grow. Incredible blue eyes. Wrinkles, yes—but they almost made her more remarkable for how well she wore them. I’m sure you can imagine her.

While I admire, and at times envy, these beautiful women, they are not be{YOU}tiful. Wait…that isn’t entirely true. They could be. But it is impossible to know a woman’s be{YOU}ty without knowing the woman. Seeing her is simply not enough.

Be{YOU}tiful women are hidden treasures. You must seek them out in order to find them.

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On any given day, you will find my mother in her kitchen. She will likely be wearing a t-shirt and shorts or a long sleeve shirt and jeans, depending on the season. Either way, the shirt will feature some variety of proclamation of her love of dogs. She will be stirring something. Or perhaps, placing the finishing touch on some indescribably delicious baked good. The kitchen will be filled with hearty smells of slow-braised meat or melted and married sugar, butter and flour, or both. And the aroma will fill your lungs, and your belly, with what can only be described as…home. There will be enough for everyone. Whoever everyone might be on this day. There seems to always be enough at Mom’s table. This woman, make-up free, in her cluttered kitchen and dog-loving garb, is quite possibly the most be{YOU}tiful woman in my world.

Most weekdays, in the still-dark hours of the morning, I start my day with forty-five minutes among a group of four other women. The purpose is exercise—we run, or lift, or stretch, but regardless of what activity we might choose, the one thing we always do…is listen. And when I look about the circle of friends who surround me, and I see bed-head hair heaped atop heads, sleep still clinging to eyes, and the undoubtable expressions of care and understanding…I can’t imagine a group of women more be{YOU}tiful.

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Today, as I toweled off from my shower, I caught myself staring into the mirror. Entranced with the taking of notes—roundness here, lumpy bits there—I realized I was seeing the woman in the mirror without accounting for what I know about her. Accompanying her softness is strength. She takes up ample space—and does her best to fill it with love and laughter and as much truth as she possibly can. She is unafraid. She is always learning.

And she is becoming more be{YOU}tiful all the time.

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Photo Credit: Fernbird Photography